Torah Commentary – Vayishlach (He Sent) – Just In Case It Does Not Work Out – SCRIPTURES FOR November 22, 2018

Torah Commentary
Genesis 32:4-36:43
Obadiah 1:1-21
1 Corinthians 5:1-13
Revelation 7:1-12
Vayishlach (He Sent)
007-jacob-returns
Just In Case It Does Not Work Out
The life of Ya’akov carried with it some crazy twists and turns and was certainly not dull. I wonder if Yah had revealed to Ya’akov the drama filled encounters he would experience in his life, whether Ya’akov would have pressed forward to receive his blessings. If Ya’akov would have known what was ahead for him in Lavan’s home, would he have just stayed put in Beit-El. I wonder if He had shown us our lives…that’s another thought to ponder.
Ya’akov’s life changed much in the twenty years since his amazing encounter with Yahweh in Beit-El. He only asked for bread and clothes. Ya’akov returns with two wives, two concubines, eleven sons (one on the way), at least one daughter and quite the entourage of livestock, servants and their belongings with him. Not at all lost in the crowd is his “Beloved Wife” Rachel. Not known to Ya’akov, she is toting along her father’s household gods she had stolen from him. She did what?!
Let’s look back over the last twenty years of the life of Rachel. She arose one morning to take her flock of sheep to graze and water, her daily chore. On this particular day a gentleman appeared, Ya’akov, who fell head over heels in love with her. He went through twenty years of trials and service with her father, each day proving his devotion to her. We would think Ya’akov’s hard work and dedication, as well as Yah’s favor for increase, would give Rachel a sense of stability and strength. Yet Rachel, upon leaving her father’s house, decided she needed to take some of her father’s false gods with her. Was this her “back-up plan” just in case things didn’t work out the way Ya’akov said or that maybe Yahweh isn’t who He says He is.
Where do we see Messiah in this picture of Rachel with the false gods? We see Messiah as our True and Living God who clearly calls us to leave all behind (false gods, doctrines, attitudes, pride, etc) to follow Him. It is just not any more complicated than that.
Many of you reading this commentary are those who have “come out” or are presently coming out of systems of religion in one form or another. Father has opened our eyes, over a period of time, to the thought that we were serving something that looked more like Lavan-(white) washed tombs that did not have the life inside we were searching for. With that revelation, we made the break for Truth and set out on a journey back to what we now understand as our heritage and home. An important question to ask ourselves is “whether we may have brought a few things from our past with us?”. Could there be some things lurking under our camel saddles that we are not even aware of?
Go back to last week’s Torah portion and read again the account of Lavan’s pursuit of Ya’akov. When Lavan demanded the false gods, Ya’akov allowed Lavan to search the tents. In this week’s portion, when Yah tells Ya’akov to go back to Beit-El, it is Ya’akov who tells the people traveling with him to put away their false gods. I have to ask why they were allowed in the first place, but that is a message for another time! Neither time, when the subject of false gods comes up does Ya’akov choose to search them out for himself. Instead, he allows or instructs someone else do the job for him. This thought brings forth two options in my mind. Either the false gods were just not a big deal to Ya’akov, or he knew Rachel had them and allowed his physical love for her to cloud his judgment and not confront her. Whether those thoughts are correct, in the end, Ya’akov’s decision to not search his family would cost them both dearly in the loss of her life.
Here are a few questions to meditate on. What are we allowing into our lives and in the lives of our families through television, movies, social media, and video games? Are we spending the time and energy to search these things out for ourselves or just waiting for someone else to do it for us? Are we pointing out sticks in someone else’s eye before removing hidden logs from our own eyes? Do we have “back up plans” in case the Torah life style is a bust or if this Yeshua guy isn’t all that He’s been made out to be? Are we willing to take a stand, no matter the consequences, even at the cost of close relationships, to rid our tents of false gods?
Allow me to close with this thought. Just what is a false god anyway? Do any of us have little fat man statues hiding under our beds that we get out to rub their tummies for good luck before going to sleep? Probably not, but, what about attitudes, doctrines, traditions, pride of being right? What are we carrying that in the end will not bring forth life, but rather death?
Where is Messiah? He is the one who never carried or trusted in anything or anyone outside His Father. He is the One who can and will help us to search out those things that we need to leave behind. His help only comes with our desire though. May we desire the Holy One of Israel above all! Let us purpose to purge the “little fat men” from our camel saddles today! May His Light shine into the dark crevices of our hearts to reveal anything that would hinder us from going deeper into our relationship with Him!

Torah Commentary – Vayishlach (He Sent) – The Journey Continues – SCRIPTURES FOR December 2, 2017

Torah Commentary

jesus-jew-2

Vayishlach (He Sent)
Genesis 32:4-36:43
Obadiah 1:1-21
1 Corinthians 5:1-13
Revelation 7:1-12
 
The Journey Continues     
 
Ya’akov is now free of Lavan after twenty years of working for him. The time was not wasted by any means as he is returning with a growing family and the riches needed to take care of them. It appears Yah was up to the challenge of guarding Ya’akov giving him bread to eat and clothing to wear. Though Lavan is behind him there is still a matter he has to face, his brother. 
 
Word comes to Ya’akov that Esav is heading his way with 400 of his men. Twenty years may be a long time, but Ya’akov figures those years have not softened the heart of Esav, but more than likely made it harder. The response Ya’akov has to the meeting is one we need to consider, not only for him, but for ourselves. In Genesis 32:21 the Complete Jewish Bible says Ya’akov sought to “appease” Esav. The Hebrew word here is kaphar. It is only used four times in Torah, two of those times in Genesis. The word means “To cover or coat with pitch.” Yes, you guessed it, the other time the word is used is in Genesis when Noah covers the Ark with pitch. Where do we go with this one? There are two directions.
 
First, we can take the standard commentary and say Ya’akov was trying to compromise with Esav and protect his own hide at the possible expense of part of his family being killed. Let’s take a different look.
 
When Noah covered the Ark with pitch what was he doing? Was he not seeking to protect that which was inside? Could this same thought not be applied to Ya’akov? Is it that Ya’akov thought he could not win the battle over Esav so he set the whole plan in motion to by time, protect his family for the moment and live to fight another day? You be the judge.
 
One more thought before moving on. Either way we look at this, in the end the conflict between the two brothers was not resolved, but rather pushed on to a different time, a different generation. Was this the plan and timing of Yah? I don’t know. What I do know is that one day the fight between the two seeds will have to be brought to a head and decided. When is that time? Again, I do not know. If it is to be in our lifetime, the question we must ask ourselves is, “Are we willing to no longer kaphar, but fight, no matter our personal cost?”
 
 After the meeting, Ya’akov again breathes a sigh of relief and continues his journey to Sh’khem. Wait, stop the bus, he goes where? Sh’khem. What about the oath he took to return to Beit-El? Maybe it was a stop on the way, but it would be a stop of disaster. It is in Sh’khem that Dinah is found with the “local girls.” Why was this allowed? Who forgot to protect their daughter, their sister? Dinah is raped and the family begins a downward spiral bringing tension within that I would argue is yet to be repaired. A sad note to me is the question of the boys which was asked to their father in Genesis 34:31. This question was never answered. You consider that one for a while. 
 
What is the lesson to us from the disaster of Sh’khem? There are many. On top of the list to me is concerning our oaths or promises we make to HaShem. Ya’akov stood at a mountaintop experience of seeing angels, ladders and Yah Himself. He speaks words of promise and then twenty years later, does he think Yah has forgotten those words? Did he consider Sh’khem a place to rest for a bit before he fulfilled his promise? It is my belief that as soon as he figured out he had survived the meeting with Esav he should have asked a question, WWAD. What Would Abraham DO? His grandfather, who when asked to sacrifice his Yitzchak, got up early and made a beeline to the mountain. If he had followed that example maybe the eventual wedding of Dinah would have been a happier event.
 
But who am I to point fingers at Ya’akov? Who are you to do the same? Truth is we have all made promises we at best, delay in keeping. Maybe the lesson of this Torah portion and the uncovering of Ya’akov’s life is for our benefit to teach us to not be quick to offer a vow or promise. When we do make a vow, let us be quick to fulfill those words at the earliest possible opportunity. I think that is something someone else spoke about somewhere, like maybe Yeshua in the Gospels! (Click to Source)

Torah Commentary -Vayishlach (He Sent) -Just In Case It Does Not Work Out -Day 15, Month 9, 5775; 15 December 2016

Where do we see Messiah in this picture of Rachel with the false gods? We see Messiah as our True and Living God who clearly calls us to leave all behind (false gods, doctrines, attitudes, pride, etc) to follow Him. It is just not any more complicated than that.

Jesus scriptures temple2

Torah Commentary
Genesis 32:4-36:43
Obadiah 1:1-21
1 Corinthians 5:1-13
Revelation 7:1-12
Vayishlach (He Sent)
 
Just In Case It Does Not Work Out
 
The life of Ya’akov carried with it some crazy twists and turns and was certainly not dull. I wonder if Yah had revealed to Ya’akov the drama filled encounters he would experience in his life, whether Ya’akov would have pressed forward to receive his blessings. If Ya’akov would have known what was ahead for him in Lavan’s home, would he have just stayed put in Beit-El. I wonder if He had shown us our lives…that’s another thought to ponder.
 
Ya’akov’s life changed much in the twenty years since his amazing encounter with Yahweh in Beit-El. He only asked for bread and clothes. Ya’akov returns with two wives, two concubines, eleven sons (one on the way), at least one daughter and quite the entourage of livestock, servants and their belongings with him. Not at all lost in the crowd is his “Beloved Wife” Rachel. Not known to Ya’akov, she is toting along her father’s household gods she had stolen from him. She did what?! (Click to Article)