Parashat Vayishlach (And he sent)
Beresheet (Genesis) 32: 3 (4 in the Hebrew Bible)–36:43
We have some very special verses in this week’s Scripture portion (parasha) that I will translate directly from the Hebrew:
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 birthplace, and I will do well (Good) with you,’ I have become small from of all the acts of grace and of all the truth which Thou hast shown (did) 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.’”
In Genesis 31:3, God tells Jacob to, “Return to the Land of your fathers, and your birthplace and I will be with you…” This is an instruction that may seem an easy one, but let us recall that, for Jacob, it meant that he would have to face Esau his brother, from whom he stole the birthright and blessing! This is also the same brother who vowed to kill him because of his anger over Jacob’s deception. Jacob—for very obvious reasons—feared his brother, yet because he had witnessed God’s faithfulness and His amazing acts of grace toward him, he chose to trust God and put his faith into action!
For me, personally, there is a specific part of Jacob’s prayer that holds great significance: “I have become small from of all the acts of grace and of all the truth which Thou hast shown (did) to Thy servant; for with my staff only I crossed this Jordan, and now I have become two companies.” I can really relate to this because when I left Israel after my army service, I took only a small backpack, with a couple pairs of pants, a few shirts, and one pair of sneakers. I arrived to the USA without much, and not knowing God at all!
It was during my time in the USA that, first and foremost, God opened my eyes to His existence, and showed me an immense amount of grace and truth through Messiah Yeshua. Ever since, He blessed me with an amazing wife, incredible children, and so much more than I deserve… I can honestly say that I have become smaller from the overwhelming acts of grace and truth that He has shown me!
God also called me to come back home, back to the land of my fathers, back to the land in which I was born, and I must say that just like Jacob, I had to put my full trust in Him and His promises. It was scary at the beginning, but His faithfulness has been increasingly demonstrated to my family and me over these past 11 years since we returned.
Can I encourage you to trust Him? Whatever He is calling you to, will you stop for a minute and reflect upon His amazing acts of grace toward you, His amazing love, faithfulness and the truth of His Word? Will you make a choice to trust Him in spite of the fears that you may face? He is worthy of all your trust… and praise.