19 Gad, a troop shall overcome him: but he shall overcome at the last.
20 Out of Asher his bread shall be fat, and he shall yield royal dainties.
21 Naphtali is a hind let loose: he giveth goodly words.
The blessing for Gad seems to be a play on his name, “troop.” His tribe, like Reuben, decided to live outside of the promised land just east of the Jordan. Their location placed them in a vulnerable spot because they were surrounded by the Ammonites and the Moabites and thus they were constantly at war. This would work in their favor and cause them to become fierce warriors.
Asher means “happy” and by the looks of this blessing he was destined to be so. He would be blessed with the most fertile land in Israel. It looks as though he chose a “happy” life in agriculture instead of warfare.
Naphtali was given a portion of land that was a key portion near the Sea of Galilee and was where Jesus spent much of his teaching and ministry.
Nevertheless the dimness shall not be such as was in her vexation, when at the first he lightly afflicted the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, and afterward did more grievously afflict her by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, in Galilee of the nations.
2 The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.
12 Now when Jesus had heard that John was cast into prison, he departed into Galilee;
13 And leaving Nazareth, he came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast, in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim:
14 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying,
15 The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles;
16 The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.
In the book of Revelation chapter 2, we see Jesus speaking to the 7 churches and in each address, He gives a truthful summary of their physical and especially spiritual state. He gives each church a warning and a blessing if the warning is heeded, but this also applies to us as well.
We were never promised an easy life in Christ. We are not part of this world and we should never expect that this world would understand us as Christians or for that matter treat us with respect or goodwill.
We will have struggles; we will have problems; we will be surrounded by trials and tribulations. Yet the Light of God, Jesus Christ still shines in our lives and if we abide and trust in Christ, like Gad, we will be “blessed,” or happy as overcomers.
To those who overcome:
- They will eat from the tree of life in Heaven
- They will not be hurt by the second death
- They will eat the hidden manna and be given a white stone, with a new name written on it.
- They will have power over the nations
- They will be clothed in white while Jesus presents them blameless before God.
- They will be given a special place in the Temple of God in the New Jerusalem.
- They will sit at the right hand of Jesus on His Throne.