Do Jacob and David in the Bible Justify Liars?
Jacob’s brother Esau despised his birthright, the birthright related to being the firstborn son (Esau came out of the womb before Jacob his twin). When his father Isaac was very old and actually sought to confer the blessing of his father Abraham on his firstborn son, Esau had already despised his birthright many years before by selling it to Jacob for a meal when he came in from the field faint and very hungry.
Genesis 26:29-34: “And Jacob sod pottage: and Esau came from the field, and he was faint: And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage; for I am faint: therefore was his name called Edom. And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright. And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me? And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; and he sware unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob. Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentiles; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised his birthright.”
God had taken note of this. Though the blessing of his father obviously did matter in relation to receiving the birthright, God was against Esau receiving it. I believe it is right to say that God in His omnipotence was going to make sure Esau did not receive this blessing from his father in relation to inheriting the birthright.
Hebrews 12:14-17: “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.”
Jacob did not need to deceive and pretend to be Esau like he did in order to inherit the blessing. So if Jacob had not cooperated with his mother’s deceptive scheme, it would not have hurt him. God is surely powerful enough, and no doubt concerned about something which is such a big deal in His eyes, that He could have got the Jacob anyways if he had not deceived; and we should trust He would have indeed done so. But Jacob leaned on his own understanding and did not depart from evil.
So, did Jacob’s deceit profit him? No.
And now Jacob had to go through a twenty year mill, which is reasonable to believe he would have avoided, had he just been honest at first and demonstrated character consistent with inheriting this blessing. But because of what Jacob did in deceiving Isaac like this, Esau sought to kill him and Jacob was sent away to the household his mother grew up in which was in Syria. In Syria, Jacob met his match in his Uncle Laban who taught him a firsthand lesson about the bitter poison of deceit by basically beating Jacob at his own game. This caused Jacob to finally get the message after Laban had used and abused him well for twenty years. But even after this, Jacob only got the message when he had to seek God like his life depended on it since he was told Esau was coming to meet him. He thought Esau was still seeking to kill him at this point.
In order for God Himself to confirm the blessing upon Jacob he had to break with his deceitful ways and be honest about his identity unlike he had been with his father many years earlier (Jacob itself means supplanter; and this name describes Jacob’s character up until this point where he had the dealings which he needed to have with God when he was alone and his life was hanging in doubt because of his imminent meeting with Esau).
Genesis 32:24-30: “And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day. And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob’s thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him. And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me. And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob. And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed. And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there. And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.”
Jacob himself had learned at this point that deceit does not profit. He had to repent of deceit and pass a test in relation to where he had failed before. It is really not too different then how Peter was asked by Jesus three times if he loved Him after Peter had denied Jesus three times. Jesus would then basically tell Peter (in John chapter 21) that he’d have to die a horrible death to further prove what he had just confessed and follow Jesus faithfully to the end.
In the case of Jacob, as well as with Peter and David, their deceit never accomplished anything good; and they learned that lesson themselves. Otherwise, they would not have died as righteous men and be in heaven now.
By the way: The descendants of Jacob, who became Israel, are natural Israelites. And when a natural Israelite does not walk in repentance and faith towards the God whom he came to worship in spirit and in truth, they revert to Jacob’s way before he became Israel. They thus forfeit the blessing of Abraham (as we’ve proved in several of our other messages and this truth is simply all over the Bible, Old and New Testament), they do not partake of God’s grace, and they are regarded as gentiles in God’s eyes due to the uncircumcision of their hearts. The modern nation of Israel, which is composed mainly of those of this character, but who yet profess to worship the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and be His people are an imposter people who are masquerading as the people of God. But they are not, and they will not be grafted back among His people unless and until they welcome the reign of the Righteous King whom they said they would not have reign over them and whom they crucified instead.
Also, consider that God in the Bible calls himself the God of Jacob after Jacob repented and became Israel. I believe this is a reminder that God offers grace to sinners and will not fail to show them grace when and if they repent like Jacob and David did and look to the Savior.
Coming to King David then, consider how God rebuked him (through the prophet Nathan) for his adultery, murder, deceit, etc. and how he broke at this rebuke and abhorred his sin and abhorred himself in 2 Samuel chapter 12. And in spite of his repentance and God receiving him back into his grace, David was yet chastised for his action and suffered greatly from consequences related to it for the rest of his life.
Those who find comfort and security in their sins from the sins of the righteous people in the Bible are foolish- because they do not heed how those who indeed died in righteousness abhorred and forsake their sins, including the very sins which some foolishly take comfort in and justify their own sins through.
Imagine the thief on the cross telling Jesus as both were dying “You know, I trust you’ll receive me into your kingdom because what I did reminds me of what David did; and I know he’s in paradise now. So, I should be okay.” No! Jesus would not have comforted that man if that were his attitude; and that man would be burning in hell right now if that were his attitude.
If David had downplayed Nathan’s rebuke and said “Oh, come on. Jacob was a liar too” then David would have never been received back by the Lord, he would not have died in victory, and he’d be burning in hell like King Saul is. King Saul admitted he had sinned when he disobeyed God but things like really dying to self, walking in God’s ways without self-imposed conditions, losing face before God, utterly revenging the evil he had done, and accepting God’s consequences for his sin on earth without complaining were not things which Saul was willing to do.
Consider what David himself wrote regarding deceit and regarding lying in Psalms like Psalm 1, 5, 15, 24, and 101 related to the mindset which a righteous man has to have towards deceit and towards all sin. The Bible never teaches that those without such a mindset are in God’s grace. It says the very opposite.
Psalm 1: “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. The ungodly are not so (like Jacob and David when they were in sin): but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.”
Aaron’s email is: [email protected]