Summary: According to a surveys, people lie a lot... especially to their families. Why would they do that, what are the consequences, and what can God do to help them stop?
OPEN: In our brotherhood we had a great preacher named Wayne Smith who was something of a cutup on stage. He mentioned once that in English Class they taught him that using 2 negatives in a sentence made a positive statement. And he said that, since that was true “The way I figure it, if I know I’m lying, and God knows I’m lying – I gotta be telling the truth!”
Back in the 1990s there was a book entitled “The Day America Told the Truth”. In the book were the results of a survey of people across America about how often they lied. And these were some of the results:
91 % of those surveyed lied regularly about matters they considered trivial,
36 % lied about important matters.
80 % lied regularly to parents,
75 % to friends,
73 % to siblings, and
69 % to spouses
Now I have a hard time understanding that. I just can’t wrap my mind around the idea that people would lie as much as this book says. But one of the really sad things about that survey is how often people lied to their parents, their siblings and their spouses. This is family! Why on earth would you lie to your family?
Now God knows that people do just that. They lie! So one of the explicit commands God gave to His people was this: “Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices.” Colossians 3:9
In other words: lying may have been part of how you lived before you became a Christian (the “old self”), but now that they were Christians God expected that to change. He expected them to be tellers of truth, not lies.
Now, in our morning text today we have a case study in lying and the effects it had on the family. Just to give you a little background - Isaac and Rebekah were a Godly family in the days of the Patriarchs. They are held in high honor by the Jews that - to this very day – the Jewish people refer to their ancestors with pride: “Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.”
In time, Rebekah became pregnant, and Genesis 25:24-26 tells us “When (Rebekah’s) days to give birth were completed, behold, there were twins in her womb. The first came out red, all his body like a hairy cloak, so they called his name Esau. Afterward his brother came out with his hand holding Esau’s heel, so his name was called Jacob.”
Now take a look at this picture (http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-DMh4bFUN_f0/UpxoVugWNTI/AAAAAAAAIDo/OSOKcRlK-PM/s1600/p_0009.jpg). That’s Isaac and Rebekah and their 2 boys just “hanging out” together!!! They’re having a good time! They look so wholesome and peaceful. Isn’t that the way we all wish our families were???
Well… that’s not quite how this Bible family turned out. In our text this morning we find that they’re not all that wholesome and peaceful. Rebekah has encouraged Jacob to lie to his Dad and Jacob doesn’t even think twice about it!!!
Jacob lied like dog.
Now, the question is… why would he do that? Why would Jacob lie to his father? Well, the answer is in Genesis 25:27-28 “The boys grew up, and Esau became a skillful hunter, a man of the open country, while Jacob was a quiet man, staying among the tents. Isaac, who had a taste for wild game, loved Esau, but Rebekah loved Jacob.”
Any time you see something in Scripture… it’s there for a reason. And here God is telling us why Jacob was willing to lie to Isaac: Isaac loved Esau … more than he loved Jacob.
Now, why on earth would Isaac love Esau more than Jacob? Apparently Esau was a man’s man (a skilled hunter and a man of the open country) while Jacob was kind of a momma’s boy (stays amongst the tents). Jacob had become an embarrassment to his Dad, and Jacob knew it. So when the time came to lie to dad… well it was a no brainer.
SO FIRST, Jacob lied because he was resentful of his father.
2ndly – he lied because he had CONTEMPT for Esau.
As far as Jacob was concerned, Esau doesn’t deserve this blessing from his father. Esau would only squander it like he did everything else in his life. Esau has made all kinds of bad choices and Jacob was convinced he’d make bad choices when it came to the blessing his father was going to give him.
For example, in Genesis 25:29-34 we read: “Once when Jacob was cooking stew, Esau came in from the field, and he was exhausted. And Esau said to Jacob, “Let me eat some of that red stew, for I am exhausted!”… Jacob said, “Sell me your birthright now.” Esau said, “I am about to die; of what use is a birthright to me?” Jacob said, “Swear to me now.” So he swore to him and sold his birthright to Jacob. Then Jacob gave Esau bread and lentil stew, and he ate and drank and rose and went his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright.”