October 04, 2020


Genesis 27:14-29

Jacob said to his father, “I am Esau your firstborn.”

—  Genesis 27:19

Who is Jacob? In this passage, he pretends to be his brother, Esau, in order to receive his father’s blessing, which includes special promises from God. Twice he blatantly lies to his father about his identity. He also lies about God helping him on a hunt that never happened. We can imagine Jacob nervously waiting while his father eats, knowing that in just a short time Esau will return and these lies will be revealed.

Jacob was clearly a deceiver, adding one lie to another to trick his aged father. Jacob even faked the way he smelled, and that “smell of a field” reminded Isaac of God’s blessing. Jacob wanted to portray himself as someone worthy of his father’s approval, but he was not yet someone who could be trusted with the gifts of abundance and blessing that God had promised.

But are we much different? Don’t we often lie about our identity—to others and to ourselves? Thinking that God will be impressed with our achievements, we dress ourselves in the claim that we’re pretty good people. We lie about our own sins and the harm we do to others. And we too do not (yet) “smell” like the One who has received God’s blessing (see 2 Corinthians 2:15).

Who are you? Only in Christ can we admit our true identity: a deceiver, a sinner in need of grace. Be honest with God today, and receive his grace and forgiveness.

Father, forgive us for trying to deceive you and to cover our true identity as sinners. You know who we are. Forgive us, for Jesus’ sake, that we may receive your blessing. Amen.

About the author — Joel Vande Werken

Joel Vande Werken has been a pastor since 2007, serving churches in Sussex, New Jersey, and in Whitinsville, Massachusetts. He and his wife, Brandie, have five young children.

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