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Deception (Part 07) - Examples of Deceivers - Jacob and Laban

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IX. Examples of deceivers

1. Jacob was a deceiver (Gen 27:12).

A. Jacob's mother connived a plan to deceive Isaac, and Jacob went along with it (Gen 27:6-14).
i. In such a case a man should not obey the voice of his mother (Pro 1:8 c/w Act 5:29).
ii. If sinners entice thee, consent thou not (Pro 1:10).

B. Jacob feigned a false appearance (Gen 27:15-17).
i. This is how deceivers operate by disguising their true appearance.
ii. They are wolves in sheep's clothing (Mat 7:15).

C. Jacob lied to trick his father (Gen 27:18-19).
i. This is another classic tactic of deceivers.
ii. Deceivers speak lies in hypocrisy, pretending to be something they are not (1Ti 4:2).
iii. Hypocrisy n. - The assuming of a false appearance of virtue or goodness, with dissimulation of real character or inclinations, esp. in respect of religious life or beliefs; hence in general sense, dissimulation, pretence, sham.

D. Jacob even invoked the Lord's name in his lie to deceive his father (Gen 27:20).
i. This is using the Lord's name in vain.
ii. Beware of people who are quick to say "I swear to God..."
iii. One of the easiest ways to deceive people is to do so under a pretence of religion and piety.
iv. Why do you think nearly all politicians, no matter how ungodly and corrupt, always say "God bless America"?
v. Satan's ministers transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, invoking the name of God to deceive (2Co 11:13-15).

E. He was able to delude his father because of his age (Gen 27:21-23).
i. Deceivers often prey on the elderly whose discernment has diminished with age.
ii. Be aware that as you age you will be more easily deceived.
iii. As you begin to advance in age, if you are wise you will seek the counsel, and accept the help, of those younger than you to aid you with decision making, especially when you are considering buying something.
iv. This of course assumes that the younger ones who are willing to help are wise and trustworthy themselves.

F. Jacob lied again to keep the deception going (Gen 27:24).
i. One lie always leads to more in order to keep the deception going.
ii. Note: if one statement someone makes doesn't sound right, start paying attention.
iii. If another statement sounds fishy, you are most likely the victim of deception.

G. Isaac tried a second time to verify that Jacob was not lying, but failed to do so because of his infirmity (Gen 27:25-27).
i. Isaac was being wise and not believing every word that was spoken to him (Pro 14:15; 1Th 5:21).
ii. Isaac was a good example to us of trying to resist deception, though ultimately he failed because of his failing senses.
iii. He should have sought the help of someone else to verify that Jacob was not lying to him (Pro 15:22).

H. The deception was successful (Gen 27:28-29).
i. There is a sobering lesson for us here.
ii. Isaac was a child of God (Rom 9:7-8) and was born of the Spirit (Gal 4:28-29).
iii. Isaac also tried hard to discern if he was being deceived.
iv. Nevertheless, Isaac was deceived due to his age and infirmity.
v. Let this be a warning to us that we too can be deceived, especially as we age.

I. Jacob accomplished the deception through subtilty (Gen 27:35).
i. Subtlety n. - 1. Of persons, the mind, its faculties or operations: Acuteness, sagacity, penetration: in modern use chiefly with implication of delicate or keen perception of fine distinctions or nice points. 3. Craftiness, cunning, esp. of a treacherous kind; guile, treachery. 4. An ingenious contrivance; a crafty or cunning device; an artifice; freq. in unfavourable sense, a wily stratagem or trick, something craftily invented.
ii. Jacob was using the tactics of Satan (2Co 11:3).

J. Jacob was a child of God (Rom 9:11-13).
i. Just because someone professes to be a Christian doesn't mean we should automatically believe everything they say without first examining their fruit (Mat 12:33).
ii. The brethren in Jerusalem were wary of the apostle Paul shortly after his conversion when he desired to join with them (Act 9:26).
iii. They only accepted his testimony after another faithful man corroborated it (Act 9:27-28).
iv. We should likewise not accept everything someone who claims to be a Christian says at face value, especially if it doesn't sound right.

2. Laban was a deceiver.

A. Laban beguiled Jacob and tricked him into taking Leah to be his wife instead of Rachel for whom he had worked seven years (Gen 29:25).
i. Beguile v. - 1. trans. To entangle or over-reach with guile; to delude, deceive, cheat.
ii. Jacob made a clearly worded agreement with Laban that he would serve him seven years for his younger daughter Rachel (Gen 29:15-19).
iii. Jacob fulfilled his end of the bargain (Gen 29:20-21).
iv. Laban tricked Jacob by giving him Leah on the wedding night instead of Rachel (Gen 29:22-24).
v. The next morning Jacob realized that he had been deceived and confronted Laban about it (Gen 29:25).
vi. Laban explained that it was their custom to not give the younger sister to marriage before the older sister (Gen 29:26).
vii. Therefore, Laban had concealed his true intention to give Jacob Leah instead of Rachel from the beginning.
viii. Laban coerced Jacob into serving him another seven years for Rachel (Gen 29:27-30).

B. Lessons to be learned from Jacob's experience with Laban.
i. 1) Know that there are people out there that will lie straight to your face when making a deal with you.
ii. 2) Don't ever trust a man that intentionally deceived you in the past.
a. Laban went on to deceive Jacob many more times (Gen 31:7).
b. As the old saying goes, "Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me."
iii. 3) You reap what you sow (Gal 6:7).
a. Jacob took advantage of his brother Esau in a moment of weakness and stole his birthright (Gen 25:29-34).
b. Jacob deceived his father Isaac and stole Esau's blessing (Gen 27:12) (see above).
c. Jacob was made to eat of the fruit of his own way and was filled with his own devices (Pro 1:31).