Rape is a horrible crime that should be punished to the fullest extent of the law. I detest rapists with a passion. Having said that, I recently observed something in Genesis 34 that I found to be very instructive concerning what the Bible has to teach us about this subject.
Shechem, the son of Hamor the Hivite, raped Dinah, the daughter of Jacob (Gen. 34:2). After he had defiled her, Shechem became deeply attached to her, loved her, and he wanted to marry her (Gen. 34:3-18).
When Hamor and Shechem approached Jacob’s sons to ask them that they would give her in marriage to him, Jacob’s sons devised a deceitful plan to kill Shechem and all the males of their city because he had defiled their sister (Gen. 34:13) and treated her as a harlot (Gen. 34:31). Not knowing of the evil intent of Jacob’s sons, Hamor and Shechem agreed to their terms (Gen. 34:18).
Writing under divine inspiration, Moses recorded an instructive statement about what then took place:
Gen 34:19 And the young man deferred not to do the thing, because he had delight in Jacob’s daughter: and he was more honourable than all the house of his father.
Even after Shechem had become a rapist, the Holy Spirit yet chose to speak of something that was still commendable about him: “he was more honourable than all the house of his father.” The Spirit could have phrased this statement so that it read that all the house of his father were more wicked than him, but that is not what He chose to have Moses write.
Based on this divine statement, God seems to teach us that we are to learn that even when someone is a wicked rapist, we are not justified in making him out to be a completely vile person about whom no one should say anything good, even if what would be said was true. I am not saying that we need to look for the good in rapists nor am I saying that we should not say anything bad about them.
What I am saying is that what the Spirit has recorded in Genesis 34 for our profit about how He chose to speak about a rapist must be heeded and has been given for our profit.