Completely Unfair

Completely Unfair


I have always had a real problem with the story of Jacob and Esau.  Esau really got the raw end of the deal.  His brother Jacob (whose name actually means ‘deceiver) dresses up in Esau’s clothes and tricks their father into giving him a blessing that rightfully belonged to Esau.  Then throughout the rest of the Bible Jacob’s name gets mentioned with the big shots in epic phrases like, “The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.”  If Jacob wouldn’t have jacked his brother’s clothes it’s most likely Esau would have had his name in there.

So, how did Jacob get this undeserved place in the big leagues?  It all seems too simple really – he wore someone else’s clothes.

It really irks me to think that someone can do that and run off with the blessing.  However, upon further consideration I must pause as I realize I have also unjustly stolen clothes.  Ephesians 4 exhorts us to, “put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”  Righteousness is right standing.  It means your relationship is on good terms.  Then later in verse 6 Paul again encourages us to put on the breastplate of righteousness.

Translation: Make sure you are in right relationship with God.

So how, pray tell, do we go about doing that?  It’s really far too simple.  We wear someone else’s clothes. To be precise, we wear the clothes of Jesus’ right standing.  We get the inheritance that we don’t deserve.  We are liars and deceivers, but we still get to share in the divine blessing because we approach the father wearing the firstborn’s clothes.  “The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.” (Colossians 1:15)  We can’t trick God, but in his infinite mercy he allows us to cash in on a blessing we don’t deserve by wearing his Son’s clothes of righteousness.  That’s grace.

It is not fair.  But as I learned in kindergarten – life ain’t fair.  And, to be really honest, when it comes to the justice that I deserve I think I can learn to deal with unfairness.