Poetic Justice

Claudia Elzinga

READ : Genesis 28-30

What a price Jacob pays for his cheating. He must now leave the home he loves and sleep in the wilderness with a stone for a pillow. But how gracious is God, who appeared to this scoundrel and promised to bless him. This is a deeply moving experience for Jacob, who calls the place Bethel, that is, the “house of God.” Yet how imperfect Jacob’s response. He begins with the “if” of doubt. If God will do what he has promised, then he will worship God and give a full tenth of all God gives him.

God in his love leads Jacob to a good wife. But his uncle Laban cheats Jacob as Jacob had cheated his own brother. This is one of many cases of poetic justice in the Bible. Think, for instance, of Haman dying on the gallows he had built for Mordecai. God is a God of justice—in the end justice will prevail. “Though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the ruler yet.”

Again we have an illustration of the tragic results of polygamy. God’s will is one man for one woman for a lifetime. Whenever we fall short of that ideal, we bring heartache to ourselves and to others. If you are having marital problems, do everything you can to work them out with God’s help. Seek the advice of a Christian counselor.


Father, help us to learn from the mistakes of these biblical characters, and as a result not make the same mistakes. For Jesus' sake. Amen.