Trick or Treat

Daily Devotional – I’m Normal.™  I AM Ministries

“To promote Godly living in a culture committed to destroying it”

Normal I AM

Monday, October 31, 2016

Trick-or-Treat

Today is Halloween. At dusk tonight, children of all ages, including some adults, will don fanciful costumes. These masqueraders will go door-to-door in the annual ritual of trick-or-treat, pretending to be someone or something else in hopes of gaining tasty morsels to eat. The Bible tells us deceptive costumes and tasty foods are sometimes closely linked. In fact, the first trick-or-treat event is recorded in the book of Genesis, where a costume was donned, tricks were played, and treats were doled out.

The story begins in a Godly household, that of the patriarch Isaac and his family. When Isaac became old, he wished to confer his blessing on his son Esau. Esau was the firstborn of Isaac’s sons, a twin with Jacob. Every member of the family was about to try to circumvent God’s will and His plan.

Previously, Esau had foolishly sold his birthright to his brother Jacob for a bowl of red stew (Genesis 25:30-34). However, God had already ordained that Esau would serve Jacob (Genesis 25:22), there was no reason for Jacob to trick either Esau or his father because God would enforce His will in His timing. Now Isaac set out to control the events of the blessing according to his own will, which was to make Esau this heir. The will of God, however, was to install Jacob as the heir.

In preparation, Isaac commanded Esau to prepare him some tasty food using the meat from his son’s hunting trip (Genesis 27:3-4). After the meal, Isaac intended to confer the blessing on Esau. Unbeknownst to Isaac, his wife Rebekah overheard the conversation and immediately hatched a plan to deceive her husband. Even though it was God’s will to exalt Jacob, it was not Rebekah’s right to choose the timing or the method. God does not need man to rescue His plans.

God’s timing is perfect and He no doubt had a better plan, which, sorrowfully, will remain a mystery. Rebekah’s haste revealed her lack of faith in the LORD. Even with this handicap, she could have employed other, more appropriate, ways to see Jacob exalted. She might have gone to Isaac and reminded him the birthright no longer belonged to Esau and how it was God’s intention to bestow the blessing on Jacob. Instead, she resorted to nefarious ways. Although her intentions to honor God’s plan were good, her method was sinful and could not be justified.

While Esau was hunting, Jacob brought Rebekah two young goats, which she made into a tasty stew for Isaac. She then created Jacob’s trick-or-treat costume. First, she dressed Jacob in Esau’s borrowed clothing. The disguise would provide an initial confirmation to Isaac that his eldest son was in his presence because Isaac knew well the usual costume his son Esau wore, even down to the smell of it (Genesis 27:27). Next, Rebekah covered Jacob’s hands and neck with the goatskins to emulate his brother’s hairy skin. With the bowl of stew seasoned to taste like venison, Jacob’s trick-or-treat costume was complete.

With unsettling skill and ease, Jacob implemented the deceptive trick-or-treat plan without a hitch. He quickly and easily transformed himself into a liar and deceiver. Armed with a new, false identity, Jacob adroitly convinced his father he was Esau. At first, Jacob’s voice confused Isaac, but Jacob overcame his father’s skepticism. With the hairy skin of his costume and the tasty treat, Jacob convinced his father Isaac it was Esau in his presence.

How quickly lying and deception are learned. The very first time Jacob dressed in costume, he was able to lie convincingly to his father, telling him without hesitation that he was his brother. Having initiated the lie, he presented his costume as further evidence. To top off the masquerade, Jacob provided a tasty treat for his father to enjoy. By doing so, Jacob demonstrated his name, which means “deceiver”, fit him well.

On this night of Halloween costuming, hiding true identities, and begging for tasty treats, we should remember how quickly and easily sin can follow. Even if our intentions are good, God shows us through this story how the use of deception indicates we have gone astray – deceptive behavior is not normal or Godly. As we see in Jacob’s actions, sin follows sin until we find ourselves caught in a very tangled web.

Be in prayer today that children who are trick-or-treating tonight will be safe. Pray also that Christians will use this opportunity to witness to the children about the Gospel and Jesus Christ. This is the one night a year when we have the chance to share our faith with a captive audience – children who are waiting anxiously for their tasty treat before they leave.

While you have their full attention, be sure to tell them of the spiritual feast their Father is preparing for them in Heaven if they will put their faith in His Son Jesus Christ. I recommend you use this night as an opportunity to reach children for Christ. My family has a custom of giving Bible tracts along with a piece of candy – one small step to redirect the satanic focus of Halloween toward God.

In Heaven, food is plentiful and abundant. No one will need to resort to a trick-or-treat routine and our costumes will be pure white robes of righteousness. God Himself will bless us with the greatest treat of all, eternal life in His Heavenly Kingdom. Praise Him for the treat of being with Him forever.

Jeff Myers
A servant of Jesus Christ

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