Then Jacob said to Laban, "Give me my wife; I’ve completed what we
agreed I’d do. I’m ready to consummate my marriage." Laban invited
everyone around and threw a big feast. At evening, though, he got his
daughter Leah and brought her to the marriage bed, and Jacob slept with
her. (Laban gave his maid Zilpah to his daughter Leah as her maid.) Genesis 29:21-24 (TM)
Let’s see, so far in Genesis we’ve seen…
Abraham (father) deceive Pharaoh & Abimelech
Isaac (son) deceive Abimelech
Jacob (grandson) decieve Esau (grandson)
Rebekah (grandaughter-in-law) & Jacob (grandson) deceive Isaac (son)
Laban (Rebekah’s brother) deceive Jacob (grandson)
Hmmmm…do you think there’s a behavioral pattern in this family? Isn’t it amazing how certain behaviors and sins flow down through the generations? It almost makes you feel doomed to repeat it. It’s like you’re stuck in this pattern that you didn’t create but you’re powerless to change.
That’s when I remember these words from Romans 7:17-25 (TM):
"But I need something more! For if I know the law but still can’t
keep it, and if the power of sin within me keeps sabotaging my best
intentions, I obviously need help! I realize that I don’t have what it
takes. I can will it, but I can’t do it. I decide to do good, but I
don’t really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My
decisions, such as they are, don’t result in actions. Something has
gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time.
happens so regularly that it’s predictable. The moment I decide to do
good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God’s commands,
but it’s pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts
of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take
tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope. Is there
no one who can do anything for me? Isn’t that the real question?
answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set
things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God
with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do
something totally different."