A Sweet Savor Contact Miscellaneous Audio Messages Penmen

WHAT’S IN A NAME?

‘DAN’

And Rachel said, God hath judged me and hath also heard my voice and hath given me a son; therefore called she his name Dan” (Gen. 30:6)

Rachel’s agony and frustration, because she was barren, had reached its zenith. Her all consuming desire for a child obscured her understanding of the providence and the promise of God. This passion was the catalyst that precluded her from the patience to wait for the hand of God, and blinded by this, she decided to take matters into her own hands and devised a plan to expedite the matter. She concluded that a surrogate mother would serve in her place to facilitate the perpetuation of the family. She took her handmaid, Bilhah, and gave her to Jacob to deal with as a wife. She did not intend that Jacob was to be wed unto the handmaid for she instructed him to, “go in unto her and she shall bear upon my knees that I may also have children by her” (30:3). This was not an arrangement for a polygamous relationship but the attempts to, through the means of another’s womb, have a child for herself.

The idea of surrogate motherhood is nothing new. Sarai attempted to begin her family after this manner when she told Abram, “behold now, the Lord hath restrained me from bearing. I pray thee go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened unto the voice of Sarai” (Gen. 16:2). Now, two generations later, Rachel was proposing the same thing to Jacob for the same reason. Like Sarah, she was barren, ashamed and frustrated and neither woman was given to be still and trust the deliverance by the hand of God. Let it never be inferred that these children and the events surrounding their births were in any way, shape or form ‘outside’ the will of God. The intrepid behavior of their respective mothers was foreordained of God to accomplish the birth of each child in the exact manner and at the precise moment.

However there is an interesting difference between the two events. Hagar was an Egyptian woman who probably became a member of the household when Abram and Sarai went to Egypt during a famine (Gen. 12:10). When Jehovah plagued Pharaoh and his house because he had taken to wife a married woman, the men of Egypt sent Abram, Sarai and all their possessions away (20). This is most likely how Hagar became a part of the household and, being from Egypt, she was a handmaid from the land of bondage. After God had opened Sarah’s womb and Isaac was born, the son of the bondwoman and his mother were cast out of the household, “for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, Isaac” (21:10).

Bilhah was also a handmaid but she was not from the land of bondage for she was from the same land that Abram left when God directed him to leave his father’s. The name ‘Hebrew’ is not a referral to the language that Abram spoke, his nationality or the religion that he practiced but rather it meant that he was ‘one from beyond’. He was not indigenous to the land of Canaan, he had no allegiance to the kings of Sodom or Gomorrah and he was not involved in the politics of the region when he took arms to rescue his nephew Lot, yet, “there came one that had escaped and told Abram the Hebrew” that his brother had been captured (14:12). Even so Bilhah was one from beyond when she became a member of the household of Laban, who was also, ‘one from beyond’ of the house of Terah.

This servant, along with another handmaid named Zilpah, was part of the household of Laban and in a position that would prevent her from ever leaving that station. She was not indigenous to the land of bondage, was not made a bondwoman by force and therefore was not commanded to leave when the child of promise, Joseph, was born. She was one who had a kinship to Laban and his daughters and although Jacob did not love her, yet she was not cast forth and shunned.

When Leah and Rachel were married to Jacob, Laban gave these handmaids over with his daughters. They both were obliged to remain and were made willing to serve. This service was expected of Bilhah but I am sure she never anticipated it to go to the extent of a physical relationship with her master. But she loved her mistress, Rachel, and was in such complete obedience to her wishes that she surrendered herself to Jacob, was impregnated by him, and when she brought forth her first born male child, she relinquished him to Rachel as her own. Such willingness is certainly not natural to anyone least of all to a women and her child (probably her first born).

Jacob had no right over Bilhah to treat her with cruelty or to abuse her in any way. He owned her as head of the house but he was obliged to treat her kindly since she was a part of the household. He did not force himself on her for that would be rape. He did not have an elicited sexual affair with her because that would be wicked fornication. Conduct such as this would not be accepted and tolerated (as it is by today’s society) for it was called an abomination and would be punishable by death. Rachel gave Bilhah, her handmaid, to Jacob, her husband, for him to have dominion over her as a wife. He treated her as a man would who had left his mother and father for a wife yet without the love he had for Rachel. But he did so because of the love he had for Rachel. If he had disgraced Bilhah or treated her disrespectfully it would be an affront to the desire of his beloved that he go in unto her and raise up children to her by the handmaid. Indeed Jacob and Bilhah did become one flesh in physical union and she was obedient to him, not as a slave, but, as a servant.

The slave obeys the master to pay a debt, protect family members, preserve his life, and maintain peace or to please the master for reward. The servant, who is of kinship with the master, is obedient because of the love and respect for the master and the family. If this sexual encounter had been an isolated event, it may be surmised that it was of the former situation but, since after the birth of the first son Jacob continues his marital right with her and a second son is born, it may be concluded that the latter condition of servitude existed. She loved her master and her mistress and was pleased to remain and serve them both.

After the birth of her son, Dan, they both remained as part of the family. She is never called a bondwoman and her son is never ostracized from the family, like Ishmael. She remained faithful to her lord, the child was raised as a full member of the household and they both enjoyed the blessings and protection of Jacob. The whole event shines forth with honour, respect and a willingness that is contrary to the nature of man.

Even so, the servant of God has a beginning as ‘one from beyond’ being born from above. He is one with the Father in all eternity and in Him is His generation, His seed that shall serve Him. This obedient servant is a part of the household of the ‘white building’ (Laban) for God is the builder and maker, the designer and constructor of the house. He, Jesus Christ, is the foundation, the chief cornerstone, the walls, the gates, the temple and the life and light within. Since He is ‘Alpha and Omega’ (beginning and end) all things are contained in Him, all things exist and consist by Him through Him and for Him. He became a servant to do the will of the Father and all His people are made willing in the day of His power to serve their Lord in the same manner as He who is Faithful and True. Their service is based upon the eternal inseparable reciprocating love of the Father, the Word and the Spirit and the everlasting covenant love of the Master for His people. They have that same love in them for they abide in Him and they love Him because He first loved them. Because of that love they remain with Him, abiding in Him and He will never leave them nor forsake them.

When you buy a slave Hebrew (one from beyond), six years he shall serve and in the seventh he shall go free for nothing…and if truly the slave says, ‘I love my master, my wife and my son I will not go out free’, then shall his master bring him to God and shall bring him to the door or the doorpost and his master shall pierce his ear with an awl and he shall serve him forever” (Ex. 21:2-6).

In order for one to qualify for these accolades and commendations they must first BE a servant. This is not a voluntary position and there are no applications for prospective candidates. This one who is from beyond must have been made a slave (servant) by the will of God and not by the will of man. It must be according to the faith of Jesus Christ who, “made Himself of no reputation and took upon Himself the form of a servant and was made in the likeness of man” (Phil. 2:7). The head of the house made Himself a servant and His brethren are made likewise. Therefore being “found in the fashion as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross”. He was not indigenous to the earth, He was not of ‘the people easily subjugated’ (Canaan) and no man, angel, demon, devil or serpent subjugated Him. He, and His seed with Him, the children given to Him by the Father, was from beyond (Hebrew), came down from above (Jordan) and took upon Himself, by the power of His own will, the form of the servant and the fashion of a man. “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same” (Heb. 2:14). But unlike the children who were made, “subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected in hope” (Rms. 8:20), He took this upon Himself willingly.

He was ‘one from beyond’ as Gabriel told Mary, “The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee and the power of the Highest shall overpower thee. Therefore also that Holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God” (Luke 1:35). The world and the inhabitants of this earth have relentlessly attempted in the vanity of theology, philosophy and science to bring Christ down to a level of understanding and comprehension that is commensurate with their finite reasoning and corrupt logic. They portray Him as a good teacher and a great philosopher who taught people to love one another. They grant Him an exalted social status of a performer of ‘good deeds’ for His alleged healings and humane conduct to the down-trodden and under privileged of the time but the natural man, with all his technology and enlightenment cannot comprehend Jehovah, understand eternity or entertain His ways. Without this ‘wisdom’, being part of that which is born from beyond, Adam and all his children are devoid of understanding and therefore they do not accept Him as the King of Kings and the Lord of Hosts. Even when man “became like one of us to know good and evil” (Gen. 3:22), he was not created with the ability, being of the earth, earthly, to appreciate that, “Except a man be born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God” (John 3:5) and he set about to provide an atonement for himself.

Jesus was born after the manner of men. The bones formed together in the womb for the normal gestation period culminating in the opening of the matrix as a babe. He had all of the passions and sensitivities of a man and His body functioned exactly as all other bodies function, yet He was without sin. Since the presence of the Godhead was within Him, He knew no sin. When He was tempted, He was not drawn away after His own lust and enticed and that lust of the flesh did not conceived in Him and sin was not brought forth (James 1:14f). Not just a portion of God or the essence of God, as the scholars may say giving Him a divine understanding, but the fullness of the Godhead dwelt in Him completely. (As previously stated, the natural mind of man cannot grasp the concept of eternity or the “depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God” {Rms. 11:33} much less the idea that the fullness of the magnitude of God could dwell in Jesus bodily. Nor can we comprehend how He could dwell between the cherubim above the ark of the covenant of the tabernacle in the wilderness or in the temple of the body of His people, yet He proclaimed it to be true and manifested it in the resurrected Lord. Therefore His people are given to believe it by faith.)

The natural body was prepared for Christ just as the body was prepared for the first Adam therefore He is called the second Adam. Yet what the first Adam lacked, in that he was weak in the flesh and could not measure up to the standard of the Holiness of God, the second Adam excelled in because the fullness of the Godhead dwelt in Him bodily. Even so are all that are born from above, who are born, not of the will of man or the will and power of the flesh, but are born of the Spirit of God. They are hewn from the Rock that is from beyond, and that Rock is Christ. They are from beyond and are born from above and are the sons of God; “Beloved now are we the sons of God” (I John 3:2).

When Christ became flesh and dwelt among us, He came to accomplish an assignment that was ordained of God from before the foundation of the world. “For I came down from heaven not to do mine own will, but the will of Him that sent me” (John 6:38). He came to save His people from their sins (Matt. 1:21); to preach good tidings unto the meek, to bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, to open the prison to them that are bound, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord and the day of vengeance of our God and to comfort all that mourn (Is. 61:1-3); to redeem the Israel of our God (Ps. 103:8); to fulfill the law in righteousness (Matt. 5:17): gather His people from every kindred, tribe, nation and tongue (Eph. 1:10); bring a sword of division (Matt. 10:34) and to finish the work that was set before Him (Rms. 9:28). The fulfillment of these things was manifested from the time of His incarnation, while He was in the fashion of a man (and the number of a man is six), through His ministry and unto His death. Thus He served for ‘six years’ and in the seventh year, being raised up victorious over all, when the mystery of God was finished (Rev. 10:7), He rested from all His labors and is set down at the right hand of the Father (Heb. 12:2). He was faithful in the building of the house and the house accounted as faithful servants, being of Him, through Him and for Him, in the servitude to the Father. Therefore, being raised up together with Him, they are made to sit together with Him in the heavenlies (Eph. 2:6).

I love my master

These words cannot be brought forth from one who has been subjugated by oppression or humbled by fear. They are not the words of endearment from a defeated people or an army in retreat. These words, though often mimicked and deceitfully imitated, must come forth from one who is and has been loved. They emanate from a kinship that is not influenced by thought, word or deed and cannot be altered or diminished in any way. The love of God for Jacob was an eternal love. It was proclaimed in prophesy by the word of God, before Jacob had been born or had done any good or any evil, and demonstrated in the fullness of time.

The love of the Godhead, Father for Son, Son for Spirit, Spirit for Father, is as inseparable as the Godhead Himself, “for there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word and the Holy Ghost; and these three are one” (I John 5:7). Christ came forth, born of a woman, being one with the Father and loving Him with all of His heart, all of His soul and all of His might. He did not become faithful after He accomplished these tasks set before Him. He came forth being the faithful and true witness (Rev.3:14), being called Faithful and True (19:11), as the servant of God, “Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my Spirit upon Him:” (Isaiah 42:1). This ‘covenant’ relationship in the Godhead is of one mind, one purpose and to one, foreordained, conclusion, “I, I am Jehovah, and there is, besides Me, no savior. I declared and I saved and I proclaimed and there is not among you an alien and ye are My witnesses that Jehovah declares and I am God” (Isaiah 43: 10). He performs the intents of His heart because He is God and the unity of harmony in all His works is because of the good pleasure of His sovereign will. This is why He came into the world and completed His work, “looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despised the shame and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb. 12:2).

Whosoever has this witness in them has the love of the Father. Whosoever has the love of the Father is one with the Son and whosoever is one with the Son, being as eternal as the Son, for He changes not, is one with the Godhead and the love of the Father abides in him. Because the love of the Father is manifested in the finished work of His Servant, the entire household, the body, loves Him. “We love Him because He first loved us”. So since His people are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto good works, and, since He that has begun this good work in His people shall perform it until the day of Jesus Christ, and, that it is God that works in His people both to will and do His good pleasure, then shall not all the household of the redeemed, the servants of the true and Living God say, I love my master?

Are they then sealed because they uttered these words? Have they begun in the Spirit to now take credit in the flesh? God forbid! They began as children from beyond, loved of the Father and born of the Spirit. They serve because they are His servants and they are sealed because the love of the Father rests upon them. “Herein is love, not that we love Him, but that He loved us and sent His Son the propitiation for our sins” (I John 4:10).

Bilhah stands as a member of the household in complete obedience to the will of the master and she is blessed with fruitfulness. Even though her name means ‘trouble’ she was made to be content in the station of life she had occupied and was faithful in all her ways. God did not bless her because of what she did but because of who she was - a servant. “He that is greatest among you shall be your servant” (Matt. 23:11).

The result of this conduct was the birth of a son and although the act of copulation between Jacob and Bilhah is a part of this action it is not the cause of the result. “Lo, children are an inheritance of the Lord and the fruit of the womb reward” (Ps. 127:3), but this does not preclude conduct or action, it confirms it. All too often the doctrine of predestination is taught in isolation rather than inclusion. Events are not to be taken out of context for without contributing circumstances they never occur. So it is in the design and decree of God. All ingredients, every circumstance and each component work together in harmony to produce the will of God and that by the power of His own will. He made Rachel barren and brought her, mentally, spiritually and emotionally, to the conclusion that the only way she was going to have any children was through surrogating. He placed a handmaid named ‘trouble’ in the household of Laban for his guidance, protection and education until the time when a stranger would come up out of the wilderness to have dominion over his daughter Rachel and this woman would be given to her to serve her. He also made Jacob a willing and virile participant in this conspiracy and when all the elements were in place, the ingredients properly measured and assembled, the fifth son of Jacob was born and his name was Dan.

…God hath judged me…

Rachel had concluded that God had judged her cause, had heard the cry of her voice and had given her a son, therefore she named the boy Dan. If this were an accurate statement then we must conclude that the modern sentiments about prayer are true. If you bombard the throne with a sufficient number of repetitious earnest prayers, God will hear and answer. Countless prayer chains and prayer warriors have been established by well meaning and sincere people hoping that their petition will gain an audience with God and He will grant their boon. After all, they quote, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much: (James 5:6). (Time, space and the subject matter at hand are not conducive for our thoughts on this passage except to say that God is not a respecter of persons. He is not swayed by the cries of man who does not understand His ways and He does not change His mind because one seeks a blessing of substance or relief from calamity with tears. He did not hear Sarah when she cried for a child any more than He heard Rachel and it is a testimony to the linear logic of the nature of Adam to conclude that since I have been blessed with my desire, my prayer coerced God. Neither Rachel’s earnest prayer, doleful petition nor creative scheme brought about anything contrary to the purpose of God and her conclusion, that God had judged her cause, is erroneous.) In the fullness of time, the fifth child of Jacob was born.

The number five in the scriptures is significant with regards to the dealing of God with His people and the Law of Moses. Years after the Midianite traders sold Joseph into Pharaoh’s house, God instructed Joseph, as he interpreted Pharaohs’ dream, that a fifth part of the land was to be confiscated and governed by a chief of the land to ensure food during the up coming drought. Pharaoh was given an ear to hear and a heart to comply with the direction of Joseph and Egypt was prepared for the drought. This calamity became wide spread and when Jacob and his family left Canaan, heard that there was bread in Egypt, they first sent to buy food of Pharaoh and later migrated into the land. The fifth part of the land that prospered and the bounty was gathered into the storehouses. As the drought grew worse, the ‘fifth part’ was revealed as the provision for His people Israel (Gen. 47:26).

The fifth plague that God sent upon Pharaoh’s house by the hand of Aaron was a swarm of flies. So grievous was this plague that the houses of the Egyptian were full of flies, yet God separated His people and protected them from the pestilence. “And I will sever in that day the land of Goshen, in which My people dwell, that no swarms shall be there; to the end that thou mayest know that I Jehovah in the midst of the earth. And I will put a division between My people and thy people: tomorrow shall be the sign” (Ex. 8:22f). The first four plagues were systemic in the land of Egypt but the fifth plague, the flies, corrupted the land, infested the houses and quarantined Israel.

Moses engraved the ten words which God gave him on the two tablets of stone. Although no flesh can abide by them and therefore no blessing may be obtained from keeping them, the fifth commandment is the first commandment with promise (Eph. 6:2). We do not mean to infer that a temporal benefit may be procured from God or that the time of one’s habitation may be lengthened by honoring fleshly parents. This commandment is an extension of the first commandment, “thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul and with all thy strength; this is the first commandment” (Mark 12:30) and a further indictment against the flesh, “for by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin” (Rms. 3:20). But if the honor is the love of the Father by His people, (Ps. 71:8), and the love of Jerusalem, (Ps. 137:5), which is from above and free, “which is the mother of us all” (Gal. 4:26), then this is an everlasting love, (Jer. 31:3) and His people, who love Him because He first loved them, (I John 4:19), are begotten “again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven” (I Pt. 1:4).

When a person had done an unholy thing or had falsely acquired a thing, upon restitution of the matter, a fifth part was to be added to the cost as a penalty to the wrong doer and a provision for the priests (Lev. 5:16, 6:5& 22:14). A fifth part was also to be added to the recompense of the principle of the trespass offering as payment of compensation to the one against whom the trespass was committed (Num. 5:7).

When the children of Israel were come into the land of promise, the fruit of the trees of the land were unclean (“ye shall count the fruit thereof uncircumcised” Lev. 19:23) unto them for three years. The planting of the fourth year was Holy and the eating of the provisions of the land from the hand of God from that fourth year was a blessing in the fifth year (Lev. 19:25).

Whenever something was redeemed, whether it be a field, a house, tithes or a beast, a fifth part, after the shekels of the sanctuary, should be added to the value thereof as a provision for the priests and the service of the tabernacle (Lev. 27: 13; 15 ;19 & 31). Thus it is made quite certain by the judgments of God’s Law that the fifth part was for the provision, protection, isolation and blessing of His people and Dan, ‘The judge’, being the fifth child is no exception.

Dan shall judge his people as one of the tribes of Israel. 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. I have waited for thy salvation, O Lord” (Gen. 49:17f).

The salvation of the Lord cannot be separated from the righteous judgment of God. They cannot be isolated or made independent from one another. God’s people have been saved from their sins because His Anointed has born their sin and endure the fierceness of the wrath of God. He is their propitiation, protection and provision. He is the fifth part in the Law and He has redeemed them back unto Himself by His precious blood.

Dan is like a serpent that would be concealed on the ground, going along “upon thy belly” and eating dust all the days of his life (Gen. 3:14). He would lay by the wayside and strike the heel of the horse as it came into range, exacting judgment for the violation of his territory. The strike of the heel of the horse would cause the horse to stumble and the rider to be thrown backward. It incapacitates the horse and brings the mighty representation of horse and ride to a disorganized heap of pain and distress.

When God had delivered His people from the Egyptian bondage, Pharaoh marched against the nation of Israel with his horses and chariots, thinking he had trapped them between the desert and the Red Sea. His intent was to corral the renegades, kill the dissidents and return a frightened, defeated people back to bondage and servitude. God delivered His people as He parted the Sea and they, all 600,000 of them, passed dry-shod through the waterway. But He destroyed the horse and the rider as they attempted to pursue the children through the Red Sea. Moses told the children to “fear not, stand still and see the salvation of Jehovah which He shall shew to you today: for the Egyptians whom ye see today, ye shall see them again no more forever” (Ex. 14:13). “Israel saw the Egyptian dead bodies upon the sea shore and the great work which Jehovah did upon the Egyptians” and Moses and Miriam the prophetess, sister to Aaron, rejoiced over the judgment of God; “I will sing unto the Lord, for He hath triumphed gloriously, the horse and the rider hath He thrown into the sea” (Ex. 15:1 & 21). Dan, ‘the judge’ protected Israel by striking the heel of the horse of the enemy.

When God brought forth His judgment and laid it upon His servant for the propitiation of their sins in the death of Christ upon the cross, He also brought forth judgment upon the earth and the cup of the indignation of His wrath was poured out upon the wicked. Christ took that cup and endured all the righteous wrath of God for His seed and when the Father saw the travail of His soul, He was satisfied and by His knowledge shall My righteous servant justify many for He shall bear their iniquities (Is. 53:11).He established His portion Jacob, the “rod of His inheritance” as His battle ax and weapons of war and by Him Jehovah broke nations in pieces and destroyed kingdoms. He also “will break in pieces the horse and the rider and with thee I will break in pieces the chariot and his rider” (Jer. 51:21). “In that day, saith the Lord, I will smite every horse with astonishment and his rider with madness; and I will open Mine eyes upon the house of Judah and will smite every horse of the people with blindness” (Zech. 12:4). The strength of the people, the wisdom of the ages and the confidence of man was brought down low and smitten by the hand of God when the Lord of Glory, rose victorious over sin and death and took unto Himself His great power and has reigned (Rev. 11:17).

This confidence of the flesh (the horse) is inherent in all of Adams seed. Man thinks of himself more highly than he ought, he has confidence in the arm of the flesh and he finds great comfort in the dainties of this world. The serpent is dispatched by the hand of God to inflict the child of grace with a revelation of the exactness of the Holiness of God and the corruption of the flesh and the pride and arrogance are brought crashing down. Satan, that piercing serpent, was dispatched by the hand of God to prove His righteous servant Job, (Job 1:12), to provoke His servant David to number Israel (I Chr. 21:1), to ‘sift’ Peter as wheat (Luke 22:31) and there was given to Paul a thorn in his flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet him lest he should be exalted above measure (II Cor. 12:7). The rider is shaken from the ease of his mount and those things which were profitable, wherein he excelled, become as worthless as dung. “I was alive once without the law, but when the commandments came sin revived and I died” (Rms. 7:9).

The Law of God is the ministration of condemnation and death for man. No flesh can observe it to live in it and it cannot purge the conscience of the doer from dead works. It strikes forth at the heel from the weak and beggarly elements of the earth to incapacitate the means of conveyance (zeal) and strength (touching the righteousness of the law, blameless {Phi. 3:6}) and to manifest to the chosen vessel, complete helplessness and vulnerability. It testifies to man’s impotence, ignorance and stubbornness to the things of God. Moses told the children of Israel; “Take this book of the law and put it in the side of the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord your God that it may be there for a witness against thee. For I know thy rebellion and thy stiff neck: behold, while I am yet alive and with you this day, ye have been rebellious against the Lord; and how much more after my death” (Deut. 31:26f).

This is how ‘Dan’ is the salvation of Jehovah that is waited for and the schoolmaster to bring His children unto the Christ for deliverance. He proclaims all guilty in Adam, “for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Rms. 3:23) and he leaves them, from their nativity in Adam, neither cut nor washed in water to supple, neither salted nor swaddled at all, and no eye pitied to do any of these things (Ezek. 16:1). But when Christ, who came to seek and to save those that were lost, found them by the wayside, when He left the throne above and gathered His people from every nation, kindred, tribe and people, He delivered them from this bondage. He who knew no sin became the sin of His people and satisfied the Law. That piercing serpent, which was foretold that he would “bruise the heel of the seed of woman” (Gen. 3:15), brought the judgment of God against His Elect Servant and when he thrust the spear into the Lambs side, blood and water came forth by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God. Those who took Him, “and by wicked hands”, crucified and slew Him, fulfilled the words of the prophets of old and through this most heinous deed by ignorant men, He washed His children in His blood and cleansed them from all unrighteousness. He redeemed them unto Himself and made them kings and priests unto their God.

The child of grace, born from above, became a partaker of flesh and blood and being dead in trespasses and sin, waited there helplessly for the salvation of Jehovah. God did not need the assistance of any missionaries; any printed materials, be they tracts or Bible, or the need of the spoken word by the mouth of a preacher. “And I looked and there was none to help and I wondered that there was none to uphold, therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me and my fury it upheld me” (Is. 63:5).

When God, the righteous Judge, saw the travail of the soul of His Beloved Son, His Law was satisfied, He was well pleased for He had seen the blood and His people were justified by the faith of the Son of God. The serpent did not act independently but rather, God had put it in his mind to fulfill His will and perform according to the good pleasure of that most Holy will (Acts 2:23).

And I, behold I, have given with him Aholiab the son of Ahisamach of the tribe of Dan: and in the hearts I have put wisdom that they may make all that I have commanded thee” (Ex. 31:6).

Nothing is recorded about Dan as he grew and matured in Jacob’s house. He was present with the rest of his brothers when they arrested Joseph and dispatched him to Egypt but scripture is silent about his actual involvement. He took his family down into Egypt and, 450 years later, they departed from Egypt with the great nation of Israel. They were entangled in the wilderness, saw the hand of God make the sea stand up as a wall, crossed the Red Sea dry-shod, came to Mt. Sinai, saw the glory of God descend upon the mount, committed to the law at Sinai and wondered for forty years in the wilderness. All of these events included the whole house of Israel and therefore it may be deduced by inference and necessary conclusion that Dan was present but scripture is silent about Dan the man. All that is left for us is the account of his birth and the activity of his family, beginning with the fashioning of the tabernacle.

God empowered the grandson of Dan, Aholiab (my fathers dwelling) the son of Ahisamach (servant to my brother), with wisdom to make (fashion) all that He commanded. No one but ‘the judge’ and his seed were adequately outfitted to properly complete the job to the exact height, depth, length, width, measurements and specifications. This work required wisdom and not the wisdom of Adam. It demanded a wisdom that was one with (the possession of) the designer from before the foundations were laid in eternity; in the beginning of His ways before His works of old and before the earth ever was; when there was no depth and no foundations abiding with water; before the mountains were settled, the hills brought forth, the earth was not made nor the highest part of the dust of the world (man) ever was set forth (Pro. 8:22). This is the wisdom that was there when the wise and master architect designed and prepared the heavens and this is what God put into the hearts of the earthly representation of the true Judge who is the dwelling place of the Father and the servant of His brothers.

The sons of Dan were then caused to fashion the tabernacle of the congregation, the ark of the testimony, the mercy seat and all the furniture of the tabernacle without alteration or amendment. God did not send down a set of blue prints for them to follow. He did not consult an interior decorator or contact a real estate agent for location. He had no approval from the inhabitants of the land and He did not ask anyone what they thought about His ideas. He gave these men a glimpse of the heavenly reality through a pattern set forth with exact designs and specifications, methods and materials. This pattern revealed exactly what He intended it to manifest and conceal. This wisdom to fashion this pattern cannot be found in, on or from this earth.

This was the house that God built where He would dwell with His people. The tabernacle was surrounded with curtains which showed forth the righteousness of God to all without and protected of all that was within. It contained the implements of the sacrifices, the cleansings and the atonement for sin before the Holiest of Holies. Here was the mercy seat and the ark of the testimony of God for His people. Here is the place where God met with man and forgave his sin when He saw the blood.

These ‘judges’ were also skilled in embroidering and the weaving of these fine linen curtains, pure and white, interwoven with colors. The blue representing the royalty of the Son of God and His children of the King; the purple signifying the preciousness of that royal blood which He shed for the atonement and the scarlet being the blood of the Son of Man who bore the sin of His people and removed it to the uninhabited land where it would be remembered no more. “Who did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth: Who when reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, He threatened not: but committed to Him that judgeth righteously: Who his own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness by whose stripes we are healed.” (I Peter 2:22f)

These sons of Dan were infused with wisdom in their hearts to work all manner of work. They were able to skillfully engrave the names of the children of Israel into the twelve precious stones of the breastplate typifying the engraved names of the elect of God into the palms of His hands. These names in His hands were indelibly sealed when the nails were thrust through in the righteous fulfillment of God’s law by Christ upon the cross. None may be added and none can ever be detracted.

They beat the gold with the hammers into exquisitely fashioned candlesticks, shovels, spoons, cups and basins displaying the glory of God in all of these implements. They also worked with great craftsmanship the gold that represented the Holiness of God, the silver which spoke of the priceless value and blinding brilliance of this marvelous work of God and the brass which was tried in the refiner’s fire and proven to be true. These were all made after the pattern given in the mount and stood as, “a shadow of good things to come and not the very image of the things” (Heb. 10:1). When the Anointed Servant of God came and partook himself of flesh and blood, like unto His brethren, He was the manifestation of the very image of the heavenly thing being that Righteous Judge whose name is Faithful and True (Rev. 19:11).

They also spun the wool to make the linen to fashion the Holy garments for Aaron. Then they fashioned the garments for his sons to minister in the priest’s office, using the proper cloth, colors and sized them accordingly to identify these men as the priests of the Most High God. They were not given the opportunity to shop for these clothes or to select patterns, styles or colors. It did not matter to God if they looked good or were presentable to the people. They were to set forth a truth in these garments, in type and foreshadow, of that High Priest that would enter into the sanctuary once to make the atonement for sin and His children who were granted to be adorned in fine linens pure and white, which is the righteousness of the saints.

Then they blended by beating and pulverizing the exact amounts of the prescribed ingredients required to make the anointing oil that would consecrate the priests in their duties and sweet incense that burned in the Holy place to perfume the room. This anointing oil represented the Holy Spirit that would dwell in those joined unto the Father.

None of the ingredients could be substituted, diminished or exaggerated for it was of the principle spices, an oil of holy anointing, and an ointment compound after the art of the apothecary. It could only be applied to those of the tribe of the ‘joined’ (Levi) and the house of the ‘bringer of light’ (Aaron) and his sons ‘the help of my God’ (Eleazar). These men had to first discard their common garments and bathe their flesh in the clean water of the Laver (small fire pot) washing (purging) away the dust of the earth (Adam) before being adorned in these Holy garments. When all these pre-requisites were satisfied, then they could have the holy oil of the anointing poured upon their heads. It could not be imitated or counterfeited; it was not for the people of the land or those who were not joined unto Jehovah in the service of the tabernacle of the congregation.

The same was true of the sweet incense that burned before the throne. It was made by pulverizing the spices into a powder, very small and set before the ark of the testimony in the Holy of Holies. The fire was to be kept burning in perpetuity (Ex. 30:8). This represented the smoke that rises up before the throne of God from the golden censer that is offered upon the golden altar with the prayers of the saints (Rev. 8:3). It is the sweet smelling savor of life of the church of the Living God that has been atoned for by the burnt offering. It is the triumph in Christ Jesus over sin and death and the manifestation of His knowledge by His people in every place (II Cor. 2:14).

These all stood as types and foreshadows of the Christ that should come and it is again no coincidence that they were all fashioned by the judgment of God. There can never be an overemphasizing of the fact that the judgment of God and the salvation of Jehovah must coexist, for without the former the latter could never be. They are as interwoven, one with the other, as the fabrics of the tapestries of the curtains which surrounded the tabernacle and divided the court from the Holy of Holies. Therefore in the last days when the mountain of the house of Jehovah was established in the top of the mountains; when He raised up His temple, his body and the nations flowed unto it; when John saw the bride of the Lamb descending from God out of heaven adorned in fine linens pure and white which is the righteousness of the saints, then the law went forth from Zion and the Word from Jerusalem and He judged among the nations and rebuked many people (Is. 2:2). He is the Judge, He is the judgment and He is the Law, that wheel inside of a wheel full of eyes and never turning. “The works of thy hands are verity and judgment, all His commandments are true” (Ps. 111:7).

Now if God had ordained that these sons of Dan should perform these good works, and then He “put in his heart that he may teach” and do these works and then caused the works to be done exactly as he had purposed, what shall become of that peculiar people, zealous of good works, which he has redeemed unto Himself (Titus 2:14) and the work which they have been created in Him to perform? Shall we resurrect the Egyptian taskmasters to drive them with the whip of duty faith so that the tally of self righteousness does not fail, reminding them to ‘maintain good works’? Or shall we conclude that, “He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Phi. 1:6) because “we (His people) are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works” (Eph. 2:10).

All they that were numbered in the camp of Dan were an hundred and fifty and seven thousand and six hundred. They shall go to the hindermost with their standards” (Num. 2:31)

The tribe of Dan occupied the northern most spot around the tabernacle by order of God. They did not choose to be the last to be assigned a position around the Tabernacle but they occupied a prophetic station in the north. God would bring evil from the north (Jer. 6:6) and an army to do His will. He would bring judgment against Israel, Tyrus, Babylon and Palestine. His Holy One of Israel and the preserved of Israel would come out of the north and all because of the righteous judgments of God.

This location was in the direction of the Promised Land and also signified that God would judge His people and prove them, forty years, before they entered the land. “For some, when they had heard, did provoke: Howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses. But with whom was He grieved forty years? Was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcasses fell in the wilderness? and to whom sware He that they should not enter into His rest, but to them that believed not? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief” (Heb. 3:16).

When the cloud ascended from the Tabernacle, the whole camp of Israel was to journey as He led. This highly organized and coordinated move was executed by each tribe being assigned a marching order. “The standard of the children of Dan was set forward, which was the rearward of all the camps throughout their hosts” (Num. 10:25). Now we are sure that there is little perceived glory in ‘bringing up the rear’ but when God directed, the trumpet blew, the tabernacle was disassembled and the nation of Israel moved and Dan’s position in the rear of the camp served as a protection for God’s people.

When Balak, the devastator, tried to have Balaam curse the children of Israel, he took him to the utmost or the end of the procession. There he expected to find the young, the old, the weak and the most vulnerable of the people. But instead of cursing them, Balaam was met by God and took up a parable against the devastator saying, “Balak the King of Moab hath brought me to Aram out of the mountains of the east, saying, Come curse me Jacob and come defy Israel. How shall I curse whom God hath not cursed? Or how shall I defy whom the Lord hath not defied? For from the top of the rocks I see him, and from the hills I behold him: lo the people shall dwell alone and shall not be reckoned among the nations. Who can count the dust of Jacob and the fourth part of Israel? Let me die the death of the righteous and let my last end be like his!” (Num. 22:7f) Balaam had seen the judge in the utmost part of the camp and He had declared His people righteous. “There is therefore no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus (the camp of Jehovah) who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit” (Rms. 8:1).

The man who led the tribe of Dan, as the whole of the nation of Israel embarked on this migration, was, Ahiezer (my brothers help) the son of Ammishaddai (My Almighty servant) (Num. 2:25). He alone carried the banner of the standard of the Judge of the whole earth who would fight the battles for His people and vanquish the foes before them. His hand would set a thousand to flight by the strength of one and two put ten thousand to flight (Deut. 32:30) and would scatter whole armies with a whisper and a noise (2 Kings 7:6). He is the one who sat on the white horse with a bow of war. “And a crown was given unto Him and he went forth conquering and to conquer” (Rev. 6:2). He is the Rock, the judgment of God who occupies the hindmost spot as the defense of His people, the western portion for their separation from the world and the northern most position as their champion.

Ahiezer represents those of the generation of Jesus Christ and all those who are joint heirs with Him being sons of God (I John 3:2). Christ stands as the helper of His brethren as Joseph was in the land of bondage and as the Almighty servant for His name is the “Mighty God” (Is. 9:6). He took the form of a servant and fashioned Himself like a man. He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross (Phi.2:7f) as the Elect servant of God (Is. 42:1). He has delivered His people from the power of darkness and translated them into the kingdom of light. He is before all things and by Him all things consist (Col. 1:17), therefore He is Ammi-shaddai, “my almighty servant”.

The seventh lot came out for the tribe of the children of Dan according to their families” (Jos. 19:40).

Dan is the fifth child of Jacob and thereby should have received the fifth position in the lot of the inheritance. But this inheritance was not of the accumulated wealth and lands of Jacob. It was the inheritance that Jehovah promised to Abram when He told him to, “lift up now thine eyes and look from the place where thou art, northward, southward, and eastward and westward. For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed forever” (Gen. 14:14). This was why when Israel was brought forth from the house of Pharaoh (although forty years had elapsed when Joshua led them across the Jordan and divided up the inheritance by lot) the seventh lot fell out to Dan.

Was this the luck of the draw, the roll of the dice or the providential hand of an Almighty God who had ordered it firm and sure from before the earth was formed? “The lot is cast into the lap but the whole disposing thereof is of the Lord” (Pro. 16:33).

This place in the order of allotment was reserved for the Judge. It was a fulfilled and completed position, being the seventh lot, and it directed the tribe of Dan to an exact and strategic location (see Ex. 23:31). The judge of God, or the judgments of God or the law of God (for they are one in the same) stood as the buffer between the house of Israel and the hornets (a piercing host), the soothsayers, the sun worshipers, the sly fox, the proud deer, the lofty place of the portion of the mighty and the five principle cities of the Philistines, the immigrants (a reference to a people without heritage or home). These were they whom God had spewed forth in displeasure. They appeared as a beautiful little hill, the sons of lightning and thunder who had familiar spirits. They were not the olive press but an imitation as the press of the pomegranate (the god of wind, rain and storms worshipped by the Syrians) and they flowed forth as a lean yellow stream of water, like urine, and a cheap counterfeit of a precious stone. They were a mimic and a mockery of the beauty of Judah. They speak the carnally corrupted representation of the voice of God through superstitions, customs and traditions and blaspheme the true Word that was heard by the children of Israel at Mt. Sinai and by John before the throne in heaven. They are cunning to devise evil and swift to shed innocent blood and, as their father Lucifer, they exalt themselves to the lofty positions of the numbers of the mighty one. (These descriptions of the people to the west of the nation of Israel may be found in the definitions of the names of the people and the cities that bordered the tribe of Dan as found in Joshua 19: 40-46).

These lands also border the hinder sea. Here the great ships of Tarshish and the mighty galleys with oars lived sumptuously through the merchandise of this world and ruled by the military conquests. The great seaport of Joppa flourished by the trade of the seas and was renowned for her beauty and splendor. The power, majesty and wealth of these lands cultivated the fruit of the depravity of the Adamic nature and the beauty and the wonder of the achievements was an abomination before the Lord. “Because thine heart is lifted up and thou hast said I am God, and sit in the seat of God in the midst of the seas” (Ez. 28:2) is the condemnation of the prince of Tyrus. He corrupted the world “by the multitude of thy merchandise” and was filled with violence. His heart was lifted up because of the beauty he was created with and his wisdom is corrupted (28:16f). The sea represents every kindred, nation, tribe and tongue that God told His people not to become entangled with, the place where the leviathan lives (Ps. 104:26) and from whence the beast came forth (Rev. 13:1) to deceive those whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb, slain from the foundation of the world.

Dan, in the anti-type of Christ Jesus, is positioned between Ephraim (fruitful) and the lusts of the flesh, the lusts of the eye and the pride of life. He divides those who walk by faith in the all providing Heavenly Father from those who make the arm of the flesh their strength. He is the watchman on the wall that cries out when the enemy approaches. He stands as the forward observer to warn His little flock of the god of this world and, although in times past His people walked, in the flesh, according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience (Eph. 2:2), they have been delivered from the bondage of that corruption by His resurrection from the dead. Now they live and abide in Him and as He has called them to “come out of her. My people, and be not partakers of her sins that ye receive not of her plagues” (Rev. 18:4), so, as many as have ears to hear, come forth by the word of the King and the appointment of the Judge. By faith they “refuse to be called a child of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season, esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt” (Heb. 11:25f).

Then all the children of Israel went out and the congregation was gathered together as one man from Dan even to Beer-sheba with the land of Gilead unto the Lord in Mizpaeh” (Judges 20:1).

The borders of the nation of Israel to the east were from the Jordan and, to the west, the hinder great sea (Josh. 23:4). When the tribe of Dan was given to feel the constraints of the territory they had inherited they went and fought with the faux ‘precious stone’, Lashem, and took the northern boundary for their home. This put ‘the Judge’ between the tribe of Naphtali, the wrestling, and the kingdom of the Hittites, the children of Heth (fear). This move from the original plot of land that Joshua had set for the tribe of Dan placed them at the northern most extent of the nation.

The southern border tribe was the house of Simeon. His allotment was out of the portion of the children of Judah for the part of the children of Judah was too much for them (Josh. 19:9). “And they had in their inheritance Beer-sheba (the well of the oath)” (19:2). This is the area where Hagar found refuge and relief when Abram and Sarah cast her and Ishmael out and sent them away. Here the angel of Jehovah appeared unto Hagar and showed her a well of water to sustain her and the lad and here God told her that He would make a great nation of Ishmael (Gen 21:17f).

This was also the place where Abraham, ‘the exalted father of many’, rebuked Abimelech, ‘my father is king’, for his servants violently taking away the well that Abraham had dug. An offering of seven ewe lambs was presented and an oath was sworn to as a witness that this was Abraham’s well. “And Abraham planted a grove in Beer-sheba and called there upon the name of Jehovah the everlasting God” (Gen. 21:33).

Abraham returned from the mount, in the land of Moriah, where he offered his son Isaac unto the Lord and dwelt in Beer-sheba because God had given him an oath; “that in blessing I will bless thee and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is upon the sea shore and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemy. In thy seed shall all nations be blessed because thou hast obeyed my voice” (Gen. 22:17).

The servants of Isaac, the child of promise, dug the wells of Abraham and found water in the valley and the herdsmen of Gerar, ‘the lodging place of the Philistines’, strove with Isaac’s servants. This continued in the land of Sitnah, ‘strife’ & ‘accusation’ but when they came to Rehoboth, ‘the wide place’ the contention ended. Then went Isaac up to Beer-sheba and God appeared unto him and blessed him with the oath that He made with Abraham. “And he (Isaac) builded an altar there and called upon the name of Jehovah and pitched his tent there and there Isaac’s servants digged a well” (Gen. 26:24f) and “he called the name of that place Shebah therefore the name of the city is Beer-sheba unto this day” (26:33).

Jacob went out from Beer-sheba, ‘the well of the oath’, and came to a certain place where God revealed Himself to Jacob again. Here He confirmed the oath that He had given to Abraham and Isaac and when Jacob awoke he said, “surely Jehovah is in this place”, therefore he called that name of that place Beth-el the house of God and Jacob vowed a vow before the Lord (Gen. 28:20). And when God had brought the great plague of famine upon the land, He revealed to Jacob that there was bread in Egypt and that deliverance would come at the hand of his lost son Joseph, therefore “Israel took his journey with all that he had and came to Beer-sheba and offered sacrifices unto the God of his father Isaac” (46:1). Again God appeared and re-confirmed His oath with His people that He would lead them into Egypt and that he would make them a great nation and He would ‘surely’ bring them up again out of that land of bondage (vs. 3-5).

So, when the nation of Israel had obtained the inheritance of the promise of God they were gathered together as one man. They stood together within the boundaries of the land of the ‘Judge’, who protected them from the kingdom of fear and the corruptions of this world, and ‘the well of the oath’, God’s eternal promise. The statutes and law of God wherein they would walk and live were based upon the covenant of the Godhead with His chosen people. It was upon all the members of the nation as one nation and as each member individually. And all of this was in type of the heavenly truth.

The children of Israel did not merit the promise of God nor did they keep His commandments. Their hearts yearned after the land of Egypt from the day they left and their lusts consumed them in the wilderness. God did not bless them because they were worthy, mighty or obedient. He set forth an earthly pattern of the heavenly reality of Christ and His seed and the eternal blessing they had in Him.

“This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts and in their minds will I write them; and their sin and iniquities will I remember no more” (Heb. 10:16). This is the oath that was confirmed by God, to Himself and by Himself because He could swear by no greater, in that He was “willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us” (Heb. 6:17f). The Eternal Judge has said to His people, “fear not”. He stands between those who wrestle against spiritual wickedness in high places and the kingdom of fear and speaks to them in a still small voice saying, “My grace is sufficient for thee”. He provides for His children better than the lilies of the field and cares for them more than the sparrows of the air. He knows their every need and has experienced all their trials and tribulations. He has walked their path in their shoes, felt their passions and their weaknesses and has endured the contradiction of sinners against Himself. He is that High Priest that can be touched with the feelings of their infirmities. He is able to identify with them because He became a partaker of the same flesh and blood being found after the fashion of man. He knows the temptations both as the Sovereign Almighty God and the servant who endured those same temptations, yet without sin.

His covenant is His oath which is an oath of life. It flows from the midst of the throne of God unto His people. They were one with the Father in all eternity and when they became partakers of flesh and blood and carnal sold unto sin, He gave them to the Son to redeem them back unto Himself. To each one is given to believe on the Son of God and from their belly (the inner man) flows this living water from the well of the oath, the throne of God. These live by the Spirit of God within and that Spirit of God bears witness that they are the sons of God even thought they have been made subject to the vanity of this flesh, “not willingly but by reason of Him who subjected the same in hope” (Roms. 8:20). And they are saved by this hope because it is founded fast and sure upon the immutable promise and oath of our God.

Dan is the eternal judgment of God which can never change or fade away. The nail pierced hands and the wounded side of the Savior are seen in His risen glorified body. John saw this when he saw the Lamb standing in heaven as it had been slain from the foundation of the world. The fire of God’s justice shall never go out (Lev. 6:13), the righteousness of the Son shall never fade and the faith of the children shall never fail.

The fire shall never be quenched in the second death of that lake of fire where, death, hell, Satan, his angels and the wicked shall be cast. The wicked shall never repent and though it be taught unto them they shall not learn righteousness, but, at the name of Jesus they shall bow the knee and confess that He is Lord.

Your servant in Christ,
(Elder) Chet Dirkes
February 2, 2011

Banner Of Hope
Volume 5, No. 1