CANDLEGLOW LESSON FOR PARASHAH VAYISHLACH
(Genesis 32:4 (3)-36:43) Week 8
We know from Scriptures that at least twenty years had passed since Jacob and Esau had seen each other, after the warning from Rachel to Jacob to flee lest Esau murder him because of his lost first born blessing. We know of Jacob’s two seven-year indentured stints working for Uncle Laban, and how this matured young Jacob into a man of many talents and accomplishments. It is not until the Lord advances Jacob six years later with the command for him to get out of there and proceed to the place the Lord had established for Jacob and his family, that Jacob takes the necessary steps to separate from Uncle Laban’s control. With as much protection as possible, Jacob orchestrates the procession of his life in stages, with leaders from his servants who have detailed, scripted messages to deliver to Esau as they proceed toward the encounter the next morning. Jacob has accomplished all that he can to protect his family and his possessions.
It is in this moment for Jacob, that I paused. I paused because I saw deeply into the heart of a man favored by Adonai, knowing how God speaks and shepherds his footsteps, ordaining them according to His plans and purposes. I saw Jacob having accomplished all that in his own strength and skill, he could, to prepare for whatever the morning would bring. As the distance between Jacob and his greatest fear narrowed, he sought solitude to contemplate what lay ahead, his twin brother, Esau!
With Esau’s approach, the long-forgotten manipulation of father Isaac for the blessing of the first-born becomes glaringly clear to Jacob. There is a wrestling in his solitude from memories pushed aside for far too long.
I see the vision of the wrestling of the soul of this man, Jacob. It becomes so bitter a fight that it takes on a physical element of two men evenly matched, wrestling out this old story all night.
Jacob contends through the night until daybreak, when his opponent calls for it to end just as the sun begins to break. Like his brother Esau, Jacob refuses to let go without his blessing. We see Jacob live out loud, the muffled and remorseful cries of brother Esau of long ago, at the deathbed scene of his father whose hands would not rise in honor of his first-born. Jacob contended with all of his strength, not accepting defeat at the hands of his memories and his own regrets, which led to his greatest fears.
This is the Lesson of the Divine Wrestler. This supernatural contender is FOR us, not against us! This holy wrestler bends down low onto the dusty earth, as our partner in the struggle against our own fleshly natures which we know, as favored sons and daughters of The Most High, we must defeat! There can be no victory without His strength exerted upon us.
This is the Lesson of the Divine Wrestler. He hones our desires, attunes us to the ways of the Spirit, and in our dusty encounters, leaves in the dust and wake of the fight, His signature. It is in the dark solitude of the soul that we as children of the light must wrestle for the truth of our past and of our present. The trajectory of our present course in life leads to our ultimate destiny!
The Lesson of the Divine Wrestler illuminates the muscled back, shoulders and arms of the Son of Man ~ the Son of God. He leans down to embrace us in our struggle to contend for our faith in Him. Jacob had to wrestle himself away from his old name and all it stood for; Jacob the heel holder, in order to stand up as a new creation, a new man, with a new name and destiny with Adonai (Isra’el meaning “Contender with God”).
It did not matter that he stood up with a new limp, for by this very injury, his life took on the healing needed to look into his brother’s eyes, face-to-face, without fear. It was his limp, as he approached Esau, which softened his brother’s heart towards him, giving way to restoration.
CANDLEGLOW LESSON FOR SHABBAT
On this sweet Sabbath, the lesson of the Divine Wrestler teaches that there CAN be a humble victory, as we contend for God’s highest for our lives. There can be a hard-fought injury which permanently changes our stride, resulting in a physical or spiritual limp which changes our countenance! Yes, the head of a humble warrior will be bowed a bit lower after having been branded by the signature of the Spirit of God, and His visible mark from a dusty encounter with a child of God, after which everything changed!
May it be so, dear seeker, as you contend for your faith and for your Kingdom purpose! May the touch of the Lord leave His mark on your gait!
Shabbat Shalom contending friends,