Daily Devotional – I’m Normal.™ I AM Ministries
“To promote Godly living in a culture committed to destroying it”
Tuesday, February 17, 2015
The Bible contains many examples of “reapings” that follow “sowings” to the flesh, and warns us, “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will receive eternal life.” (Galatians 6:7). Jacob story illustrates how deception and deceit bring a bitter harvest.
Jacob’s life started with a glimpse of the future. The second-born of two twins, Jacob exited his mother’s womb grasping his brother Esau’s heel (Genesis 25:26). His very name, Jacob, means “he grasps the heel”, or figuratively, “he deceives”, loosely translated as “pulling your leg”. Jacob wasted little time in living up to his name.
When the boys had grown, Jacob deceived Esau into selling his birthright as the eldest. Despite God’s promise to exalt Jacob over Esau (Genesis 26:23) using His normal means and in His perfect timing, Jacob sowed to the flesh and obtained what pleased him in advance of God’s scheduled deliverance.
As their father Isaac became old, Jacob and his mother Rebekah deceived Isaac with animal skins and tricked Isaac into giving Esau’s blessing to Jacob. The initial harvest seemed good. Jacob reaped the reward for his deception, but a bitter harvest arrived simultaneously. Esau’s rage against Jacob forced Jacob to flee the country. Instead of being able to remain with his mother and father, Jacob ran away out of fear for his life. The bitter harvest – Jacob would never see his beloved mother again.
Jacob had wanted his brother Esau to serve him. Instead, Jacob reaped the bitter harvest of servitude to his uncle Laban, which lasted twenty years. Jacob had refused to wait for God’s time to come for him; now he must wait according to Laban’s time. In the process of waiting, Jacob was deceived repeatedly by his uncle, who switched brides on his wedding night after seven years of labor by Jacob. Jacob received a taste of his own medicine, and was forced to work another seven years in order to obtain the bride of his choice.
Jacob had driven a hard bargain with his brother, now Laban pushed hard bargains on Jacob by changing his wages ten times (Genesis 31:7). After Jacob had faithfully increased Laban’s flocks, Jacob requested a small payment for his loyalty and effort, to which his uncle agreed. Once again, however, his uncle deceived him and separated him from his reward; thus, Jacob tasted the fruit of yet another bitter harvest. Scripture informs us his payment for previous deception was not yet fulfilled. Late in his life, his own sons deceived him by selling his son Joseph into slavery and covering up with a lie.
Jacob had committed his life to God, but he still sowed in the flesh and many areas of his life displeased God. Jacob learned he had to reap multiple bitter harvests for the sin he had sown by deceiving his father and his brother. God will not be mocked, and Jacob ending up paying throughout his life for the sins of his youth.
It is normal for God to repay us by having others sin against us using the sins we brought against them. Jacob practiced deceit and was repaid in kind. Have you wondered why you continue to experience unhappy circumstances in your life? Do you experience others repaying you with sins you yourself often commit? Are you reaping a bitter harvest in certain areas of your life because of your treatment of others? God may be trying to remove unholy traits from your life by using your own sin as a mirror.
God reveals the deceits of our hearts and we reap according to how we sow. How wonderful it is to realize God wants ultimately to prosper us. God prospered Jacob despite his sins and Jacob learned eventually to cast off his desires for the flesh and embrace God’s normal ways. God promises to do good works through His children (Philippians 1:6) if we follow His normal ways. Confess your sins to God today and commit your life to Him. It’s the only way to reduce the bitter harvest that comes along with sin.
In His love and service,
A servant of Jesus Christ
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