When the Heart Deceives

“When Isaac was old and… could not see, he called Esau his older son and said,.. ‘Go out and hunt game for me, and prepare for me delicious food, such as I love.., that my soul may bless you before I die.’

“Now Rebekah was listening… So when Esau went to the field.., Rebekah said to Jacob,.. ‘Bring me two young goats, so that I may prepare from them delicious food for your father, such as he loves… so that he may bless you before he dies.’ But Jacob said, ‘My brother Esau is hairy, and I am smooth… Perhaps my father will feel me, and I shall seem to be mocking him and bring a curse… and not a blessing.’

“Then Rebekah took the garments of Esau,.. and put them on Jacob… And she put the delicious food, which she had prepared, into the hand of Jacob.

“So he went in to his father… And he said, ‘Who are you, my son?’  Jacob said, ‘I am Esau your firstborn. I have done as you told me; now sit up and eat of my game, that your soul may bless me…’ Then Isaac said to Jacob, ‘Please come near, that I may feel you, to know whether you are really my son Esau or not… The voice is Jacob’s, but the hands are of Esau.” And he did not recognize him… So he blessed him…

“As soon as Isaac had finished blessing Jacob, when Jacob had scarcely gone out from [his] presence.., Esau came in from his hunting… And he said to his father, ‘Let my father arise and eat of his son’s game, that you may bless me.’ His father Isaac said to him, ‘Who are you?’ He answered, ‘I am your son, your firstborn, Esau.’ Then Isaac trembled very violently and said, ‘Who was it then that hunted game and brought it to me,.. and I have blessed him?..’ As soon as Esau heard [this], he cried out with an exceedingly great and bitter cry and said, ‘Bless me, even me also, O my father!’ But he said, ‘Your brother came deceitfully, and he has taken away your blessing.’  Esau said, ‘Is he not rightly named Jacob? [Jacob means He cheats] For he… took away my birthright, and now he has taken away my blessing.’” Genesis 27:1,3-6,9-12,15,17-19,21-23

“The heart is deceitful above all things,
    and desperately sick;
    who can understand it?” Jeremiah 17:9

From the womb, Jacob was marked as a deceiver. His name and early actions proved that earnest intention never made its way into prayerful or honest effort. Tangled in family manipulation, he fell to the lowest common denominator of conniving, impulsive action. While it was not wrong to desire the birthright or blessing he’d been promised by God, it was misguided to add sin to sin and mix it with self-effort and deception. (Genesis 25:21-34)

Where do we manipulate and mislead? When do we answer mischief or lies with the same? How might the Lord intervene if we stop finagling people and circumstances to get our way? Will we trust Him to right the wrongs we suffer? How can we honor Him anew by ceasing dishonest deception altogether? (Romans 12:16-19,21)

Father, search me and cleanse me from any deceptive impulses. May my whole desire pure and my life surrendered to Your truth, ways, and glory.

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