Followers of Christ are part of an amazing story that began with Adam and Eve. The Holy Spirit is opening our eyes so that we are able to see the past, walk without stumbling and peek into the future. This story became personal when Jesus saved us. We have our part to play, and I believe we choose the kind of children we will be. God said, “they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them.” (Jeremiah 31:34) I am not shooting to be the greatest, just one of His servants that loves Him and keeps His commands. (John 14:15) How about you?
Naphtali and Asher, the poet and baker.
That was the only guess Jacob’s words allowed me. Will Moses words being a clearer meaning to their descendant’s future? “Naphtali is a deer let loose; He uses beautiful words.” (Genesis 49:21) Maybe Jacob was simple telling Naphtali what came to mind when he was thinking of him? Let’s see what Moses said.
“And of Naphtali he said: ‘O Naphtali, satisfied with favor, And full of the blessing of the LORD, Possess the west and the south.” (Deuteronomy 33:23) There will be twelve gates around the walls of New Jerusalem, three on each side. On the west side the southern most gate will be the gate of Naphtali. (Ezekiel 48:33-35) Is this gate the possession or does it indicate something else? The descendants of Naphtali may not all be poets, but they will be satisfied being full of Gods blessings.
Jacob blessed Asher as if he, or his descendants, would be bakers. “Bread from Asher shall be rich, And he shall yield royal dainties.” (Genesis 49:20) Now Moses. “And of Asher he said, ‘Asher is most blessed of sons; Let him be favored by his brothers, And let him dip his foot in oil. Your sandals shall be iron and bronze; As your days, so shall your strength be.” (Deuteronomy 33:24-25)
Words to the descendants of Asher have given men hope of finding oil in what was once Asher’s territory. They have invested heavily assuming they know the meaning of this prophetic blessing. Some men will search the Scriptures looking for clues as they hunt for treasure, others are like W.C. Fields, “looking for loopholes, my boy, looking for loopholes!” Those who are looking for assurance and find Jesus.
We have been studying prophetic blessings. These blessings are bestowed by God upon individuals, tribes, the house of Israel, the house of Judah and the Nations. Some have been easy to understand, if we ignored all of our Biblical preconceptions and started with Abraham. Other prophecies took work of a spiritual kind, asking and depending on God to lead to chapters and verses that shed their light. And then there were guesses. With Naphtali and Asher, for the time being, I am left with poets and a bakers. But, this story is not over.
To be continued.