Our Wretched State (Exhibit A)

The reason behind my wide-eyed fascination with the story of Jacob…and the growing temptation to deceive that follows it.

I’m profoundly intrigued by human nature. Our wicked human nature in particular.

This is probably why I’m drawn to tragic literature. Psychological disorders. Aberrant sociology.

Unfortunately, this taste bleeds into my Bible reading.

Seduced by a Biblical Story

For instance, late last week I was reading the story of  in the book of Genesis.

You know the story.

Jacob robs his brother of his birthright. Dupes his father into blessing him instead of Esau. And manipulates Laban’s cattle to breed so that Jacob’s flock gets larger.

Funny thing is, Jacob is an instrument of God. A man who is a critical part of His redemptive plan for mankind.

A man who was constantly on the run because of his crooked, mischievous nature.

No wonder I read Jacob’s story with wide-eyed fascination. And a growing temptation to deceive.

That’s right.

Brewing within my own soul while I read Jacob’s biography was this sense, “If he got away with all this…so can I.”

And this coming from a sanctified saint. [As much as one can be, of course.]

The Way Wicked Hearts Go

Trouble is, I’ve got a genetic, spiritual aptitude for rebellion. [A phrase, by the way, I shamelessly borrowed from Matt Chandler in his .]

Some call it an issue with authority. An incorrigible bent to do things my way.

That means I don’t learn–very often–from the mistakes of others. And the temptation to do what I’m NOT supposed to do? Utterly inviting.

Unfortunately, that’s my wretched state…and yours…the constant bent towards disobedience. Mischief. Sin.

It can be frustrating.

See, salvation breaks the penalty of sin through justification by faith. It’s the story of the grace of God reconciling a rebellious people.

But until I die–until WE die–we remain in corrupt bodies. Bodies bred in a fallen world.

Bodies susceptible and drawn to sin.

Here’s My Point

Everywhere and at all times we must be ,  and on our  temptation and disobedience. Temptation can–and will–come from everywhere.

Thus, we must . For others–and ourselves.

Furthermore, Jacob’s sin doesn’t excuse us from our own sin. We can’t claim amnesty from guilt because a hero of our faith is a model of despicable behavior.

That model of despicable behavior on display is intended to point us away from ourselves and towards at least two entirely different things:

1. It points to the fact that we are broken beings with a thirst for lawlessness in desperate need of a savior.

2. And it points to a sovereign, merciful God who uses wreckage like us to accomplish His will.

That is the intention of documenting Jacob’s misdeeds. Agree? Disagree? Has Satan ever used a biblical text to tempt you? Share your thoughts. Brutal and all.

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