“Asher’s food will be rich;
he will provide delicacies fit for a king.”
Next we come to Asher who is the 3rd son of Jacob’s concubines.
As it was with the Tribe of Gad, Asher’s blessing is very short and to the point.
In Hebrew “Asher” means “happy“.
So the blessing Jacob gave to Asher and his descendants prophesied a life of ease, well being and out-and-out good fortune.
And true to Jacob’s Word, the land bequeathed to the tribe of Asher was some of the most fertile territory in the Holy Land.
The geographical landscape they resided in stretched between the land of Tyre all the way up to Mount Carmel.
This tribe led a peaceful life of agriculture and was famous for its hearty production of top quality corn and olive oil.
Throughout their history, Asher appears to have been fairly disconnected from the other tribes of Israel.
They enjoyed their life of ease and shunned military conflict.
However, although greatly blessed, it seems that God wasn’t completely pleased with Asher’s isolated and idyllic existence.
In the account of the Battle of Mount Tabor recorded for us in the Book of Judges, we are given the details of a great battle that occurred between the Canaanite forces led by a King Hazor and the Israelite army led by Barak and Deborah.
The Israelites triumphed and afterwards their victory was memorialized in the famous Song of Deborah.
However, in this song Asher was castigated for their complacency and lack of participation during this grand conflict that affected all of Israel.
“Asher remained on the coast and stayed in his coves.”
The spiritual takeaway is both obvious and profound.
You cannot perpetually isolate yourself from the fellow body of believers and expect God to be pleased or your walk of faith to go well in the long term.
Ultimately, the tribe of Asher failed to drive out the Canaanites.
The concluding tone for Asher is that although richly blessed, they did not behave admirably and trust God when the time for action came, and instead let themselves be seduced and overtaken by a life of comfort.
If God has given you great material blessings, that’s great and I’m really happy for you.
However, don’t forget where those blessings came from and don’t forget to help those in need.
Helping others is the true source of real spiritual satisfaction.
CONNECTING THIS TEACHING TO THE NEW TESTAMENT
But God has put the body together,
giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it,
so that there should be no division in the body,
but that its parts should have equal concern for each other.
If one part suffers, every part suffers with it;
if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.”
-1 Corinthians 12:24-26