Genesis 30:33 In the future, you’ll be able to verify my honesty because, when you come to check what I’ve earned, if you find a goat that’s not speckled or spotted or a sheep that’s not black, then it will have been stolen by me.”
It’s a Steve Martin and Michael Caine classic, “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.” This is a movie about two men who are con artists. They pretend to be someone they are not in order to scam wealthy women out of their money. Their hoaxes are elaborate and the movie is hilarious! While it’s entertaining, it certainly isn’t right. I can enjoy such a thing on the big screen but real life is a different story. I mean, who would pretend to be someone they aren’t? Who would be upstanding in front of others, but do evil in private? Do you know anyone like that? Does your mirror know anyone like that?
Jacob was a dirty rotten scoundrel. He tells Laban, “I am being honest with you… let’s shake on it.” Apparently Laban didn’t know Jacob’s history; he was anything but honest. Sure enough when Laban wasn’t watching, he did some of his own genetic modification of sheep. I mean, this guy was an all out cheater. He pretended to be his brother to his blind father and now he colors sheep to fatten his inheritance. What a scoundrel!
The thing that strikes me most about this whole episode is how different Jacob’s words are from his actions. He claims to be this honest man, full of integrity. But in secret, there’s a whole other story. His home life is riddled with crazy soap opera drama where his wives try to one-up each other by having the most babies. They even get their servants in on the competition. It’s crazy! But here is Jacob proclaiming his integrity to his father-in-law. The next thing you know, he is cheating in secret.
I want to judge Jacob. I want to point my finger at him and point out all his errors. I want to shake my head in disbelief that he would say one thing and then do another. Then the Holy Spirit grabs my finger and points it back at me. He shows me my own frailty and my own hypocrisy. He shows me the places in which I say one thing and do another. And in that place, I am humbled and broken before my God. My eyes are opened to the places where I need to surrender. I have fresh vision of where I am in and where I need to be.
*Will you join me in this prayer? Lord, strip away everything within me that is not of you. Forgive me Lord where I have failed you. Lord, raise me up in your great mercy to places where I will walk with you unscathed by my own humanity. Bring me to a place where my life is consistent, faithful, and honoring of you in all things. Lord, I thank you for your gentle rebuke and your love that calls me forward.