Support us on Paypal

Dr. Ed Young - Deception

  • Watch
  • Audio
  • Donate
  • Go to Store
    Dr. Ed Young - Deception
TOPICS: Deception

Jacob, now there's a guy. By definition, his name means "slick". It does. Deceiver, usurper, con artist. What a low down, dirty, rotten scoundrel he was and he lived up to his name. So, we're going to excavate Jacob. And by the way, we see these personalities not just to understand the Bible in history. We see and study their lives, and the Holy Spirit speaks to you and speaks to me, and gives us warning and insight as we see how God works all the way through history. And it is a wakeup call for us, a moment of truth for us. And now we look at Jacob and we're going to look at his life through just four different places in which he stayed, sometimes for a short time, sometimes for a long time.

And perhaps if you were telling the story of your life, you'd say, "Well, when I lived there, when I lived there". We can do that with Jake. We won't go all the way through his life because we want to take a nap this afternoon, but we'll look at four stations and see what we learn from the life of Jacob. First of all, we see him right at his birth. Look at that, if you would, right at the beginning of his life. It reads, beginning in Genesis chapter number 25, "So the boys grew. And Esau was a skillful hunter, a man of the field; but Jacob was a mild man, dwelling in the tents. And Isaac loved Esau because he ate of the game, but Rebecca loved Jacob".

Makhpela. We start off where Jacob was born at Makhpela. He was a twin. His twin brother was, as you know, Esau. Jacob and Esau. And there we see they were different, were they not? Jacob, a favorite of his mother, Rebecca. Esau, he was favorite of his daddy, Isaac. First thing we learn. First thing we learn in the life of Jacob, favoritism in the family always leads to heartbreak. Favoritism in a family always leads to heartbreak. My three sons, all three of them will tell you they were Jo Beth's favorite.

Why do parents have favorites? It's deadly in the family, ladies and gentlemen. It is deadly in the family, it breaks, it destroys. It's because, I think, the father and mother were still in competition with one another. I want the affection of this one, and you want the affection of that one. They haven't become one. They weren't on the same page. They didn't have the same agenda. Listen parents, it takes a lot of time to crawl in the hearts of your children, to understand them. If I had a chance to bring up my boys again, let me tell you, I would spend more time listening and less time lecturing. To get into the hearts of your kids, not to show favorites, to be equal in all of that.

And when there's favoritism in a home, and you see it in the home of Abraham, the home Isaac, the home of Jacob. They had favorites. And that was part of the reason for the disaster you see in this whole patriarchal tree. Favorites. And look how Jacob lives up to his name, Slick. Slick. You know anybody nicknamed Slick? How did they get that name? Could it be because they are slick? Jacob, Slick. Young man, he wanted to have the inheritance. He was not firstborn. Esau was firstborn. He was second born. The inheritance was to go to his brother unless something happened. Esau was out hunting. Redneck, good ol' boy. Hunting, fishing, outdoorsman, rough. "That's the way I am". He comes home, he's starving, thirsty. He sees his brother cooked a bowl of pottage, beef stew. And he says, "Brother, give me some of that stew. I'm starving to death".

And then Jacob, the cool operator, seizes on the moment of hunger and extremity of his brother and takes advantage of it. He says, "I'll tell you what. I'll give you this whole bowl if you'll sell me your birthright, your inheritance, all the stuff you're gonna get when our old man dies, if you'll sell me..." And so, Esau says, "Hey, if I'm starved to death, all that won't do me any good anyway," so he sold his birthright. And Rebecca, oh yes, joins in with Jacob in order to get now the patriarchal blessing. It's one thing to get the inheritance. It's one thing to get the hands laid on you and you get all the privileges of the family. And now Jacob wanted that. He had the inheritance.

Now he wanted the privileges. And so, Jacob arranged for his mother to dress him up in Esau's hunting outfit, with all the stench that goes with it. Gentlemen, all the hunters. And he goes, and now Isaac is old. He's blind. He thinks he's gonna die. He's ready to give that patriarchal blessing to his favorite son, Esau. But Jacob wants it, so mother takes Jake and they fix a bowl of pottage. Esau goes out to kill some game to feed his dad, and his dad says, "I'm gonna bless you, Esau, when you come back". But Jacob intercedes. He's dressed in hair like his brother. He smells like his brother. And his mother fixed that meal. And he goes in and his dad says, "Who are you"?

This is Jacob. He says, "I'm Esau". He said, "You don't sound like Esau. Are you sure you're Esau"? "Oh yes, I'm Esau". And he feels of his arms, and he says, "You're ready to serve me the meal I asked for? How did you kill the game and prepare it so fast"? He said, "The Lord your God helped me to do it". Isn't that something? He lied twice about who he was, then he says, "God helped me to get the game and prepare it for you". So, make a long story short, the blessing was laid upon Jacob. Now, what happens? Jacob has to run for his life. Esau says, "I'm gonna kill ya".

When you run away from your sin, when I run away from my sin, we always run into God. The last place we wanna be is with God when we're caught in our conscience and our sin. That's the reason a lot of people don't come to church, or that's what they tell ya. "That's where God is. Ooh man, the way I'm living, that's the last place I want to be". But you see, you can't run away from your sin because when you do, you always run to God. We see that's exactly what happened to this con artist, Jacob.

Look at it over there, as he runs all the way to Bethel. "Now Jacob went out from Beersheba," this is the 28th chapter, "and went toward Haran. So he came to a certain place and stayed there all night, because the sun is set. And he took one of the stones of that place, put it on his head, he lay down for a place to sleep". I guess you would think, you know, here he is guilty. He's done all these horrid things to his brother. He's running for his life. Man, now he is trying to go to sleep. I guess he'd have a hard time sleeping, wouldn't he? You know, he's got all this guilt.

But look what... This is one of the most amazing things in all the Bible right here. God comes to him and he blesses him. He honors him. He tells him what a great life he's going to have. And he says, "Man, I've got great stuff". Here is this scum, this slick, who has conned his whole family in one way or another, and he's running for his own life. And he meets God, and look what God promises. It's wonderful. He says, "And behold, the Lord stood above it and said: 'I am the Lord God of Abraham your Isaac and the God of Abraham, of Isaac.'" He just lied to.

"'The land on which you lie I will give to you and your descendants. And your descendants shall be as the dust of the earth; you shall spread abroad to the west, the east, the north, the south. Behold, I am with you. I will keep you wherever you go, will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have spoken to you.' Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, 'Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it.' And he was afraid and said, 'How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven!'"

Now look at this. Get this in context. Here is Jacob, afraid, running, by himself, going out in another part of the country. It's night. He feels guilt. And God comes and says, "Here's stairs reaching all the way up to heaven, and at the top of those stairs is the Lord God himself, and right on the other side is the gate of heaven". He opens up heaven to Jacob and fills it up with all these promises of what God had built in his life, and what he would accomplish, and what he would do when he was a dirty, rotten scoundrel. My, the grace of God. My, the patience of God. My, the long, long view of life with God. How overwhelming this is to me. It's overwhelming to you too. You'd think God would zap him, condemn him, let a little lightning come.

"Bang, Jake, you sorry scoundrel". No, no, God just came with grace, and love, and forgiveness, and promises, and he has a stairway that leads all the way to heaven. By the way, you think heaven's far away? It's not. It's just up those stairs. And angels were coming down and ministering to him. Angels were going up, and there was the Lord God, and there was the very gate of heaven. That's how close it is. And he showed this to a deceiver, Jacob. What do we learn from that? We learn that when we sin, we run away from our sin, we always run into God, but God there didn't just zap Jacob. He loved him, and promised him, and showed him the gate of heaven. Magnificent. Unbelievable.

And how long do you think that Jake got a chance to look into heaven? I don't know, I guess about six minutes. Six minutes. Then he gets up and now he's going to meet his match. He's goin' to Haran. He's going to move in with and be a part of the family of his sister Rebecca. Not a beautiful mother was she. Brother. He meets Laban, who was as big a con artist as Jacob. And that's what we learn there in this new situation, this new environment of Jacob, that con artists always end up getting conned.

The first time Jacob saw Rachel at a well, get this, "It came to pass, when Jacob saw Rachel the daughter of Laban his mother's brother," that'll tell you something, "and the sheep of Laban and his mother's brother, that Jacob went near and rolled the stone from the well's mouth, and watered the flock of Laban his mother's brother. Then Jacob kissed Rachel, and lifted up his voice and wept". The first time he saw her, he kissed her and shouted, "Whoa," and cried. Man, they didn't kiss on the first date, they kissed before they ever had a date. Bible, Bible, Bible. And then later on we read that, verse 18, "Now Jacob loved Rachel; so he said, 'I will serve you for seven years for Rachel your younger, younger daughter.'"

Your younger daughter. Leah was the older daughter of Laban. So, he worked for seven years. And it says in the Bible those seven years, because he loved Rachel so much, seemed like just a few days, you know? That's love, isn't it? And then they arrange a wedding. Remember who he's dealing with, con artist Laban. And so, they have a big, elaborate wedding. I'm sure there were too much drinking going on, and the bride came out all dressed and covered in veils, et cetera, et cetera. And so, they had the wedding and they went in for the wedding night. And there was Jacob, sorta, you know, all these years he'd worked for Rachel. And the next morning, he wakes up. He looks at his bride. "Oh"! He says, "Whoa"! Behold, it was Leah.

Now, you talk about a slick operator was that Laban. I mean, he worked seven years to marry Rachel, and here he was, he married Leah, the younger sister. We don't know what was wrong with her. The Bible says she had weak eyes. I don't know what that means. And then now, Jacob the con artist had been conned, the ultimate con. Never heard of anything like it before or since. Now, he goes to Laban and he just explodes. And Laban says, "Cool down. You know, you have to marry the younger one first. That's in our culture". And so, he then married Rachel.

Now he has both the daughters. And then he worked seven more years. Fourteen years, he has both the daughters of Laban, and he has a couple of concubines. At 21 years, he had 11 children and he was a wealthy man, because he had fleeced Laban with some selective breeding and he ended up with more cattle, and more possessions than his father in law had. And now he's ready to take off and he goes by the cover of darkness, paraphrasing. He goes by the cover of darkness and he's running back to his hometown, going back to Beersheba. But Laban catches him and challenges him, until finally they come to agreement. And here you have what's called the mizpah blessing. Have you heard of that?

Oh, we've heard that quoted so piously. "May the Lord watch over you and me while we're absent one from another". And we use that so piously, but that was a blessing when Laban the con artist met this con artist that we're looking at, Jacob. And this is what the blessing was. They were saying, "You sorry scum. May the Lord watch you when I'm not with you and may the Lord watch over you, you scum, when I'm not with you". That's what that blessing is, folks. So Jacob takes off, but I think he's got a problem, don't you? He's got to go back home, but guess who's at home? Ooh, Esau. I wonder if Esau's got over the fact he stole his inheritance and sold his blessings. I wonder if he has withdrawn that contract he put on Jacob, kill him on sight.

So, he sends some gifts ahead to Esau and told his servant to say, "Oh my Lord, Esau, your servant Jacob is coming. He wants you to have all these gifts so he'd find favor with you". And the servant did that and the servant comes back. He said, "How did Esau respond"? He said, "He didn't say anything. He just started this way with 400 men". Read it. Read it. You read it. And Jacob said, "Hmmm". So he sends some more gifts to him, the same message and more gifts, until finally he ends up there by himself. He has sent all of his children, all of his family, all the possessions, all the goats, all the cows, all the camels, all the sheep. He sent everything over across the Jabbok River and he says, "I give everything I have to you, Esau". He's trying to save his hide.

Tell me the Bible doesn't tell it like it is, folks. They haven't read it very carefully, have they? You see, in all of this, Jacob, total scum, total scum. He's won, hadn't he? He fleeced this, his dad, his family. He'd won. He'd gone over to Laban. He'd ran a con artist. He had won and now he's going back home to meet Esau. And he's run out of things he can do and now he is by himself at a place called Peniel. And we're going to see what he learned at Peniel. It is that true repentance always leads to brokenness. He's at Peniel. He sent his whole possession. He sent all of his wives, all four of 'em over there to his brother. He sent all his sheep, all of his oxen. He's by himself there. It is night.

And then if you read carefully, he even prays to God and says, "God, God, oh Father, you promised you would make out of me a great people, that you would protect me". And he reminds God of promises he'd made to him years before. I mean, he covers everybody. What scum! What kinda rascal is this? He deals now with God. Reminding God of what he said. How 'bout that? I mean, how foolish, how arrogant, how pagan can you get? "God, you probably", and now he's by himself and he's frightened. Esau keeps coming with 400 men. Doesn't look too good, does it? And then you read carefully in the Bible. I wish I had time to exegete every word for you. Take my word for it, we use this as Jacob wrestling with God in prayer...

Oh no, no, no, no, no. It was the angel of the Lord who grabbed Jacob. He grabbed Jacob. Jacob didn't grab God, he grabbed Jacob and they began to have a wrestling match. High school wrestling used to be, I don't know about now, you'd have three rounds, two minutes each. Oh, that's six minutes. This wrestling match took place all night. Jacob, con artist, slick, run out of all things he could do to save his hide, to protect himself. He'd given up all of it. How sorry, how low down he was. But now God, an angel, divinity grabs him and holds onto him, and they battled all night until finally God touches his hip and Jacob is crippled. His hip. He can't go. He's finished. He's done for. He's lost. Now he was weak. Now he has nowhere to turn, nowhere to go. And this divine person says, "Jake, let go of me".

You see, he'd lost but he's clinging. And then the question comes. The angel asked him, "What is your name"? That's what his father'd asked him. He lied to him twice. Now the angel asks, "What is your name"? He said, "I'm Jacob. I'm scum. I'm slick. I'm a con artist. I'm a liar. I'm all into myself. I care nothing about you or anybody. I'm at the end". Confession, honest confession, nowhere to go, bottomed out. And then the angel says, "You're not going to be called Slick any longer, con artist, liar, cheat, double dealing, dirty, rotten scoundrel. Oh no," he said, "I'm going to give you a new name and I'm gonna name you Israel". Israel, Israel, prince of God, power with God. You're Israel. The Bible says the sun came up and now Jacob, no, Israel stands and goes to meet Esau. But he has the rest of his life a divine limp. Divine limp, because he had confessed. He had gotten right with God. And now he was ready to face his brother and to face life.

Now, make no mistake about it, there was still a residue. If you read the rest of Jacob's life, a residue of this same kind of sliminess that we have seen, but yet now we have a new man beginning of redemption. A divine limp. I wish I had time to read the rest of the story. Esau came and saw him, and ran over to him, and kissed him, and they embraced. What a fabulous, fabulous moment. Divine limp. When you and I realize that, you know when we're the strongest? It's when we're the weakest, when we're broken. And now, look at the extremity that God went to to break Jacob so he had a chance of living a life, living up to a name, Israel, prince of God.
Are you Human?:*