Saturday, December 6, 2008

WALKING BUDDIES: Part 21 - Deceived Deceiver - November 27, 2008

Based on
Genesis 29:1-30 NIV

Have you heard the latest on what’s going on with Laban’s girls?”

“No, I guess I missed that episode.”

The two women were gossiping while walking to the community well.

“Well, Lydia, overheard Laban’s servant telling one of my mistress’ maidservants that Laban pulled one over on his nephew, Jacob.”

“That young man who turned up out of nowhere claiming to be Laban’s sister’s son?”

“Yeah, that one—the guy who, rumor has it, was running from his twin brother, Esau, for some suspicious dealings.”

“Well, well, well…I’ve always been a bit leery of that one—too good lookin’ and too smooth-talking, if you get my drift.”

“Anyway, I’m sure you knew that Jacob agreed to work for Laban for seven years for the hand of his daughter, Rachael. The wedding was last Saturday and you’ll never guess what happened!”

“So, tell me, already.”

“Supposedly, the morning after consummating the union, Jacob discovered that he’d married Leah!”

“No! No way!”

“Yes, way! Laban gave him some lame excuse about it being the custom that the eldest daughter has to marry first.”

“Now, wait a minute. That’s not a lame excuse; that IS the custom.”

"Oh, yeah. Jacob was so distraught that when Laban said he could marry Rachel right away, if he promised to work for him for another seven years, Jacob jumped at the offer.”

“That Laban sure is shrewd, marrying off both daughters and getting fourteen years of labor out of Jacob, for free.”

“Well, you know what they always say: what goes around, comes around.”

“Hmmm…Jacob must have been quite a huckster himself to deserve such bad luck!”

“Don’t you know it!”

“So, what else is new?”

“WELL! I just heard so-and-so say such-and-such about you-know-who…”


What goes around, comes around? Or was Jacob simply reaping the consequences of his own poor choices?

I’m guessing that Jacob didn’t learn his lesson completely after deceiving his father and brother and fleeing for his life. I think it’s likely that he continued to be deceptive in his dealings with Laban. And Laban—a con man himself—was on to Jacob. Laban managed to out-deceive the deceiver, no easy task!

Deception continues to fan the flaming tongue of gossip—that’s why newscasts, crime shows, who-done-it novels, soap operas, tabloids and gossip columns are so popular. Honesty may be the best policy, but it’s…well, boring; it’s straight-forward, not intriguing.

While I would never admit this to a soul, I sometimes get a sick sense of satisfaction when a duper gets duped. It fortifies my “holier than thou” persona (when eroded by my own duplicitous omissions and commissions). And focusing on your dishonesty keeps me from attending to my own.

“Love makes the world go round,” but deception lends depth, contours, twist and turns. Imagine watching the in-a-perfect-world version of the soap, “As the World Turns.” No lying, cheating, betrayal, murder = BLAH!

Would you choose a perfect world, if given the chance?

I would, but only if I’m allowed to overindulge in chocolate and pizza—and drive over the speed limit occasionally!

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