Parashat Vayishlach (And He Sent)

Beresheet (Genesis 32: 3 (4 in the Hebrew Bible)-36:43)

Has the Lord ever asked you to do something that terrified you, or that seemed bigger than you? In our parasha this week, God commands Jacob to go back to the Land that He promised to Abraham and Isaac. Jacob had fled the land in fear of his life over 14 years prior, after he tricked his brother, Esau, out of his birthright.

“And Jacob said, “O God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac, O LORD, who didst say to me, ‘Return to your country and to your relatives, and I will do well with you,’ I am unworthy of all the grace and of all the faithfulness which Thou hast shown to Thy servant; for with my staff only I crossed this Jordan, and now I have become two companies. “Deliver me, I pray, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau; for I fear him, lest he come and attack me, the mothers with the children. “For Thou didst say, ‘I will surely make it well for you, and make your descendants as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude.’” Genesis 32:10-12

Jacob knew that God was calling him to return to the Land. He also knew of the possible danger that he would face from Esau. Yet, Jacob knew God! He knew of God’s promises and faithfulness; he knew that God was his protector and defender and therefore he was willing to trust the Lord in this matter.

I am currently leading a group of 74 people from the USA, Mexico, Guatemala, and India on a life-changing tour in Israel. The other day as we were leaving the Galilee, I asked the people to imagine that they are in a boat in the middle of the sea, and that Yeshua is beckoning them to “come.” Would they be willing to leave the boat to do what seems impossible and walk on the water?

The boat here represents our security and comfort. It’s the obvious vessel that we trust to carry us on the sea. Yet, just like it was with Peter who took the step of faith and walked on the water, so it is with us! Are we willing to leave our “boat” – our place of comfort and security – and walk by faith?

We can do all things in Messiah Yeshua who gives us strength. But if we take our eyes off of Him, we are guaranteed to slowly sink… but we can find great comfort that, just like Peter who cried, “Lord save me!” so it will be for us.

In closing, let us be encouraged by Jacob’s example to remember God’s faithfulness, to step out of our comfort zone, and to trust in His endless grace.

Shabbat Shalom,


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