Jacob’s Deception

Esau “sold” his birthright to Jacob in exchange for a bowl of soup. That meant that when Isaac passed away, Jacob would be the head of the household, and he would inherit a double portion of the wealth. Later, Jacob, at the insistance of his mother, Rebecca, deceived Isaac and was given the blessing meant for the firstborn. He then had to flee to escape the wrath of his brother Esau.

Looking at Jacob’s life, it’s easy to see God’s hand in everything and how He works things out to accomplish His plan.

It was prophesized that Jacob would rule over Esau. During their birth, Esau came out first, but Jacob held onto Esau’s heel as if trying to reel him back in. “Jacob” means “he grasps the heel.”

Later, Jacob manipulated his brother’s impulsiveness and hunger to acquire Esau’s birthright. Lastly, Jacob received Esau’s blessing. However, the result of all of his deceptions was that he had to leave everything behind, so in reality, he had nothing.

He spent the next 20+ years as a servant to his Uncle Laban. His uncle deceived him on more than one occasion which seems like poetic justice. It’s still wrong, but maybe it opened Jacob’s eyes enough that he saw how deception and greed can tear a family apart.

Wealth and power (or the pursuit of it) can do strange things to a person. Coupled with pride, I believe we can see the foundation of sin in our lives. The haves and the have nots are the same in that respect, focused on treasure, never having enough. Money is the root of all evil (1 Tim. 6:10).

But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

1 Timothy 6:9-10 NKJV

Father, I pray for those whose focus is only on what they can gain in this world. I pray for the people who are never satisfied with what you’ve blessed them with. Please help them to learn contentment, humility, and gratitude. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

I consider myself one who falls into this group. It was an alarming realization that I could let my focus stray like that. I blame Satan and his many tools of deception, but I’m equally to blame. It’s easy to look at Jacob and condemn him for his deceptions. We can see it was a lifelong pursuit. Yet, we also see that he was a man of God, and therefore, God used Jacob’s flaws to build a great and powerful nation.