Genesis Chapter 49 Asher

             Gen. 49:20 “Out of Asher his bread shall be fat, and he shall yield royal dainties.”  The name “Asher” means happy or joy.  It is stated that his bread shall be fat, i.e., it will be plenteous.  Moreover, Asher was to yield or bring forth abundantly royal or kingly dainties. 

            Asher is typical of the Lord’s church.  The church has plenteous bread to eat.  The Lord has given the church abundant spiritual food contained in the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments.  The following verses speak of the abundant supply provided to the Lord’s church:

                        1.  1 Cor. 3:2 “I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.”

                        2.  Heb. 5:12 “For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.”

                        3.  1 Pet. 2:2 “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:”

                        4.  John 6:27 “Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.”

                        5.  Acts 2:46 “And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,”

                        6.  1 Cor. 10:3 “And did all eat the same spiritual meat;”

                        7.  Heb. 5:14 “But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.”

                        8.  Matt. 4:3 “And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. 4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”

                        9.  Acts 2:42 “And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.”

                        10. Acts 2:46 “And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,”

                        11. 2 Cor. 9:10 “Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;”

            The word, royal, refers to kings.  The obedient children of God in the church are referred to as kings in Rev. 1:5, 6: “And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.”

Moreover the church is described as a royal or kingly priesthood:

                        1.  1 Pet. 2:5 “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.”

                        2.  1 Pet 2:9 “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:”

            As a royal priesthood, the church yields royal dainties in offering up spiritual sacrifices unto God. 

            Through all the above the church members are filled with joy:

                        1.  Matt. 13:44 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.”

                        2.  Matt. 25:21 “His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.”

                        3.  Luke 6:23 “Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.”

                        4.  Luke 15:7 “I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.”

                        5.  John 3:29 “He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom's voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled.”

                        6.  John 15:11 “These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.”

                        7.  John 16:20 “Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy.”

                        8.  John 17:13 “And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves.”

                        9.  Acts 13:52 “And the disciples were filled with joy, and with the Holy Ghost.”

                        10. Acts 20:24 “But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.”

                        11. Rom. 14:17 “For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.”

                        12. Rom. 15:13 “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.”

                        13. 2 Cor. 8:2 “How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality.”

                        14. Gal. 5:22 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,”

                        15. Phil. 1:25 “And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith;”

                        16. 1 Th. 1:6 “And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost:”

                        17. James 1:2 “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;”

                        18. 1 Pet 1:8 “Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:”

                        19. 1 John 1:4 “And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.” 

            The church, like Asher, is full of joy.  The church has plenteous bread to eat.  The church is also a royal priesthood that offers up spiritual sacrifices to God.

Genesis Chapter 49 Benjamin

            Gen. 49:27 “Benjamin shall ravin as a wolf: in the morning he shall devour the prey, and at night he shall divide the spoil.” 

            The description of Benjamin can be taken in a couple of different ways.  In some ways it is similar to the natural man in his depraved nature.  It can also be compared to the disciple of the Lord.  I tend to believe that the latter possibility is more appropriate here as it seems to more fit the context of the descriptions of the other eleven brothers. 

            First, the name “Benjamin” means “son of my right hand.”  The elect family of God consists of children or sons of God.  Thus, they each could be identified as a “son of God’s right hand.”

            Second, the description says that Benjamin “shall ravin as a wolf…”  A wolf has an appetite to catch and devour the prey.  Ravin is suggestive of the appetite.  A true disciple of the Lord has an appetite to learn more of what God’s word teaches.  He knows that he is a sinner saved by grace through the atoning blood of Christ.  He also knows that the love of God motivates him to be a follower of Jesus Christ.  To be a good follower (disciple) of Jesus Christ he needs to know more of what God’s word teaches and to apply the principles to his understanding and practical living.  He is to follow the admonition of Peter in 1 Pet. 2:2, 3: “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.” 

            Moreover, a true disciple of the Lord will be like a wolf that patiently and continuously seeks after his food.  The true disciple will patiently and continuously seek knowledge, understanding, and wisdom in God’s word.  Rom. 15:4 “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.”

            “In the morning he shall devour the prey…”  To be a good disciple of Jesus Christ there is a prey that we must devour.  We know that we are sinners by nature and have a sin-cursed nature that Paul said, “I know that in me, (that is in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing.”  For a wolf to devour the prey, he must destroy that which he is devouring.  Likewise, there are things that we are to mortify or put to death:

                        1.  Rom. 8:13 “For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.”

                        2.  Col. 3:5 “Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: 6 For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: 7 In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. 8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. 9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds…” 

            In putting off the deeds of the flesh, the disciple is now in a position to eat of that which is precious: Col. 3:10 “And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: 11 Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all. 12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; 13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.

            14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. 15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.”

            Mortifying the deeds of the flesh and putting on the new man are a large part of the work of a disciple of Christ.  As disciples we work in the daytime or morning and we reap the blessings of our labor in the evening or night.

            “And at night he shall divide the spoil.”  As a disciple of the Lord, we have responsibilities to our families, to our fellow disciples, to the church, and to those seeking searching children of God that we are blessed to interact with.  To divide the spoil, is to give to others many of the benefits of our labors.  Some of the benefits to others of our labors are pointed out in the following scriptures:

                        1.  Matt. 5:14 “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. 15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

                        2.  John 15:13 “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

                        3.  Matt. 25:34  “Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: 36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. 37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? 38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? 39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? 40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”

                        4.  Phil. 2:4 “Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.”

                        5.  2 Tim. 2:2 “And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.”

            Clearly, the life of the disciple is a blessing in the lives of many of God’s children.

Genesis Chapter 49 Dan

            Gen. 49:16 “Dan shall judge his people, as one of the tribes of Israel. 17 Dan shall be a serpent by the way, an adder in the path, that biteth the horse heels, so that his rider shall fall backward. 18 I have waited for thy salvation, O LORD.” 

            The word, Dan, literally means judge.  That which God uses to judge the people is his laws.  For instance, God made a covenant with the nation of Israel.  They were to keep the laws and commandments of God or suffer the consequences of breaking those laws. 

            In the Garden of Eden, when God made a covenant with Adam, he gave him one law and he gave him the penalty of breaking the law, which was death.  By breaking the law, Adam brought himself and all his posterity under the law of sin and death.  Satan in the form of the serpent enticed Eve and then Adam to break the law of God. 

            Dan, in the passage above, is typical of the law covenant whereby Israel was judged by the law.  The law had a curse: Gal. 3:10 “For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.” 

            Judgment under the law was like the “serpent by the way, an adder in the path, that biteth the horse heels, so that his rider shall fall backward.”  We are like riders on the horse of the law and we are bitten through transgression of the law so that we are condemned by the law.  The universal condemnation of the law is set forth in Rom. 3:19 “Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. 20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” 

            “I have waited for thy salvation, O LORD.”  We cannot deliver ourselves from the curse of the law.  Moreover, the law only condemns us and does not justify us, so if deliverance comes then it must come from an outside source and from one who is capable of delivering us.  The LORD (Jehovah = a covenant making, covenant keeping God) is the one who delivers us from the condemnation of sin and justifies us before God.  Jesus Christ is the LORD and it is he who has delivered and justified us before God:

                        1.  Gal. 3:13 “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:”

                        2.  2 Cor. 5:21 “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”