Plotting a Deception
Scripture Reading — Genesis 27:1-13
“I would appear to be tricking him and would bring down a curse on myself rather than a blessing.” — Genesis 27:12
Today’s story brings us to a decisive moment in Jacob’s life. Isaac has grown old, and he is nearly blind. And now he intends to pass along his blessing to Esau as the firstborn, including special blessings and promises from God. So Jacob is spurred to action by his mother.
Jacob rightly senses the potential for disaster: What if his mother’s plan doesn’t work? What if his father discovers the lie?
But Jacob goes along with the plot anyway, and the result will be painful for everyone.
The story leaves us with a deeper question: Can a person really scheme their way into God’s gifts of prosperity, success, and honor? Despite his misgivings, Jacob is willing to try. But he is not the only one. We too can ignore our conscience when we think that maybe our best bet is to cut corners, to stretch the truth, or to subtly undermine others. Like Jacob, our main concern is often only that we should get what we want, no matter how we go about it.
But the Bible reminds us that the blessing of a relationship with God cannot be gained by manipulation. Honor and prosperity in God’s sight can only be a gift. All other efforts will set us on a painful course until we learn to live by grace through the Lord’s work.
Heavenly Father, what an awesome promise it is that you desire to bless us! Forgive us for wanting to scheme our way into your grace, and show us instead how to rest in Christ. In his name, Amen.