Do not Respond to Sin with Sin (Genesis 31:19-20) - Radical

Do not Respond to Sin with Sin (Genesis 31:19-20)

“Laban had gone to shear his sheep and Rachel stole her father’s household gods. And Jacob tricked Laban the Aramean, by not telling him that he intended to flee.”
– Genesis 31:19-20

Now the picture here is Jacob, along with his now very prosperous family leaving Laban. Laban had in many ways been unjust, unfair and deceived Jacob for years and so God comes to Jacob and says, “It’s time for you to go.” And yet the way in which Jacob goes shows the Jacob we’ve seen in different parts of Genesis. Jacob the deceiver as he tricks Laban, doesn’t tell him what he’s intending to do, sneaks away. And so we see Jacob doing what God has told him to do, fleeing injustice in many ways and yet he’s doing it sinfully.

Genesis 31:19-20 Reminds Us Not to Respond to Evil With Evil

We must have a heightened awareness of how prone we are to respond to evil with evil. We must depend on God to fight this battle.

There is where, I read Genesis 31:19-20 and I think about our lives how we must be careful not to respond to evil around us with more evil in us. Like Jacob is surrounded by injustice and yet he works deception, uses deceit and trickery to get out of that injustice. If we’re not careful we can easily fall into the trap of responding to sin around us with sin in our own lives. We’ve got to be careful, this is not what God has called us to do. So yes, God had called Jacob to leave Laban, but God was not calling Jacob to sin in the way that he did that.

This Verse Leads Us to Ask God for Help In Our Responses

So God help us we pray, we are so prone, God we are so prone to respond to sin around us with sin in us. Like when anger rises in someone around us, like we’re prone to respond in anger. When someone hurts us, we’re prone to respond with hurt toward them in return. God we don’t like sin around us yet we so easily resort to sin in our own lives, even in response to sin around us. So help us God, help us we pray.

We need your salvation from sin in every way. God we need your salvation from sin in our own hearts. God, we want pure hearts as we live in this world. And especially as we respond to evil and sin and injustice around us in the world. Help us to do it with holy hearts. With pure minds and desires and words and deeds that glorify You in a sinful world.

Please keep us from letting sin around us lead us to more sin in us. God ah, we need your help to be holy today. God, help us to respond to sin, evil, injustice with humble, holy, righteous living that glorifies You. With a response that shows the fruit of your Spirit. Help us to live with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control in response to a world of sin around us. In Jesus Name we pray, amen.

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David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, Counter Culture, and Something Needs to Change.

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