"And Isaac said unto Jacob, Come near, I pray thee, that I may feel thee, my son, whether thou be my very son Esau or not. And Jacob went near unto Isaac, his father; and he felt him, and said, The voice is Jacob's voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau. And he discerned him not, because his hands were hairy as his brother, Esau's hands; so he blessed him.”
Although God may have a blessing for us, He has a way of allowing us to reap whatever we have sown. So, it is difficult to discuss Jacob and his uncle Laban without a discussion on deceit, and the perpetuation of even more deceit within Jacob's lineage. After Jacob and his mother created the elaborate “scam” to gain his brother Esau’s birthright, he literally sets himself up for a lifetime of grief, manifested from his own original deceit. Much of his life would become the perpetuation of the lie that began when he was a young man, and it would not end until he was quite old.
It begins with Laban’s bait and switch of the wife Jacob really wants, with the one he actually marries. This sets up a level of competition within his household that would plague his marriage so much; it would be inherited by his sons. It continues with the scam his own sons would set in motion by selling Joseph, his favorite son, as a slave into the hands of his enemies. It perpetuates further, into the life of Joseph, where Potiphar’s wife would attempt to scam him into becoming her lover. And finally, it ends with Joseph pulling the final scam which would end the family's veil of deceit when he orders his brothers to bring their father to Egypt. We have to assume that the final scam pulled by Joseph, a man who truly trusted God, was much different than the previous ones. Why? —Because, Joseph's scam was based in love for his family. It offered no gain for himself, thereby ending the entangled web of deceit begun by his father.
Suppose you knew ahead of time, that an elaborate lie or scam benefiting you greatly today, would manifest itself deep into your entire lineage, would you still do it? What about drugs, alcohol, or criminal behavior? Would you be the one to break the cycle?
Today, we look at Jacob’s theft of his brother’s birthright with some level of smugness. It is hard to believe that anyone would go through all that for a blessing. Yet, we know that God does not take back a blessing He has already bestowed. The actual passing of the birthright was not something literal to be passed on by man; it was a spiritual blessing bestowed by God. The thought that occurs to me every time I read this story is that God had already planned from the beginning to bless Jacob, just as He blessed Esau without the actual passing of the birthright from his father. Jacob complicated his own blessing by adding the lie—the deceit.
So today, as we go through our lives, let’s be careful not to set in motion a deceptive seed that will perpetuate itself far into the lives of our family lineage, corrupting our blessing. Since, unlike Jacob, we already know how the outcome will affect us. —It absolutely will impact our family. L.
Study Reference: Genesis 27:18-44, Deuteronomy 2:4-7
From: "Corrupting Our Blessing." In The Master's Hands: 365 Daily Devotions For Everyday Living.
Copyright © 2014 by Lavona E. Campbell
photo: The Troll's Tongue, Norwegian fjord