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What Goes Around, Comes Around

By Adam Dooley
07.27.08

Proper 12

Genesis 29:15-28

One of the strangest phenomenons of recent years is the ever-changing perception of sin in American culture. While the days of hiding in the closet are long since gone, the contemporary fascination with and promotion of blatant sin is almost staggering. Forbes magazine recently examined the seven deadly vices of lust, gluttony, avarice, sloth, wrath, envy and pride by naming the ten cities that rank the highest in each category. Despite somewhat surprising results, most of us instinctively know what happens in Vegas doesn’t stay in Vegas.

Few people, however, seem willing to accept any responsibility for their sin. In his book, A Nation of Victims, Charles Skyes writes (11, 15): “Something extraordinary is happening in American society. Crisscrossed by invisible wires of emotional, racial, sexual, and psychological grievance, American life is increasingly characterized by the plaintive insistence, I am a victim.

He continues, “Now enshrined in the law of jurisprudence, victimism is reshaping the fabric of society, including employment policies, criminal justice, education, urban policies and in an increasingly Orwellian emphasis on ‘sensitivity’ in language. A community of interdependent citizens has been displaced by a society of resentful, competing and self-centered individuals who have dressed their private annoyances in the garb of victimism.”

Apparently, Jacob was prone to playing the blame game when it came to his sin. Thus, in Genesis 29, God provides the perfect storm to help him take responsibility for his actions. Though every trespass brings certain consequences, occasionally God allows us to experience our sin from a surprising perspective. Such was the case for Jacob.

I. God Uses the Consequence of our Sins to Produce Character in Our Lives (Genesis 29:15-25)

These chapters of the Genesis narrative juxtapose Jacob’s past deception with his present misfortune. After meeting the love of his life Jacob agrees to serve his future father-in-law Laban for seven years in order to marry Rachel. With a sense of accomplishment and anticipation, the young patriarch seems a bit frustrated by Laban’s delay after fulfilling his obligation (Genesis 29:21).

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