Word of Encouragement (05/18/2022)

Pastor James
May 18, 2022

Jacob’s prayer for Asher is “Asher's food shall be rich, and he shall yield royal delicacies.” Asher was his eighth son through Zilpah, Leah’s maid. His name means “happy one”. This prayer prophesied that Asher would be blessed with a fertile portion of the land, which would yield not only basic crops in abundance but also “royal delicacies”. Asher’s inheritance was located in the farthest northwestern region of the promised land along the northern coast. Since it was on the plain, it was very likely that most of it was tillable land. We don’t have any biblical account of the richness of Asher’s soil, but John Gill refers to some ancient writers, who described it as “exceedingly fat and fruitful, and produced the most delicate wine and wheat, and might be truly called the fat valley.”

But we must not think that the fulfillment of these prophetic prayers was confined to the history of Israel. Their true fulfillment will come in the eschatological kingdom of Jesus Christ. This is hinted at in the symbolic description of God’s elect people as the 144,000, made up of Israel’s twelve tribes, each made up of 12,000 (Rev. 7), as well as the gates of the New Jerusalem having the names of the twelve tribes of Israel (along with the names of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ as the foundation of the gates) (Rev. 21).

So then, Jacob’s prophecy regarding Asher will ultimately be fulfilled in the richness of our inheritance in the true promised land in heaven. Its produce will be abundant and high-quality, fit for royalty. And we will be the ones to enjoy its abundant and choice produce as a royal priesthood in Jesus Christ. It can also be that we are the abundant and choice produce, the firstfruits, of heaven, fit to bring great delight and joy to the Lord. That is what we are destined to be. That is what we are being prepared for as we are sanctified by the Word of Christ and His Spirit. Either way, we are destined for untold riches and glory in Jesus Christ. Let this hope be the fodder for our perseverance and faithfulness today.