No. 96
From Wendy Howard [Editor of Despatch magazine], Sunshine Coast, Qld, Australia.
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Getting to know God together.

Gidday! Your devotions have been delayed for two days, weekends can be busy times!  I hope you read your Bibles, or went to church.
Now, back to Jacob and his “con-man” plots.
When Jacob and his twin brother Esau were older, the time came for their father, Isaac, to place a special blessing on one of his sons. Jacob realised that again his older brother would get that blessing, so he thought and thought and came up with a cunning plan. Lots of people today come up with smart plans to deceive and rob others. They pretend that the used cars they are selling haven’t got anything wrong with them. And they move the mileage back, so that the car looks as though it hasn’t been used much. People can sell others poor quality stuff and say it is worth a lot of money. They are “con-men,” like Jacob was.

Well, Jacob got together a smart plan to rob his brother of his blessing. His father was old and he couldn’t see very well. So while Esau was away, Jacob went and got dressed up. Esau had a lot of hair on his arms, hands and neck, and Jacob had none. So, Jacob dressed up in his brothers clothes, and he got skins from a goat and put them around his hands and neck. He went to his father pretending he was Esau. Then he asked for the blessing. The father said, “Come here son, you don’t sound like Esau, let me touch you.” And Isaac felt hairy hands and neck, and thought it was the hairy son, but it was only the goat skin. So Isaac was tricked, and he gave the blessing that should have been Esau’s to Jacob.  What a cheat Jacob was!

Esau cried bitterly when he came home. He said, “Jacob took away my birth-right, and now he has taken my blessing as well.” He tried to get another blessing from his father, but it was too late. Poor Isaac was upset because he said, “Oh dear, I have made him your boss, and have given all his brethren to him as servants!”
So Esau hated Jacob more than ever, and he said, “...I will slay (kill) my brother Jacob.” Jacob got frightened, and he left home to go to work for his uncle.

This uncle had two daughters, one named Leah and one named Rachel. Now Rachel was very beautiful, and Jacob told his uncle he would work without wages if he could marry Rachel. It was agreed that he work for seven years to get Rachel as his bride. However, Jacob was tricked himself this time. After seven years of work, the uncle schemed and lied and Jacob was given Leah instead of Rachel to be his wife. Again, Jacob reaped what he had sowed. He had a twin brother who wanted to kill him. It had happened because Jacob was a cheat and a thief. He had a wife who was not the dear one he had chosen, this happened because his uncle didn’t respect him, and thought nothing of scheming against Jacob. And Jacob was away from his home in disgrace. He had reaped what he had sowed, just as God says we all will.

“Be not deceived; God is not mocked (laughed at):
for what-so-ever a man (boy or girl) soweth, that shall he also reap.
For he that soweth to his flesh ( his own selfish desires)
shall of the flesh reap corruption (bad things);
but he that soweth to the Spirit (does what God wants)
shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
And let us not be weary in well doing: (don’t get tried of being good and true)
for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not (never give up).”  (Galatians 6:8).

Some people think that they can do what they like, and nothing will happen to them. They think they can cheat others, and get rich by stealing and all will just go well with them. But, everyone reaps what they sow - in the end. Make sure you sow good deeds, Godly behaviour and loving obedience to God and your parents.

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