Wednesday, January 22, 2014

"The Tale of Two Deceivers"

We have all been victims of deception, whether it be from someone lying, stealing, or just being deceitful to us. Nonetheless, these types of actions can often leave us bitter and angry at that person or persons if it's not repented of and left with God (Heb.10:30). This is what we read in Genesis 30-31-- a tale of two deceivers.

Jacob's desire was to marry Rachel.  Instead, he was tricked into having children with Leah. As you read through chapter 30-31, Jacob ends up with 12 sons by 4 different women (Bilhah, Zilpah, Leah, and Rachel). Being the "deceiver," Jacob bargained with Laban to leave his presence only to shepherd his flock, allowing him to choose the livestock for himself. Thus, Jacob ended up with the best of Laban's flock and his two daughters. Genesis 31:20 says, "And Jacob tricked Laban the Aramean, by not telling him that he intended to flee."

Laban was just as much a deceiver or liar as Jacob was by making him serve him 20 years rather then 7 years for his daughter. Laban becomes drastically upset after Jacob flees and takes his daughters, livestock, and the household gods. Although Jacob was unaware of the household gods being stolen, it was Rachel who had stolen them. Not only were Jacob and Laban great deceivers, but even Rachel had shown her heart by being deceitful and a thief as well. 

However, in Genesis 32:36-42, Laban comes searching for his household gods and livestock. Jacob ends up having a heated discussion with Laban over the matter. Jacob is upset (Gen.31:36) by Laban imposing himself upon Jacob and his family, searching for his stolen gods that Jacob knew nothing about. Jacob pleas before Laban and reminds him he had faithfully served him, yet he was treated with disrespect and contempt.

After pleading his case before Laban, Jacob shares some insight we do not see from Laban or any other character in this narrative. Jacob tells Laban, "If the God of my father, the God of Abraham and the Fear of Issac, had not been on my side, surely now you would have sent me away empty handed. God saw my affliction and the labor of my hands and rebuked you last night."

In other words, God took a desperate situation (by man's eyes) filled with people's personal sin and brought about good for Jacob and glory to Himself. By the way, the Scripture is filled with narratives just like this one. Examples we see throughout Scriptures include Genesis 22 (Abraham and Issac), Genesis 50 (Joseph and his brothers), and Exodus 12 (Moses and children of Israel). But, most notably is the story of Jesus Christ's death, burial, and resurrection. Sinful man looked at the situation as one of desperation and hopelessness for this man who claimed to be God in the flesh, lived a perfect life, and unable to save Himself. Yet, on the third day, He rose from the tomb and conquered death, hell, and the grave, making satisfaction for all those who would believe upon Him.

What we can glean from Genesis 30-31 is: no matter how desperate you think your situation is; no matter who has tricked, deceived, or wronged you, God knows. He sees your affliction, your hurt, and disgust.  Flee to Him.  Seek Him, and He will comfort.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 says, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God."

2 comments:

  1. Chad, Thanks for this good word. A timely word of the mercies of God.

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  2. Paul, thanks for the encouragement. I pray things are well in Idaho!

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