Damage Control

One bright idea leads to another.

Genesis 27:41-45 (NKJV)

So Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing with which his father blessed him, and Esau said in his heart, “The days of mourning for my father are at hand; then I will kill my brother Jacob.”

And the words of Esau her older son were told to Rebekah. So she sent and called Jacob her younger son, and said to him, “Surely your brother Esau comforts himself concerning you by intending to kill you. Now therefore, my son, obey my voice: arise, flee to my brother Laban in Haran. And stay with him a few days, until your brother’s fury turns away, until your brother’s anger turns away from you, and he forgets what you have done to him; then I will send and bring you from there. Why should I be bereaved also of you both in one day?”

Good job Rebekah. Your plan worked flawlessly. How’s that working out for you, eh?

We’re back to her saying, “obey my voice,” to Jacob, only this time it’s all about damage control. Her “success” now threatens to ruin everything. For the zillionth time, do not try to help the LORD keep his promises! He’s God, for heaven’s sake (pun intended). He doesn’t need your help.

This lesson keeps repeating because it needs to be repeated. All this history is needed to teach people who are just as stupid as Rebekah. That’s you and me, bub.

And just think for a moment about the magnitude this stupidity. Rebekah believes absolutely in the power of Isaac’s blessing.

But the LORD’s prophesy spoken directly to her? Not so much.

The Bible spends thousands of pages detailing the nature of sin. This is where Christian doctrine kicks all other psychological theories out of the sandbox. You can’t explain these nutty behaviors with a psychological model based on selfishness, or evolution, or whatever theory is popular this week. Only sin explains it.

For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. … O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! – Romans 7:15, 24-25a (NKJV)

One of the great errors we can make is to think that “we’ve arrived.” Specifically, many Christians are under the impression that their conversion has cured them of this terrible condition called sin. The church tries to prevent this error by teaching, “Justified does not mean sanctified.”

That’s right but, “Memorizing correct doctrine isn’t learning correct doctrine” either. We “know” the truth but still look down on others. That alone should awaken us to our desperate condition.

Yet still we can’t see it. Ask God to open our eyes.

The weekly study guides, which include discussion questions, are available for download here:


Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.

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