The Cheater

Genesis 27:36 Esau exclaimed, no wonder his name is Jacob for now he has cheated me twice. First, he took my rights as firstborn, and now he has stolen my blessing.

A good friend had no issues about doing whatever it took to get ahead, whether it involved tests in school, basketball, or playing games. He always said, “If you don’t care enough to cheat, you don’t care enough!”

I think Jacob felt this way. Jacob lied, cheated, and deceived to get ahead in life. I wrestled with this aspect of Jacob’s life. How do I use this to teach my children how to live right when all they have to say is, “Look at Jacob. He turned out alright”?

Jacob wrestled with God. That changed Jacob’s way of thinking so God could use him. If the Bible had a Hall of Fame, Jacob would be in it. He goes down as “Israel,” the Father of the 12 Tribes, and is directly responsible for Joseph, who saved the Israelites from famine, and who is the ancestor of Jesus.

Jacob’s story teaches us that any person can be important to God’s plan. We might look down on the coworker that comes late, leaves early, and takes two-hour lunches. Or the celebrity who is on their fourth arrest for drugs, or even a school shooter. The truth is, we all have faults. If we let God use us like Jacob finally let God use him, then our story can turn into one of triumph and success.

Don’t just be known for the bad things that you did. Don’t cheat yourself. There is still time for God to use you for His glory.

Heavenly Father, I give myself away — my successes, failures, and choices, whether good or bad — so you can use me to further your kingdom. My past is my past. Help me to use it to make a better future for me and for your use. Amen.

Go Deeper — Make a list of your top three weaknesses (solicit feedback from people close to you if you must). Start off with number one and find a few scriptures on that weakness in the Bible by using a concordance or search. Meditate and pray on it for a week, asking God for wisdom and guidance on how you can overcome it.