We cannot escape our sin nature. Even after God blesses us and teaches us a strong lesson, we fall back into old habits.
Several years had passed since Jacob lied and essentially stole Esau’s blessing when the two were reunited. We should note that Jacob (Israel) was in total fear of Esau (Rome) when Esau finally caught up to Jacob in Genesis 33. Esau came humbly and respectfully. He seemed to genuinely want to bury the hatchet. However, Jacob once again LIED his way out of this confrontation for fear that it was a ruse (v. 13-15).
Israel, who had just wrestled with and was permanently injured by God (Gen. 32: 24-32), felt the pain in his newly dislocated thigh and STILL sinned against God. He was so quick to fall back to his old nature when the stress of fear was upon him.
We do this every Sunday, don’t we? We go to church and wrestle with God. We often leave aware of our inferiority and feel changed, but the very first time we face a stressful situation, the “old” self comes back. We curse, swear, lie, cheat, and turn to the bottle, needle, or empty embrace of pornography.
Jacob’s sons would grow up learning how to lie and manipulate from their old man. When their sister, Dinah, was raped (Gen. 32: 2), Simeon and Levi devised a devilish plan. They LIED to the father of the rapist, convinced the man to circumcise all his own sons, then the children of Israel entered the city and murdered every man they could find (v. 13-29).
Jacob’s sin became the sin of his children. This again should be an example to us. We often take no consideration for how children view our behavior. We think they don’t see the “bad” side of us, but they do. It almost seems genetic, but it is merely powerful socialization. If we pray out loud, go to church, exhibit unconditional love, and read our Bibles in plain view of our children, they will take notice.
They will notice when we lie, cheat, and steal as well.
None of us our perfect, but our children want us to be. We must work harder to be the person that God wants us to be, the person that we ought to be, and the person we want our children to be.