Scandalous Grace (part 2) – Greg Albrecht
Genesis 27:1-45 – Jacob deceives Isaac for his blessing
The story of Jacob’s deception centers on God promising a reversal. God essentially told Rebekah, Jacob and Esau’s mother, that Jacob would receive the blessing the older brother, Esau, should have had.
Amazingly, the life of Jacob after he had deceived both his father and his brother was an ongoing saga of deceit and conflict. When Esau realized that he had been duped and deceived, Jacob had to run for his life to escape Esau’s anger.
The story of Esau and Jacob is an illustration of God’s scandalous grace, a grace that reaches into the murky depths where right and wrong seem to be blurred, where it seems that God might not be fair (as we humans understand fairness).
When we think of God and how he acts and reacts to us, we are often tempted to think of ourselves like Jacob. In our heart we know we don’t deserve to have what we want and we certainly don’t expect God to do anything for us that we don’t deserve. We know that God would be extremely unhappy if he ever found out just how bad we really are, or if he ever found out all the bad stuff we have done in our lives.
Like Jacob, we may underestimate God, thinking we can trick and manipulate him. You’re no doubt familiar with the phrase “good cop, bad cop”—if you’ve seen any television detective or police shows you’ve seen the “good cop, bad cop” routine.
That’s how many humans see God. We are the suspects. God has arrested us, cuffed us, booked us and we are now in deep trouble. We know we are dead meat. He has us in the interrogation room. Here he comes. On the one hand he is God the Father—the bad cop—on the other hand he is Jesus, God the Son—the good cop.
The two divine detectives take us, the suspects (of course we know we are not simply suspects, we know we are guilty). We know we are in the wrong. But, we think, maybe we can just somehow escape by fooling God. So there we are, in the interrogation room, the one with the two-way glass so that God the Holy Spirit, and all the angels in heaven can watch the Father and the Son work us over.