01/11/17 Lies

READING: Genesis 27-28, Matthew 8:18-34

“Again he asked, ‘Are you really my son Esau?’ And he replied, ‘I am.’”  Genesis 27:24

You just can’t win when you lie. We might lie to protect ourselves, to tear down somebody else, to gain something we want, or for any number of other reasons, but deception ultimately brings only pain. Jacob would learn that truth, and we are wise to learn from his story.

He was the favorite son of his mother, Rebekah (and, in fact, his parents’ favoritism among their sons became a problem itself). Knowing that her husband Isaac was about to give his blessing to their oldest son, Esau, Rebekah cooked up a plan (literally) to deceive her aging husband. She fixed Isaac a meal, obtained Esau’s clothing for Jacob to wear, and secured the hair of goats to Jacob’s body to convince Isaac that he was blessing Esau instead. Think about the work that Rebekah and Jacob had to exert to put this lie into motion! That’s usually the case with lying: you have to expend more energy making the lie work than you do in actually telling the lie. Rebekah and Jacob could have halted the deceitful process with every decision they made, but instead they let the lie capture them and compel them deeper and deeper into deceit.

Jacob even brought God into the lies, claiming that it was He who helped him capture the game that became Isaac’s meal: “But Isaac said to his son, ‘How did you ever find it so quickly, my son?’ He replied, ‘Because the Lord your God worked it out for me’” (Gen. 27:20). Again, that’s the way lies work: you have to tell more lies to cover up the first lies. Somehow, Jacob found it possible to lie multiple times, saying that he was Esau, affirming he had done what his father had asked in finding the game, asserting that God led the way, insisting again that he was Esau, and even kissing his father as if he were his older brother. The never-ending downfall continued, and the cost for Jacob would be great.

Lest we condemn Jacob too harshly, few of us have never found ourselves in a web of lies. Some of us have learned the hard way that lies produce only trouble. Others are still living lies, and the trouble is yet to come. If that’s where you are, turn to God in repentance today. The God who is Truth will welcome you home, but only on His terms.  

ACTION STEPS: 

  • If you’re living in deceit, let today be the last day of lies. Be honest with somebody, beginning with God.  
  • Be truthful in all you do today.

PRAYER: “God, I commit to being a person of truth. Thank You for being the Truth living in me.”

TOMORROW'S READING: Genesis 29-30, Matthew 9:1-17