Reaping What You Sow
by Lois Tverberg
Many people struggle with the idea that God would work out his plans to establish a nation through the deceitful actions of Jacob. Jacob used a weak moment to barter his brother Esau's birthright away from him, and he deceived his father into giving him his brother's blessing. Did God bless his unethical behavior?
his life story shows that his scheming often came back to haunt him. It
is most obvious in one case - he used his father's blindness to substitute
himself for his brother, to steal his blessing; but he also was deceived
by "blindness" too when on his wedding night, Leah was substituted
for her sister Rachel.
This is called "measure for measure" by the rabbis - that because
he used blindness to deceive, God let him be deceived in the same way.
While Abraham "died at a good, ripe age, old and contented" (Gen. 25:8), and Isaac also died at "a ripe old age" (Gen. 35:29), that is not said about Jacob. Instead, Jacob told Pharoah that the years of his life had been "few and unpleasant" (Gen. 47:9). From the time that he deceived his father until the end of his days, his life had been full of trials, many of them brought on himself.
We can learn a lesson through this - that God is faithful and merciful to us who are under his blessing, but he usually refrains from sparing us from the earthly consequences of our sins. We should live wisely knowing that although we are under God's forgiveness, how we act toward others will have a large impact on the way our lives play out.
| ©2004 Lois A. Tverberg, Ph.D., OurRabbiJesus.com. All rights
reserved. This article is copyrighted and may not be redistributed
without the express written consent of the author. To request
permission for use, contact Tverberg@OurRabbiJesus.com.