From Deceit to Death
“The sons of Jacob answered...deceitfully...”
The sons of Jacob (now also called Israel) followed the bad example of their father. Just as Jacob had lied to Isaac and Esau, his children now practiced deceit. The only difference was that their lie was mixed with hatred, and this led to the brutal murder of many in the city of Shechem.
Sin has a way of multiplying itself in subsequent generations if left unchecked, especially if children see through their parents’ hypocrisy. It is very important then, for us parents to give the best example we can to our children.
Beware of deceitful words. Many false prophets use them to blind and bind multitudes. If we are not grounded in the Word, we can also be carried along by the winds of false doctrines.
The only sure remedy against deceit is to know the truth. To find the truth is not easy, but it can be done, if we dedicate ourselves to a daily search in the Sacred Scriptures. The Bible is the light that illuminates our way amid the deep darkness. The believer that studies God’s word with love and reverence will never be deceived (unless we deceive ourselves).
Are you faithfully reading God’s word? Let the Word be your guide, and the Holy Spirit your teacher. He can instruct, correct and build you up, if you are submissive to his divine influence.
Never again lend your ear to deceitful words or temptations, for they will make you fall into the enemy’s trap. Deceit always leads to sin, and sin to death (Jas 1:14-16).
A Complete Prayer
Jacob, distressed and afraid by the possibility of “danger”, uttered one of the most beautiful prayers in the Bible. Here are some of the features of his exemplary prayer:
Biblical “O Lord who said to me...”
Jacob based his prayer in God’s sweet promises. When we pray, we can hang on to the promises in the Bible, because God will always keep his word.
Grateful “I am not worthy of...steadfast love and...faithfulness...”
Jacob remembered all of God’s blessings. He also remembered that all f God’s blessings upon our lives are totally undeserved. Our prayers must be bathed with tears of joy and gratitude.
Sincere “Deliver me...for I am afraid...”
God sees our hearts. He knows our doubts and fears. Why then, should we hide anything from God in our prayers? Let’s come to him with “naked hearts;” let us be honest with God and with ourselves.
Private “Jacob was left alone...”
We should pray to God in our solitude, when no one is watching (Matt 6:6). In private, the communion with God is sweeter and his presence is more real.
Persistent “...wrestled with him...I will not let you go...”
“Pray without ceasing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). This must be the goal of every Christian. Prayer is not a lazy activity, it is a battle. When we pray, we must do so with all our strength, hanging onto God’s throne until we receive an answer.
Brethren, wrestle with God in prayer and He will wrestle with all your problems.