Dear family and friends, In Genesis 33, Jacob, his wives, children, and servants were traveling head-on into a 97-year-old conflict. They were facing a potentially dangerous confrontation with Esau, his brother, and the 400 men that were accompanying him. It was a tense time for Jacob and those close to him! Friction was building! Then all of a sudden, the meeting with Esau was upon them. What was Jacob supposed to do? Jacob led his wives, children, and servants in trusting God, taking preparatory actions.
Jacob placed his trust in God and a solid backup plan. Jacob knew God. He was acquainted with God’s Manifestations in situations like this. Jacob experienced God in a powerful dream at הַמָּקוֹם Hah Maw Chom, ‘The Place’ where the ladder extended from Heaven to earth. ‘The Place’ where angels ascended from earth to heaven and descended from Heaven to earth. ‘The Place’ he called The Gate to Heaven.
Jacob lived among sacred people, i.e., Abraham – His grandfather, Isaac – His father, Rebecca – His Mother. Malki Tzedek / Shem, the son of Noach and others. The Shekinah, in the form of a cloud, shaded the entrance to his Grandmother’s Sarah’s tent and his Mother’s tent. As long as Sarah lived, the doors to her tent were wide open. There was a blessing on Sarah and Rebecca’s Challah, and the Sabbath lamp burned continually from the evening of the Sabbath until the evening of the following Sabbath for Sarah and Rebecca. Bereisheit Rabba 60.16
Jacob learned in the Academy of Shem and Eiver. He wrestled with angels. He knew God was watching after him. He knew God prevented Laban from hurting him. Jacob trusted God!!
Yet, even though he trusted God, at the same time, he was a man of wisdom. His wisdom compelled him to prepare a backup plan. He tried to appease Esau with many gifts. He humbly showed his esteem, respect, and honor to Esau as the older brother. Still, regardless Jacob is Israel ישראל. The Name Israel embodies each Matriarch and Patriarch. That is why we are called The Children of Israel. We descended from Jacob / Israel!
יִצְחָק — Isaac — יַעֲקֹב — Jacob
שָׂרָה — Sarah
רִבְקָ — Rebecca — רָחֵל — Rochel
אַבְרָהָם — Abraham
לֵאָה – Leah
As the father of The People of Israel, Jacob experienced unique, extraordinary manifestations of The Lord God. As tensions in and around us build, let’s keep this in mind. We need to trust God and make plans for what may be coming not too far down the road. Israel pulled our family together. Israel unified us to trust God and face Esau. We should do the same.
We are scattered among the nations. We are divided. Still, we have a rich history. God listens to the cries of His people. When we shed tears, they open the gates of Heaven. When we are obedient to His Commands our world will change. We need to take some giant steps in that direction. At the very least we must try. Our world needs healing from our damage with the Esau’s who are angry and hate us.
We have powerful tools of prayer, The תורה Torah – נביאים Nevi’im / Prophets – כתובים Ketuvim – i.e., The Tanakh.
Dr. Akiva Gamliel Belk