As I mentioned a few weeks back, I was inspired by George Muller to begin reading my Bible every morning again--I hadn't done this for years--and I am just loving this quiet study time in the early mornings. I have always loved reading the Bible and experiencing the openings the text (and spirit) brings each time I read. A few days ago I read again about Jacob and Esau and all the trickery and deceit that went on in order to secure Jacob's blessing. Rebekah had a big part in that, and poor Isaac! Lying there dying and his own family is tricking him into doing something he didn't want to do. What about the intention of the heart? What about honoring a patriarch's wishes?
It seems bizarre to me that in this early book, we are being shown that blessing can be secured by deceitful practices--that the ends justifies the means. Or that you have to be willing to do anything to make the scriptures true (which doesn't seem to me to be something that God would really want to say or intend).
This morning, reading about the crazy childbearing competition between Leah and Rachel (Jacob's wives--and, by the way, is there anyone he didn't sleep with?), I thought, "Well, this chicken has come home to roost." Jacob's deceitfulness in tricking his father, and his unholy (my word) competition with his well-intentioned older brother, seems to be appearing in Jacob's family in the competition between his wives. I wonder, in today's narrative framework, whether we would consider that Jacob was reaping what he sowed--practices aimed at self-glorification, positioning, and greed, instead of a loving, harmonious, God-blessing home.
I wouldn't want to live in that tent! I'd rather have fewer children and no honor and live harmoniously with God than trick my siblings or my husband or sister into giving up their blessing for me. But maybe...just maybe...the fact that I today would choose love over self-glory has something to do with the way Jesus turned (and turns) life inside-out, bringing right order and freedom that opens the path for love.