The Order for Advancement
As shown through the 12 tribes of Israel: Part 11-Asher
Genesis 30:12-13 – And Leah’s maid Zilpah bore Jacob a second son. 13 Then Leah said, “I am happy, for the daughters will call me blessed.” So she called his name Asher.
The name “Asher” means happy. The word happy is very subjective. We have a variety of things that can make us “happy” yet for most of us that happiness is short lived until something (or someone) else comes along to lift us up again. Sometimes, what makes us happy is not always good for us (say for instance a lot of chocolate-I love chocolate but it doesn’t love me). So how can we continue to be happy God’s way? Let us dig deeper into this word.
The name/word Asher comes from the root word “ashar”. Ashar means the following:
*to go straight
*to lead on
*to set right
*to pronounce happy
*to call blessed
As usual, these definitions bring a specific verse to mind.
Isaiah 40:3-5 – The voice of one crying in the wilderness: “Prepare the way of the Lord; Make straight in the desert A highway for our God. 4 Every valley shall be exalted And every mountain and hill brought low; The crooked places shall be made straight And the rough places smooth; 5 The glory of the Lord shall be revealed, And all flesh shall see it together; For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
There was one who repeated these words. He was a forerunner to Jesus The Christ; John the Baptist.
Mark 1:1-4 – The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. 2 As it is written in the Prophets: “Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, Who will prepare Your way before You.” 3 “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord; Make His paths straight.’” 4 John came baptizing in the wilderness and preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. 5 Then all the land of Judea, and those from Jerusalem, went out to him and were all baptized by him in the Jordan River, confessing their sins.
The title for Genesis 49 is “Jacob’s Last Words to His Sons”. It starts with this:
Genesis 49:1 – And Jacob called his sons and said, “Gather together, that I may tell you what shall befall you in the last days…
Of Asher he says:
Genesis 49:20 – “Bread from Asher shall be rich, And he shall yield royal dainties.
Moses’ final blessing over Asher was:
Deuteronomy 33:24-25 – 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. 25 Your sandals shall be iron and bronze; As your days, so shall your strength be.
Here we have the tribe of Asher whose name means happy, to go straight, to advance, and to be called blessed. His bread shall be rich and he is the most blessed of sons. His sandals shall be iron and bronze and his strength shall be as his days (I take that to mean long, prosperous, and unwavering).
Asher is one of the last tribes to break camp. This order is purposeful as we have been seeing throughout this series. Before Asher is Dan which means “judge”. When we truly reflect within ourselves we are judging ourselves. If we do that correctly without being too hard or too easy on ourselves, we have effective results that can change us from the inside out to make us better people and live purpose filled lives with joy and happiness. Also, as we feed on the Bread of Life we yield royal dainties (have our bellies full of the choicest bounty from the King’s table). As our bellies become full we become more than satisfied; we become and maintain happiness and joy.
Walking straight is more than a catch phrase. It is repeated multiple times in various ways through the Bible as a way of life.
Exodus 23:20-21 – “Behold, I send an Angel before you to keep you in the way and to bring you into the place which I have prepared. 21 Beware of Him and obey His voice; do not provoke Him, for He will not pardon your transgressions; for My name is in Him.
Isaiah 26:7-8 – The way of the just is uprightness; O Most Upright, You weigh the path of the just. 8 Yes, in the way of Your judgments, O Lord, we have waited for You; The desire of our soul is for Your name And for the remembrance of You.
Malachi 3:1 – “Behold, I send My messenger, And he will prepare the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, Will suddenly come to His temple, Even the Messenger of the covenant, In whom you delight. Behold, He is coming,” Says the Lord of hosts.
John 14:1-6 – “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. 4 And where I go you know, and the way you know.” 5 Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?” 6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
What I am presenting here is that true happiness comes from walking and moving straight and right (or righteously). In order to advance we must be prepared which brings forth progress. This is what happiness should be; progressing and advancing. There is an order for any kind of advancement. It’s the same spiritually. There is a correct order for advancing the Kingdom of God. It starts with having The One Who went before us, stays beside us, walks behind us, and lives within us; Jesus the Christ. Him in us and us in Him is where our happiness should be found. That is the foundation where everything else is built on.
Joy is more than a feeling that is fleeting. It is a command!
Psalm 32:11 – Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you righteous; And shout for joy, all you upright in heart!
1 Thessalonians 6:16-18 – Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
This command of being joyful is imperative for the advancement of God’s Kingdom. His heart is in us. We have a choice to let it shine or keep it squelched. When we let it shine we are using The Light (Jesus Christ) to light the path for others to follow. So…”don’t worry-be happy”. The army needs to advance to pursue the enemy and gain the original territory of The King. As one advances with happiness and joy, it spreads and more do the same until one becomes many.
Alicia R. Shipe