Tricksters, Thieves, and Security

A couple of weeks ago security system salesmen were making their rounds in the area. I’m pretty sure they did alright. Most people have worked really hard for what they have so it makes sense to be interested in a little extra protection.

I don’t want to “alarm” anyone, however, the statistics suggest that one out of ten of us are shoplifters. It’s doubtful that the problem will go away anytime soon seeing that kids make up about 25% of all shoplifters! The cost to Canadians is about $200 per household, annually. It’s not a new problem. I guess that’s why God had to make it one of the ten commandments a few thousand years ago!

There are all kinds of stories in the Bible about guys getting caught stealing stuff. One of the early stories is about how Jacob stole his brother’s birthright with the help of his mother. The birthright was a special position in the family where the first-born son received twice as much inheritance as everyone else in the family. Along with the birthright was a special blessing.

When his brother Esau found out what his younger brother had pulled he wanted to kill him (which is another commandment and story all together). Jacob ran for his life. And just in case you think that he got away with this thieving and trickery, he didn’t. Later, when he found the love of his life, his would-be father-in-law tricked him into marrying his girlfriend’s older sister and then made him work for his bride-to-be for another seven years.

What I find so very interesting about this story is that God loved Jacob despite his short comings. Jacob is considered one of the main patriarchs of the nation Israel (God changed Jacob’s name to Israel and eventually the nation adopted the name as well). God chose to bless him despite his thieving. On a side note, if you’re wondering, his brother Esau met and forgave him some 23 years later.

Have you ever wondered why God would forgive and even honour a trickster and thief? I can think of two key reasons.

First, God made the same promise to Jacob as he made to his father and grandfather, that he would be the father of a great nation which could not be numbered. Also, that through his seed, all the families of the earth would be blessed (Gen. 28). Jesus is the blessing that was spoken of in Genesis 28. The reason God keeps His promises is based on His nature, not on our ability to be good.

Second, God loves, relates to, and uses imperfect people. So many have the false idea that they have too many flaws for God to be interested in them personally. That’s simply not true. If God chose a trickster and thief to build a great nation, then there is hope for all of us. You don’t have to be perfect to relate to God. Think about it. If we were perfect what would we need God for?

One day soon, the Apostle Paul said, Jesus would come “as a thief in the night” to bring home the faithful. The term “faithful” certainly doesn’t mean perfect. It simply refers to those imperfect people who have placed their trust in Jesus, the perfect Saviour. Have you signed up? This is the kind of security everyone should take advantage of... and it’s absolutely free!