Jacob and Rebecca...
You might recall the story of Jacob, the youngest son of Isaac. He fell in love with a relative’s beautiful daughter—Rebecca and they (along with three other “wives) had the twelve sons of the Hebrew nation She was so gorgeous that he worked seven years to earn her hand in marriage.
Say what you want about these things, but people being handsome and beautiful, and “dazzling” or “of a lovely figure” are commonly pointed out in the Old Testament. She was worth seven years of manual labor. It’s okay to be attracted to beauty—it’s how He made us.
But then, during the wedding night, the father of Rebecca made a switch and gave Jacob the older, less attractive daughter, Leah. Jacob was cheated and had to work another seven years for get Rebecca.
Seems unfair, of course, and pity poor Leah(!), but Jacob “got what he gave”. He was a cheater and a deceitful young man when it came to dealing with his older brother, Esau, and their father, Isaac. But, amazing as it sounds, God used this scoundrel, for His greater purposes; but in my opinion the troubles Jacob endured were manifestly self-inflicted!
God sometimes shields us from what we deserve—-but not always, and He seems to allow the consequences of our deceit, dishonesty and the harmful ways we treat others to catch up with us—-and with interest!
“What goes around comes around” was coined in the 1970’s, but it’s an eternal truth.
You reap what you sow” or (for a more biblical vibe): “As ye sow, so shall ye reap”. We don’t talk much about this spiritually, but Jesus said, “For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and will then repay every man according to his deeds.” What did He mean by that?? Paul said, in several passages: 2 Cor. 5:10, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.” Galatians 6:7-8, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. ”Ephesians 5:6, after describing the evil deeds of the wicked, Paul warns, “Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.” And John wrote in Revelation 2:23: the Lord warns the church in Thyatira, “I will give to each one of you according to your deeds.”
Yes, I am saved by faith, not be my righteous works and Jesus has paid the price for my sins and errors. But if I choose to live a life that is deceitful, improper and deliberately contrary to His intentions, it is going to bring restitution in this life—-“payback”.