top of page

Torah of Wrestling

Updated: Dec 22, 2022


Torah Portion: Parashat Vayishlach (“and he sent”)

Shabbat: Dec. 10, 2002 / Kislev 16, 5783

Torah: Gen. 32:3-36:43

Prophets: Obadiah 1:1-21

New Covenant: Heb. 11:11-20 ; Matt. 26:36-46


The Our Father

“In this manner, therefore, pray:

Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you”.

Matthew 6:9-14


Yeshua somberly warned those who professed faith: "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?' And then will I declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness'" (Matt. 7:21-23). Despite the practice and profession of their faith, these people were strangers to God... They had a false sense of assurance, believing that they were "serving God" while they really were not... So the essential question here is whether Yeshua truly knows you. You may know a lot about God, religion, spirituality, and yet you may remain unknown by him... So where do you find life? What are you loving? Where are you going? "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven" (Matt. 7:21). Yet what is the will of the Father but to trust in Messiah for life (John 6:40)? "What must we do, to be doing the works of God?" Yeshua answers: "This is the work of God, that you believe in the One whom he has sent" (John 6:28-29). The Torah of God centers on trusting the Messiah (Titus 3:5-7). On that day many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, did we not ... do many mighty works in your name?' And then will I say to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness' (Matt. 7:22-23). From this we see that good works - even those done in the name of Messiah - are insufficient for life, and that something more is needed... That "something more" is the reality of relationship with him. However, even Yeshua's sacrifice on the cross can't bring you into relationship with him apart from receiving it for your healing... By faith you encounter Yeshua clothed in your flesh, your sin, and suffering death for you. "As long as Christ remains outside of us we are separated from him." Some people feel frightened when they consider all this, but fear arises only if we miss Yeshua's point... Good works can't save you, even those performed in the Savior's name... What saves you is trusting in God's great love for your life: "This is the work of God, to trust in the One whom God has sent [for you]" (John 6:28-29). Genuine salvation is "from the LORD," that is, comes as a result of his loving intervention on your behalf (Titus 3:5-7; Eph. 2:8-10). This is the will of the Father, the true Torah of the LORD, namely, to honor the Messiah and know him by faith... You trust him for eternal life, you believe that he bears your sins, you seek to know his heart, and you desire to share your life with him. It is lawlessness to reject the Torah of the LORD that commands us to follow Messiah and know him in all our ways - including the ways of our struggles, our fears, and so on... Each of us must wrestle alone, in the dark places of fear, to find our new name from God (Gen. 32:24). Is the blessing for you or not? The essential thing is to know (and more importantly) to be known by Yeshua.... It is a matter of trust, of sharing your heart, being real with him, walking with him, loving him... "This is the work of God, to trust in the One whom God has sent [for you]." Trusting in the Lord means accepting that you are truly loved (and made safe) because of who God is... The gospel is "the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek" (Rom. 1:16). It is a miracle of being in a right relationship with God. We are pursued by his love, and he haunts us until we surrender to his will... Like Jonah we first must be "swallowed up" in consciousness of our own rebellion before we realize we are undone, that we are without remedy apart from God's intervention and deliverance. We start there - in the "belly of the fish" - and later are resurrected to go forth by God's mercy and grace. As we look to Yeshua, as we lean on him, he reveals more of himself to us. He gives us the grace and strength we need; he is always enough... Whether Yeshua is living in you (and you are living in Him) is the most important question of your life upon which everything else turns. The great mystery is "Christ in you, the hope of glory" (Col. 1:27). As Ravenhill once said, "I don't ask people if they're saved anymore; I look them straight in the eye and say, "Does Christ live inside you?" Indeed, He is present right now -- for you -- in this very moment... Are you connected with Him in the truth? Are you drawing life from His life? Do you really live in Yeshua? "God is making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Messiah, be reconciled to God" (2 Cor. 5:20). Each of us must wrestle alone, in the dark places of fear, to receive our new name from God (see Gen. 32:24). Again I ask: Is the blessing for you or not? Are you willing to be loved and accepted by him? What is your name? What do you call yourself? You cannot know God apart from his love, yet for some people that is exactly where the struggle lies... Look within your heart; test yourself; do you believe God cares for you? Take hold of the promise and do not let go until you know who you are in his love. "To the one who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it" (Rev. 2:17). Repeat these affirmations of faith:

  • I am a beloved child of God (John 1:12; Eph. 5:1; Rom. 8:15)

  • I am fully known by God and he accepts me unconditionally (Eph. 1:6)

  • Yeshua died so I could live (2 Cor. 5:21)

  • I am safe because of God's love for me (John 5:24; 10:28-30; Rom. 15:7)

  • God is always with me (Isa. 41:10; Matt. 28:20; John 6:37; Heb. 7:25)

  • The Lord will never leave me nor forsake me (Heb. 13:5; Deut. 31:6; Psalm 23:6)

  • Nothing can separate me from God's unfailing and invincible love (Rom. 8:35-39)

  • I am not condemned (John 3:18; 5:24; Rom. 8:1)

  • I have crossed over from death to life (John 5:25; John 8:51; John 10:28)

  • I am saved and will not come to shame (Rom. 10:9-13; Psalm 27:1)

  • I am forgiven and declared righteous (2 Cor. 5:21; Rom 1:17; Rom. 3:24)

  • I am chosen by God to know him (John 15:16; Col. 3:12; Eph. 1:11; Rom. 8:29-30)

  • I am secure by the power of God (Jude 1:24-25; Rom. 8:29-30; 16:25; Phil. 1:6)

  • God hears my prayer and meets my needs (Psalm 4:3; Phil. 4:19; 1 John 5:14-15)

  • I have peace with God (Rom. 5:1; Rom. 16:20; 1 Cor. 1:3; Phil 4:7)

  • God cares for me and doesn't want me anxious (1 Pet. 5:7; Phil. 4:6; John 14:1)

  • God himself prepares a place for me (John 14:1-4)

  • I am welcome at God's table (Matt. 22:1-14)

  • God delights to hear my voice (Matt. 7:7-8; Luke 11:9; Heb. 4:16; Psalm 33:1)

  • I am no longer a slave to fear or to sin (Rom. 6:6; Gal. 5:1)

  • I am set free to love; I am healed of my hardness of heart (John 8:36; Col. 2:11)

  • I am a new creation, subject to the law of the Spirit of life (2 Cor. 5:17; Rom. 8:2)

  • I am a vessel of the Holy Spirit, a messenger of grace (1 Cor. 3:16; John 14:17)

  • I am blessed with every blessing in Messiah (Eph. 1:3)

  • God imparts to me wisdom and light (Eph. 5:8; John 8:12; Col. 1:13; Psalm 27:1)

  • Even if I physically die, I will live forever with God (John 11:25-26)

  • I can do all things through Messiah who strengthens me (Phil. 4:13)

  • and so on...

The blessing is there for you, though you might need to wrestle in faith to fully take hold of your identity in Christ. May God help you answer to the new name he calls out to you...


21 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page