Pay the Piper
Narrative Lectionary Daily Devotions written by Kace Leetch from Clergy Stuff.
My best friend is a rule follower. What drives her crazy about me is that I’m a rule bender. Real talk — I’m a rule breaker. When you bend/break the rules, you begin to learn what you can get away with and which rules need to be followed. And you get to experience a lot of cool stuff that rule followers never will. Last summer I got baby chickens and built a chicken coop with my spouse, even though it’s technically against the city ordinance to have backyard chickens in my neighborhood. In the fall I had to get rid of them because the city found out about them, but for the entire summer I got to raise chickens! And I got to spend quality time working on a project with my spouse. In this case, the experience was well worth the consequences.
On the flip side, sometimes bending/breaking the rules doesn’t turn out so well. Sometimes the consequences are life changing. After Jacob stole his brother, Esau’s blessing, it became clear that once their father, Isaac, was gone, Esau planned to kill Jacob or his treachery. Jacob had to face the consequences for his actions. Jacob had to leave his home, his mother, and everything he knew to save his life. At this point, we don’t yet know how his travels will turn out. Will he find a wife in Paddan-aram? Or will he live isolated and alone in a foreign land? For now, Jacob’s life is changing dramatically because of the choices he made. Today, it’s time to pay the piper.
Narrative Lectionary Text: Genesis 27:41-28:5
Now Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing with which his father had blessed him, and Esau said to himself, “The days of mourning for my father are approaching; then I will kill my brother Jacob.” But the words of her elder son Esau were told to Rebekah; so she sent and called her younger son Jacob and said to him, “Your brother Esau is consoling himself by planning to kill you. Now therefore, my son, obey my voice; flee at once to my brother Laban in Haran, and stay with him a while, until your brother’s fury turns away— until your brother’s anger against you turns away, and he forgets what you have done to him; then I will send, and bring you back from there. Why should I lose both of you in one day?” Then Rebekah said to Isaac, “I am weary of my life because of the Hittite women. If Jacob marries one of the Hittite women such as these, one of the women of the land, what good will my life be to me?”
Then Isaac called Jacob and blessed him, and charged him, “You shall not marry one of the Canaanite women. Go at once to Paddan-aram to the house of Bethuel, your mother’s father; and take as wife from there one of the daughters of Laban, your mother’s brother. May God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and numerous, that you may become a company of peoples. May he give to you the blessing of Abraham, to you and to your offspring with you, so that you may take possession of the land where you now live as an alien—land that God gave to Abraham.” Thus Isaac sent Jacob away; and he went to Paddan-aram, to Laban son of Bethuel the Aramean, the brother of Rebekah, Jacob’s and Esau’s mother.