The story of Jacob can be frustrating to read because it seems like he gets away with so much. He took advantage of the profane Esau to obtain his birthright, and he deceived his own father to receive Esau's blessing. The tide begins to turn, however, in his dealings with Laban, as his uncle proves to be more than a match for Jacob (whose name means "deceiver").
But in Genesis 37, the deceiver reaped the bitter fruit of what he sowed earlier in his life. His favored son, Joseph, was sold into slavery by his jealous brothers, and they hid the truth of their actions from their father by lying to him. In fact, as my old teacher Phil Roberts pointed out, the lie of the brothers bears many striking similarities to Jacob's deception.
-Both involved a lie about the favored son (Isaac favored Esau; Jacob favored Joseph)
-Both involved the deception of a father.
-Both involved the use of a goat (the skin of the goat in the case of Isaac; the blood of the goat in the case of Jacob).
-Both led to great sorrow (Esau's sorrow over the loss of the blessing; Jacob's sorrow over Joseph).
Sometimes dishonest people get away with their lies, but many times, maybe most of the time, they do not. And just as in the case of Jacob, those who live by deceit often suffer deceit themselves.