Students sitting outside Bockman
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Monday, July 24, 2017

Sometimes we are deceived. Sometimes we deserve it due to our own deceptions. Other times we're innocent victims. Yet, we must live in a way that does not plan for or anticipate deceit! Why, you might ask? Because to live in a way that anticipates falsity is to trap ourselves in the prison of distrust, a more rotten habituation than that of being occasionally hornswoggled. All tricksters--aka Jacob--eventually meets their match--their Laban--or end up tricking themselves. We commiserate with what seems like betrayal. Who hasn't felt indignant when expecting a sheep, yet receiving a heifer (for this was of course the humorous pun in the original Hebrew story)? Yet when God gives us what we get, and not what we think what we want, we don't always realize this as a blessing. Eventually, however, we may find a greater gift of mercy in the disruption of our self-destructive desires.

Holy God, lead us to live without deceit, even while knowing that we will fail at this, and be tricked. And show us how what we want is most deeply what you want, even if it means we have to wait for it! Amen.

Ryan Pusch, '17
Awaiting first call in the Southwest Pennsylvania Synod

Genesis 29:15-28 (NRSV)

15 Then Laban said to Jacob, "Because you are my kinsman, should you therefore serve me for nothing? Tell me, what shall your wages be?"
16 Now Laban had two daughters; the name of the elder was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel.
17 Leah's eyes were lovely, and Rachel was graceful and beautiful.
18 Jacob loved Rachel; so he said, "I will serve you seven years for your younger daughter Rachel."
19 Laban said, "It is better that I give her to you than that I should give her to any other man; stay with me."
20 So Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed to him but a few days because of the love he had for her.
21 Then Jacob said to Laban, "Give me my wife that I may go in to her, for my time is completed."
22 So Laban gathered together all the people of the place, and made a feast.
23 But in the evening he took his daughter Leah and brought her to Jacob; and he went in to her.
24 (Laban gave his maid Zilpah to his daughter Leah to be her maid.)
25 When morning came, it was Leah! And Jacob said to Laban, "What is this you have done to me? Did I not serve with you for Rachel? Why then have you deceived me?"
26 Laban said, "This is not done in our country--giving the younger before the firstborn.
27 Complete the week of this one, and we will give you the other also in return for serving me another seven years."
28 Jacob did so, and completed her week; then Laban gave him his daughter Rachel as a wife.

This God Pause daily devotion is brought to you by the alumni of Luther Seminary.