The Sons of Jacob :: Issachar (and Jesus Christ)

Issachar was ninth born of the sons of Jacob. He was born as Jacob’s fifth son through Leah. Issachar means “for hire”. He was so named by Leah because of the event that occurred which led to his birth. What may seem absurd is that Leah had hired her husband from Rachel her sister by giving Rachel the mandrakes, that her first born son Reuben had found.

Points to ponder:
Jacob the deceiver was bought with mandrakes that was believed to be an aphrodisiac which functioned as a fertility agent to produce life (make a woman conceive). Jesus bought us from the penalty of death with his blood which gives new life to all who believe in him. Jesus came to do the will and work of God the Father, which is to pay the wages of sin (death).

Genesis 30:14-18 (KJV)
14 And Reuben went in the days of wheat harvest, and found mandrakes in the field, and brought them unto his mother Leah. Then Rachel said to Leah, Give me, I pray thee, of thy son’s mandrakes.
15 And she said unto her, Is it a small matter that thou hast taken my husband? and wouldest thou take away my son’s mandrakes also? And Rachel said, Therefore he shall lie with thee to night for thy son’s mandrakes.
16 And Jacob came out of the field in the evening, and Leah went out to meet him, and said, Thou must come in unto me; for surely I have hired thee with my son’s mandrakes. And he lay with her that night.
17 And God hearkened unto Leah, and she conceived, and bare Jacob the fifth son.
18 And Leah said, God hath given me my hire, because I have given my maiden to my husband: and she called his name Issachar.


The Sons of Jacob :: Asher (and Jesus Christ)

Asher was eightborn of the sons of Jacob. He was born to Zilpah, Leah’s servant and Jacob. Asher  means “blessed or happy”. He was so named by Leah at his birth for she was happy.

Points to ponder:
The Bible tells us that those who are in Christ Jesus are blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places (Ephesians 1:3). Jesus was born on earth (his own creation) so that we could be born again into heaven. Are you blessed? Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD and whose hope the LORD is (Jeremiah 17:7).

Genesis 30:12-13 (KJV)
12 And Zilpah Leah’s maid bare Jacob a second son.
13 And Leah said, Happy am I, for the daughters will call me blessed: and she called his name Asher.

Jeremiah 17:7-8 (KJV)
Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is.
For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.

Come in, thou blessed of the LORD

When Laban, Rebekah’s brother runs to meet the eldest servant of Abraham, he invites the servant into his father’s house, using the words, “Come in, thou blessed of the LORD.” (Genesis 24:31) The servant agrees and goes into their house and tells them of God’s goodness to him and how God was merciful and truthful to his master Abraham (Genesis 24:27) Although, it is likely that Laban could have equated the jewelry that was given to his sister by this servant as a sign of God’s blessings on the servant, it is not explicitly stated as to the why Laban felt that this servant was blessed of the LORD. However, the fact of the matter is that this servant was recognized as on blessed of the LORD.

Points to ponder:
The Bible says that we have been blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ – chosen to be holy and blameless in love; predestinated for adoption into God’s family; and accepted in the beloved (Son of God, with whom God is well pleased) in whom we are redeemed by his blood; forgiven of our sins, according to the riches of his grace (Ephesians 1:3). Now then, the question that remains is, “Do we conduct ourselves in a manner befitting those who are blessed of the Lord. In other words, if someone sees us, will they notice that we are indeed “blessed of the LORD” and invite us into their lives, so that we can tell them of God’s mercy and truth, goodness and grace.

Genesis 24:31 (KJV)
31 And he said, Come in, thou blessed of the Lord; wherefore standest thou without? for I have prepared the house, and room for the camels.

Ephesians 1: 3-7 (KJV)
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

Hello Fear, And If Our God Is For Us …, Blessings

During the 54th Grammy Awards ceremony on February 12th, 2012, there were awards given to several outstanding songs and albums and their singers, but what I believe stood out in the awards were the songs and albums chosen in the Gospel and Contemporary Christian category.

The best Gospel song and Gospel album was won by “Hello Fear” by King Franklin.
The best contemporary Christian music album was won by “And If Our God Is For Us …” by Chris Tomlin.
The best contemporary Christian music song was won by “Blessings” by Laura Story.

The lyrics of Kirk Franklin’s “Hello Fear” song paints the story an individual who is severing his relationship with “fear” that had imprisoned him and stolen all hopes and dreams, as God’s healing of hurtful places and grace took its place.

Chris Tomlin in an interview said that he was constantly being bombarded with the thought of the greatest, strongest, most high, healing, awesome and powerful God, who was for us and so changed the originally intended title of the album from “Expectations” to “And If Our God Is For Us …”. He specifically calls to attention in this interview, the importance and significance of the last three dots (dot, dot, dot) at the the end of the album title, expressing that when Our God is For us, (you fill in the blanks), but there is nothing that can stop us, or stand against us. In other words, If Our God Is For Us, nothing is impossible and Scripture affirms that Our God Is For Us!

Finally, the song Blessings by Laura Story paint the imagery of the trials and tears of life to be blessings and mercies in disguise and with the singer, we can pray that we are given wisdom to discern and hear God’s voice, in the midst of the rain and storm; during the hardest and darkest hours of our life, for pain reminds us, that this is not our home – we are just passing through.

Points to ponder:
Putting the three Gospel and Christian winning titles together, we can see God’s message to each one of us, through these award winning titles and songs, that, since OUR GOD IS FOR US, there is NO reason to FEAR and we can call fear and say, “HELLO FEAR”, Grace has taken your place, so farewell, goodbye fear. It is now time for BLESSINGS  to flow in, even if it comes in the form of trials and tears. Our prayer Lord is that you give us wisdom to hear your voice and faith to believe!

Romans 8:15 (KJV)
15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

Romand 8:31  (KJV)
31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? 

Ephesians 1:3 (KJV)
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (KJV)
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

Blessings and Obedience

In the old testament, the decree was, if you obey my commandments, you will be blessed (Deuteronomy 28:1-2)
In the new testament, the decree is, I have blessed you so obey my commandments (Ephesians 1:3-4)

Think about this: Just as blessings come as result of obedience; Obedience must come as a result of being blessed.
How can we obey God? If we love Jesus, we will obey God’s commands (John 14:15) and it is easy to love God who blesses us with ALL spiritual blessings in Jesus Christ.

Deuteronomy 28:1-2 (KJV)
1 And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth:
2 And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God.

Ephesians 1:3-4 (KJV)
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: