“Consequences of Favoritism & Deception” January 14

 

Consequences of Favoritism & Deception - Job said that no plan or purpose of God's can be thwarted (Job. 42.2), but He often has to allow the consequences of our sin and self-effort to take effect before we're ready to be used or to receive the blessing without messing it up. Jacob and Rebekah, it seems, had to learn this lesson the hard way. All this should be both a warning and a great encouragement to us: a warning of the consequences of deception, controlling behavior, and selfishness and an encouragement that God can and will use us, in spite of our past mistakes, if we will repent and turn to Him.Job said that no plan or purpose of God’s can be thwarted (Job. 42.2), but He often has to allow the consequences of our sin and self-effort to take effect before we’re ready to be used or to receive the blessing without messing it up. Jacob and Rebekah, it seems, had to learn this lesson the hard way.

All this should be both a warning and a great encouragement to us: a warning of the consequences of deception, controlling behavior, and selfishness and an encouragement that God can and will use us, in spite of our past mistakes, if we will repent and turn to Him.

Also read about the difference between “Righteous Anger & Sinful Anger,” “The Chastening of the Lord,” and the importance of “Defending the Faith in Love.”

 

Today’s Readings:
Genesis 27 & 28
Psalm 7.9-17
Proverbs 3.11-12
Matthew 10.1-20

 

The Consequences of Favoritism & Deception

 

Genesis 27 & Genesis 28:

Consequences & God’s Sovereignty

 

Isaac was now 137 years old, blind, and facing his own mortality. Perhaps he was sick since both Jacob and Esau expected him to die soon (27.41). As the story continues we will see that he actually lives forty-three years longer. By the way, Jacob and Esau were not exactly kids either. They were 77 years old!

Isaac planned to give a final blessing to Esau, his favored son, in opposition to God’s declared will (Gen. 25.23). But first he asked him to bring him a meal of fresh game. Instead, Rebekah convinced Jacob, her favorite, to deceive his father into pronouncing the blessing over him.

When the scandal of Jacob’s deception was revealed, it says, “Isaac trembled exceedingly,” perhaps over what Jacob had done or perhaps at the realization that he had favored his rebellious son in spite of what God had revealed to Rebekah before the twins were born.

Esau was already living up to God’s prophecy. He had married two Hittite women, clearly in violation of Abraham’s guidelines (Gen. 24.3). Rebekah and Isaac must have understood all this because 26.35 says his wives were “a grief of mind” to his parents.

And don’t forget the selfish, “I-want-what-I-want-and-I-want-it-now” attitude that had already cost Esau his birthright as the elder son.

Though Jacob’s behavior was completely wrong (and the fact that his mother suggested it, was no excuse), God, in His sovereignty, used it to bring about His desired result—not because of their sinful behavior, but again, in spite of it.

And Rebekah! Wouldn’t you just love to have a mother who gives this kind of advice! But sadly, many of us have acted just as badly, sinfully taking matters into our own hands instead of trusting God to bring about His plan!

Even so, God would, eventually, bless Jacob and bring him back home. But there will be sad consequences before that comes to pass. Jacob will be separated from his family for years, he and his mother will never see each other again, he will live in fear of Esau, and Jacob the deceiver will soon be deceived himself.

As Galatians 6.7-9 says:

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.

All this should be both a warning and a great encouragement to us: a warning of the consequences of deception, controlling behavior, and selfishness and an encouragement that God can and will use us, in spite of our past mistakes, if we will repent and turn to Him.

 

Today’s Other Readings:

 

Psalm 7.9-17:

Righteous Anger & Sinful Anger

 

Verse 11 says, “God is a just judge, and God is angry with the wicked every day.”

Because God is perfectly just and because He is a God of mercy and grace, His anger is never sinful.

1 Timothy 2.4 says, He “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth,” but He could not be good and just if He does not one day judge sin and evil.

What about human anger? Can it ever be righteous? Human anger is a God-given emotion intended to give us the courage and the strength to overcome our fears and self-consciousness and enable us to solve problems God’s way. But even righteous anger can quickly become sinful if we don’t deal with it quickly and in a righteous way (Eph. 4.26-27, 29-32).

Our anger should not be self-focused. It shouldn’t be about what someone did to us and never about revenge (Rom. 12.19).

There are things that should make us angry: babies being sacrificed everyday on the altar of sexual freedom, children being taught that homosexuality is inborn and acceptable, or that faith in God is foolishness. Those things should make us mad.

They should make us mad enough to get involved by ministering to hurting, scared, pregnant girls or showing Christ-like love to kids who are deceived into believing homosexuality is just another lifestyle choice. It should make us overcome our sinful fear and learn to share the gospel and defend the Christian faith.

But we must be careful to respond out of our love for God and a desire to see people come to the knowledge of the truth, not out of self-righteousness, and always in a way which brings glory to the Lord.

 

Proverbs 3.11-12:

The Chastening of the Lord

 

hopelessness depression sadness

“My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, nor detest His correction; for whom the LORD loves He corrects, just as a father the son in whom he delights.”

This is a great reminder that though God does often allow us to suffer the consequences of our choices and He does, at times, discipline us, it is those “whom the Lord loves He corrects.”

The writer of Hebrews quoted this passage and goes on to say:

But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it (Heb. 12.8-11).

 

Matthew 10.1-20:

Defending the Faith in Love

 

bible study

16 “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. 17 But beware of men, for they will deliver you up to councils and scourge you in their synagogues.18 You will be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles. 19 But when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak; 20 for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.

Verses 16-20 should remind us that we, too, face the risk of being “brought before councils” to defend our faith, whether in casual conversations with friends and family or in more formal circumstances. Instead of allowing that possibility to silence us, we need to learn the basics of good Christian doctrine and how to defend our faith. But we also need to remember that it is not about “winning an argument,” but rather about “winning the lost to Christ!” 2 Timothy 2 says:

23 But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife. 24 And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, 25 in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, 26 and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.

 

You might want to pray:

Lord, help us to live obediently before You. Show us any areas where we are not doing so. Help us to repent, seek Your forgiveness and begin to sow to the Spirit. Help us to not lose heart in doing good and to embrace Your correction and not despise it when it comes. Also, give us a desire to grow in the knowledge of the truth so we will be equipped to speak the truth to others, in the name of Your Son, amen.

Blessings,
Donna

 

A Little Trivia:

From where does the phrase the “apple of my eye” come?

It comes from the Bible. Psalm 32.10 says that God kept Jacob as the “apple of His eye.”

According to William Mayo in So, That’s in the Bible?, “Early science considered the pupil of the human eye to be a solid, globular body and likened it to an apple. Since any damage to the pupil would jeopardize the precious gift of sight, the phrase “apple of my eye” became synonymous with a possession of great worth.”

He went on, “God cherishes each individual as a valuable treasure, as the very apple of His eye. He desires that all would come unto Him. He will lead you; He will protect you under the shadow of His wings; and He will nurture you in His garden. Come into His presence, and you will be ripe with His abundance!”


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2 thoughts on ““Consequences of Favoritism & Deception” January 14

  1. Hi. I receive your daily devotional and I was wondering how I might obtain a copy of your “Prayer for Busy, Imperfect Prayers”.
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