What God said was: “Of all the creatures living in the water of the seas and the streams you may eat any that have fins and scales. But all creatures in the seas or streams that do not have fins and scales you are to regard as unclean. And since you are to regard them as unclean, you must not eat their meat. Anything living in the water that does not have fins and scales is to be regarded as unclean by you.” Leviticus 11:9-12
Shrimp, crab, lobster, oysters, clams, scallop etc … these creatures are “bottom-dwellers” and the sea’s garbage collectors. God established dietary laws for the Israelites in part to separate his people and make them holy. Separate yourself to him. Invite his Holy Spirit to dwell within you. Become a fisher of men.
Did God really say we are all destined to become pirates?
Yes … yes he did.
What he said was, “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23
The Bible is clear that all people are God’s creation. “For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.” Colossians 1:16
God loves the entire world. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
But only those who are born again are children of God. “To all who did receive him [Jesus], to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” John 1:12
“The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.” Romans 8:16
“No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God. This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not God’s child, nor is anyone who does not love their brother and sister.” 1 John 3:9-10
Those without Christ are never referred to as God’s children. “All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our fleshand following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.” Ephesians 2:3
In fact, those without Christ are referred to as enemies of God. “You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.” James 4:4 “The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning.” 1 John 3:8
Without the saving and transforming spirit of Christ, we are all destined to fulfill our own selfish desires – and that path always leads to the dark side where Satan controls us.
Jacob knew in advance that tricking his father into passing the blessing of the “firstborn” onto Jacob, the second born, would lead to a curse. “If my father touches me I would appear to be tricking him and would bring down a curse on myself rather than a blessing.” Genesis 27:12
With his mother’s help and encouragement, however, Jacob tricked his father anyway. When asked if he was Esau, his older brother, Jacob answered, “I am Esau, your firstborn. Give me your blessing” Genesis 27:19
But God often gives us a chance to reconsider our sin and the path on which we’re about to embark. “Are you really my son Esau?” Issac asked.
How about you? What sin are you contemplating today? Has God warned you of the consequences? Has he offered you a second chance to back out of this act you are about to commit?
“Your brother came and deceitfully took your blessing,” Issac said, when Esau arrived at his dying father’s bedside. Genesis 27:35
Anything that does not strengthen us morally is the enemy of virtue and Godly holiness. Becoming righteousness in God’s eyes does not happen by accident. Moral virtue is acquired one decision at a time, one act at a time. God has given us free will and the responsibility to rule over our thoughts and desires. Too often it is easy to see the character flaws of others and remain blind to our own, but we are never “all right” when we are doing wrong.
Jacob’s words proved true: he received Esau’s blessing and that of the firstborn, but he also became cursed by inviting deception from others. Laban, his father-in-law, tricked Jacob into marrying his oldest daughter, rather than Rachel, the one Jacob loved. In defiance Jacob boasted, “My honesty will testify for me in the future.” Genesis 30:33.
But it did not. Soon Jacob fled in secret.
But we cannot hide from God. He always finds us.
“God came to Laban in a dream at night and said to him, ‘Be careful not to say anything to Jacob, either good or bad.'” And Laban, “Taking his relatives with him, pursued Jacob for seven days and caught up with him in the hill country of Gilead.” The one who deceives, the trickster, the one who schemes and connives will always be found when he flees. God will see to it.
Even after he and Esau were reunited and their relationship restored, Jacob lied to his older brother and did not follow Esau to his home as he had promised. The sin of deception is born of Satan and does not die easily.
As he was dying, Jacob deliberately crossed his arms and put his right hand on Ephraim’s head (Joseph’s younger son) and his left hand on Manasseh’s head (Joseph’s oldest). Joseph was displeased and thought that his father was making a mistake, but Jacob told Joseph that he was intentionally blessing the younger son.
Are you, like Jacob, wrestling with God over the matter of your character. Surrender. Give the issue of your righteousness over to Christ. Let him remove the deceit within you. Only then can you fully enjoy the blessings of God.