Genesis 31:5 – “YOUR MOTHER SHOULD KNOW”
“Let’s all get up and dance to a song
That was a hit before your mother was born”
Though she was born a long, long time ago
Your mother should know (Your mother should…)
Your mother should know (…know)
(The Beatles; Magical Mystery Tour; 1967)
Your mother should know, Jacob (Your mother should…). With the help of his mother Rebekah, Jacob deceived Esau out of his birthright and family blessing (Gen. 27:6-23). Rebekah was singing and dancing to the song of deceit a long, long time ago. Jacob knows the song well. The lyrics to the song haven’t changed either; “For the wages of sin is death, …” Romans 6:23 (NLT). Jacob escaped Esau’s murderous Macarena. Now he has to avoid Laban’s sons slanderous Sword Dance.
Sing it again.
When Jacob vocalised the lyrics of deceit a long, long time ago, he lied his way into this corner of the dance floor in Haran, which was a long, long way from home, but he didn’t escape from deception.
A master of choreographed trickery, Laban is an old time dance hall crooner. Deceit slides with silken tones from his mouth. He enters into agreements only to change tunes and do a soft shoe sham shuffle when it appears that Jacob is succeeding. Jacob’s wages have been changed 10 times. Jacob has danced to Rebekah’s song and now for 20 years it has been Laban’s song.
He married his wives on this dance floor of fraud. But this time he doesn’t want to sing it again. This time he doesn’t want to dance his way into another round of being deceived and tricked by a man much more at ease and skilled with the Tango Trick-Step than even he is.
“You know how hard I have worked for your father, but he has cheated me, changing my wages ten times. But God has not allowed him to do me any harm” (Genesis 31:6-7).
Sing it again. Not this time!
Instead, Jacob sings a desperate chorus to his wives. A chorus echoed throughout the Bible. Psalms 120:2 (NLT) says “Rescue me, O Lord, from liars and from all deceitful people.”
Lift up your heart and sing me a different song that was a hit before your mother was born, way back in the days of Abraham. Deceit moves us away from harmony with God. But Jacob has now lived with integrity, listening to and prospering from the purposes of God and his integrity is dancing its way toward the promised land. God has been patiently at work in his life, teaching him the steps.
Deceit’s consequences leave us singing and dancing to the same old song over and over again. It was a hit in Adam’s day. It declares “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? But I, the Lord, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve” (Jeremiah 17:9-10 NLT).
The invitation Jacob gives is to sing and dance to a song older than time itself. It is the song sung in the corridors of heaven. 1 Corinthians 15:22 (NLT) declares “Just as everyone dies because we all belong to Adam, everyone who belongs to Christ will be given new life.”
It became the song of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and it’s still sung today. It’s lyrics declare that the past can be redeemed; I can overcome my sense of helplessness by trusting in God’s power, my sense of social isolation by acknowledging His presence, my feelings of inadequacy by knowing that He is able, my feelings of defeat and dread by realising that he works all things together for good. He has turned my mourning into dancing (Jeremiah 31:13).
Zephaniah 3:17 (NLT) says “For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty Saviour. He will take delight in you with gladness. With His love, He will calm all your fears. HE WILL REJOICE OVER YOU WITH JOYFUL SONGS.”
Psalms 40:3 (NLT) says “HE HAS GIVEN ME A NEW SONG TO SING, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what He has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the Lord.” Acts 16:31 (NLT) says, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved…”
Sing it again…