This Week’s Reading: Deuteronomy 25-34
The beloved of the Lord shall dwell in safety by Him, Who shelters him all the day long; And he shall dwell between His shoulders. Deuteronomy 33: 12
Moses, longtime friend of God, was graciously told his time was up. Knowing that he was just hours away from his final ascent up Mount Nebo, Moses blessed each tribe of Israel, a father’s goodbye, Jewish style. With the authority and power as God’s ruler for the season, Moses blessed Israel with everything required to thrive as a nation in the Promised Land:
- The tribe of Reuben was blessed with longevity, continuation of the tribe, and abundant life in God.
- The tribe of Judah was blessed with God’s attentive ear to their cry, God’s hand against their enemies, and abundance coming forth from their hands.
- The tribe of Levi was commissioned to teach and uphold the Law of God. Levi, the royal priesthood, was blessed with strength, with God’s pleasure in their offerings and a promise to obliterate any enemies who rise up against them
- The tribe of Benjamin was blessed with God’s continual shelter and safety, with the privilege of abiding with the Lord, close, tucked under the garments of God as God’s beloved child
- The tribe of Joseph, Ephraim and Manasseh, were blessed with all the treasures of the earth, with the ordained favour of God, the authority to rule as his chosen tribe and the capacity to impact nations to the ends of the earth
- The tribe of Zebulan and Issachar were blessed with a voice to gather and rally their people to the high places of God, to bring sacrifices of righteousness, as well as enjoying the abundance of the sea and the sand
- The tribe of Gad was blessed with justice, the skill to administer the law, and the leadership to establish God’s order
- The tribe of Dan was blessed with strength, vitality and the ability to move forward
- The tribe of Naphtali was blessed with the ability to possess and rule their land as they satisfied themselves abundantly in the favour of God
- The tribe of Asher was blessed as a favoured son, anointed and strong and full of vitality
It was the best of times and the worst of times for Israel, for as they received these incredible birthrights from heaven, they relinquished their beloved father Moses to God and prepared for war in Canaan. Moses knew that taking territory was not a passive task. Bloody war would soon ensue, for at God’s decree, the people of Canaan would be served eviction notices with two terms: leave or die. Victory was assured because God was in the camp. Victory was empowered by these spectacular and specific blessings given to each tribe.
In Galatians 3:29, Paul states, “And now that you belong to Christ, you are the true children of Abraham. You are his heirs, and God’s promise to Abraham belongs to you.” Incredibly, God’s promises to Israel now belong to us through Christ. The blessings of Moses for the tribes of Israel are also our blessings by right of being co-heirs with Christ. Thus, like the million who stood before Moses, geared up to advance into the Promise Land, we stand before Christ, expectant that everything required to advance the Kingdom of God has been given to us. We stand as abundantly well-provided beloved children and like Benjamin, we dwell securely between His shoulders.
As we move into our territories, whether it’s in the neighborhood, the job, the community, a life of powerful active blessing should demarcate us God’s kids, believers who advance God’s Kingdom as surely as Israel crossed into the promised land of Canaan. The Kingdom of God advances forcefully when we lay down North American values of self-comfort and self-acceptance and burn for what God is on fire for. We must love those in our midst, and war with mercy, advance with justice, live steady kind to those placed in our path. We bring His Kingdom wherever we walk in love. Instead of devouring the cities with war cries, we can saturate our communities with intentional love and change our world forever.
Now, as my young son Caleb said, the first time he tried to jump into a pool, armed with water wings and that incredible spirit of force and expectancy, “Let’s do it!”
Look at the list of blessings given to the tribes before they crossed the Jordan. As we cross over into our next season, next challenge, next opportunity, God’s blessings, custom made for each of us, is ours for the taking. As we believe, we must then prepare for supernatural impact, for God’s eternal provision will collide with our natural limitations and create the most beautiful, startling testimonies. God has us covered.
Consider President Obama or Queen Elizabeth. Though they are guarded, protected leaders, their covering is thin compared to the guardianship we enjoy by our Father. Our beloved Prime Minister Harper is flanked on the right and left by secret guards, well informed trained security who are willing to take the bullet for their leader, yet this formidable service is weak compared to the all-encompassing security afforded us as God’s beloved kids. We rest between God’s shoulders, literally piggy-backing on our Father who created heaven and earth. You can almost hear God’s voice with Benjamin’s blessing saying, “If you want any of My kids, you have to go through Me first.”
Thousands of years after Moses blessed Israel, Jesus put Himself on the line, took the bullet of sin on a bloody cross and saved us all.
Advancement into dark places with the light of Christ absolutely requires God’s blessing. Israel needed every blessing for takeover in Canaan. For God’s Kingdom to come and His will to be done, we must rely on God’s favour. We need His strength. We need understanding of the authority He has given us and with expectancy of our Father’s blessing, we can accomplish His mission. As Love comes down with blessing, we then spring forward in God, with a fierceness of the lion and the contentedness of a well-satiated child for God’s ear attends to His children’s cry. As we cry out to Him for understanding and revelation to move forward, He more than blesses us: He swoops down and swings us up on His Shoulders with the joy of a delighted Father, and shouts, “Let’s do it!”
Let’s Pray: Father God, may Your delight is us as Your children impact us, change us forever this day. May Your blessings encompass our lives. May we rejoice that Kingdom advance comes in this incredible position of protection, favour and blessing. Father God, we ask for faith to trust your Word and believe in all Your abundant blessings this day. Lord Jesus, thank you for taking the bullet of sin’s wages, that we might become children of the living God. Holy Spirit, would You strengthen our hope in the goodness of God today, that like Caleb, we would have absolute expectation in your goodness and power to win any battle You decree this day. May our enemies be vanquished as we pursue God’s call, expectant, blessed and beloved of God. May Your Kingdom come and Your will be done as we advance, certain that Your provision is here to do so. We adore You, Father God, beloved Lord Jesus, sweet Holy Spirit. Bless us we pray! Amen.
- Can you see the unique blessings God has given you to fulfill today’s mandate?
- Which blessings of the tribes made you most joyful, most expectant?
- What attitude must we carry to access these blessings?
- When you consider your life, can you see how God’s blessings have impacted you?
- What do you fear in your life? How do these blessings move you forward to trust God and keep moving forward?
Next Week’s Reading: Joshua 1-10