Read Genesis 34
Focus on verse 13 and 3
Why does it seem to me that the more I read these accounts of the patriarchal families the less “saint like” they become. Hamor and the Shechemites appear to be attempting to deal uprightly with Jacob and his family. It just seems so devious and cheap for them to take advantage of what appear to be well intentioned people.
The sons of Jacob answered Shechem and his father Hamor deceitfully, because he had defiled their sister Dinah. (v. 13)
The Shechemites seem to be trying to be hospitable and went to the extent of agreeing to be circumcised to make the deal work. It also seems that Jacob is not aware of the intention to slaughter all the men, as his reaction in verse 30 seems to indicate.
Then Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, “You have brought trouble on me by making me stink to the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites and the Perizzites. My numbers are few, and if they gather themselves against me and attack me, I shall be destroyed, both I and my household.” (v. 30)
It is difficult to discern in all this where God stands in regard to these dealings. While it is difficult to imagine that God would condone such deception, the text seems to be silent in regard to His disapproval as well. His blessing upon Jacob and his family continues to be upheld and ultimately Jacob does benefit from the transaction even though it may have tarnished his reputation in the eyes of surrounding peoples.
Either way – God continues to honor His covenant with Abraham and His promises to Jacob and once again we see the evidence of the grace of God in this Old Testament narrative. God continues to be faithful to His promise despite the many failures and foibles of the patriarchs through whom He chose to fulfill it.