Did God really say that our own deceit deceives us?
Yes … yes he did.
Jacob knew in advance that tricking his father into passing the blessing of the “firstborn” onto Jacob, the secondborn, would lead to a curse. “If my father touches me I would appear to be tricking him and would bring down a curse on myself rather than a blessing.” Genesis 27:12
With his mother’s help and encouragement, however, Jacob tricked his father anyway. When asked if he was Esau, his older brother, Jacob answered, “I am Esau, your firstborn. Give me your blessing” Genesis 27:19
But God often gives us a chance to reconsider our sin and the path on which we’re about to embark. “Are you really my son Esau?” Issac asked.
How about you? What sin are you contemplating today? Has God warned you of the consequences? Has he offered you a second chance to back out of this act you are about to commit?
“Your brother came and deceitfully took your blessing,” Issac said, when Esau arrived at his dying father’s bedside. Genesis 27:35
Anything that does not strengthen us morally is the enemy of virtue and Godly holiness. Becoming righteousness in God’s eyes does not happen by accident. Moral virtue is acquired one decision at a time, one act at a time. God has given us free will and the responsibility to rule over our thoughts and desires. Too often it is easy to see the character flaws of others and remain blind to our own, but we are never “all right” when we are doing wrong.
Jacob’s words proved true: he received Esau’s blessing and that of the firstborn, but he also became cursed by inviting deception from others. Laban, his father-in-law, tricked Jacob into marrying his oldest daughter, rather than Rachel, the one Jacob loved. In defiance Jacob boasted, “My honesty will testify for me in the future.” Genesis 30:33.
But it did not. Soon Jacob fled in secret.
But we cannot hide from God. He always finds us.
“God came to Laban in a dream at night and said to him, ‘Be careful not to say anything to Jacob, either good or bad.'” And Laban, “Taking his relatives with him, pursued Jacob for seven days and caught up with him in the hill country of Gilead.” The one who deceives, the trickster, the one who schemes and connives will always be found when he flees. God will see to it.
Even after he and Esau were reunited and their relationship restored, Jacob lied to his older brother and did not follow Esau to his home as he had promised. The sin of deception is born of Satan and does not die easily.
As he was dying, Jacob deliberately crossed his arms and put his right hand on Ephraim’s head (Joseph’s younger son) and his left hand on Manasseh’s head (Joseph’s oldest). Joseph was displeased and thought that his father was making a mistake, but Jacob told Joseph that he was intentionally blessing the younger son.
Are you, like Jacob, wrestling with God over the matter of your character. Surrender. Give the issue of your righteousness over to Christ. Let him remove the deceit within you. Only then can you fully enjoy the blessings of God.