In my last blog, I shared many personal details of my journey with Gastroparesis. I received much encouraging feedback. I greatly appreciate everyone’s prayers and words.
The portion today is Parsha Vayishlach (“And he sent”)
Genesis 32:4 – 36:43:
Jacob is meeting his brother Esau. It’s been over 20 years. That’s a long time not to speak to a sibling. There are times when we leave people for seasons. Having a brother or sister who is a twin and shared the womb must be unique. We often see identical twins and hear stories of how bonded they are, but Jacob and Esau were said to be two different nations. They were fraternal and looked drastically different–one hairy wearing a fur coat and one smooth skinned.
Maureen Healy, an expert on sensitive children and author of Growing Happy Kids, shares how twins have an often-unexplainable bond and are closer than typical siblings — whether they’re fraternal or identical. Healy says a lot of experts believe it’s because this closeness is rooted in genetics. And even though fraternal twins are two “genetically unique beings,” she thinks the time spent in the same womb during the prenatal period creates a place where they form a close connection.
Jacob and Esau struggled in the womb. They were not lying closely resting together. They were kicking and tackling one another.
“Rebecca said, “Why is this happening to me?” So Rebekah went to inquire of the LORD, and He declared to her:
“Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger.”
How many twins do we have in the Bible? A few. Cain and Abel were said to be twins. There’s Peretz and Zerach, sons born to Judah and Tamar. Rachel and Leah were deemed, twins. According to Midrash commentary on the Bible, Leah was to marry Esau, and due to this, she cried much, giving her weak eyes.
Jacob has been cheated and tricked by his father-in-law Laban for over 20 years, and now he is meeting his twin, the one who he used trickery on. He is fearful of seeing Esau. His fear is so poignant he cries out to HaShem.
This is my main and only point of the blog. Jacob reminds the Holy one what He promised him. Jacob tells the Holy One, “I am afraid my brother will kill my wives and children.” Jacob’s brother was a mighty hunter. A marksman. Good with a bow and arrow. Able to hit his target.
Jacob has good reason to have such fear:
(Genesis 27:41) Esau held a grudge against Jacob because of the blessing his father had given him. And Esau said in his heart, “The days of mourning for my father are at hand; then I will kill my brother Jacob.”
(Genesis 27:42) “When the words of her older son Esau were relayed to Rebekah, she sent for her younger son Jacob and told him, “Look, your brother Esau is consoling himself by plotting to kill you.”
Our flesh always wants to murder our spirit.
But this is what struck me, Jacob remembered all the words, the promises that the God of Abraham, his grandfather, the God of Isaac, his father, had promised him. Jacob knew that the same promises the Holy One made to Abraham came forth. I’m almost certain he knew the prophecy given to his mother while he was in the womb with his twin. Jacob reminds the Father of His promises, and the Holy One is not a man that he would lie.
“Then Jacob declared, “O God of my father Abraham, God of my father Isaac, the LORD who told me, ‘Go back to your country and to your kindred, and I will make you prosper,’ I am unworthy of all the kindness and faithfulness You have shown Your servant. Indeed, with only my staff I came across the Jordan, but now I have become two camps. Please deliver me from the hand of my brother Esau, for I am afraid that he may come and attack me and the mothers and children with me. But You have said, ‘I will surely make you prosper, and I will make your offspring like the sand of the sea, too numerous to count.’” Genesis 32:9-12.
Jacob said, “But YOU SAID!”
Forget what Esau has said. Forget what the doctors have said. Forget what the critical naysayers have said; what has the Father promised you?
Several other people reminded the Father of His promises.
“But Moses sought the favor of the LORD his God, saying, “O LORD, why does Your anger burn against Your people, whom You brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and a mighty hand? Why should the Egyptians declare, ‘He brought them out with evil intent, to kill them in the mountains and wipe them from the face of the earth’? Turn from Your fierce anger and relent from doing harm to Your people. Remember Your servants Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, to whom You swore by Your very self when You declared, ‘I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky, and I will give your descendants all this land that I have promised, and it shall be their inheritance forever.’ ” (Exodus 32:11-14)
So the LORD relented from the calamity He had threatened to bring on His people.
Moses remembers the oaths and promises given to his father Abraham, Isaac, and Yacov (Jacob). He remembers just as Jacob (Israel) remembers.
Has the Father given you a promise? A dream? Has the Holy One made a promise to you or an oath concerning your spouse, your seed, your land, your ministry? If He has and it hasn’t come forth yet, or you are facing death, remember, Adonai sees.
It ends well between Jacob and Esau, and they again separate ways. Jacob was just zippin by and Esau hugged his neck. Tears and healing were exchanged. The Holy One knew the outcome of this meeting and the promises He had given. He never forgets.
So that day, Esau started on his way back to Seir, but Jacob went on to Succoth, where he built a booth. Moses and the children of Israel will live in shelters too, and one day we too will live with our Messiah, resting in Him and with Him in His Kingdom.