Where’s Dan?

This morning I woke up a little before 3am. I prayed a little while and thought to listen to some of the scriptures of this weeks torah portion, Vayishlach | וישלח | “He Sent.”

Torah: Genesis 32:3 – 36:43
Prophets: Joel 2:30-32; Obadiah 1:1-21
Brit Hadasha: John 1:19 – 2:12 ; Acts 3:18-26; 1 Corinthians 5:1-13; Titus 2:1-15; 1 John 3:4-10; Revelation 7:1-12

I have listened to them about a dozen times already this week and one of the things that has caught my attention every time it’s mentioned is the life and character of Rachel. Jacob loved Rachel at first sight. She is one of many “women of the well” that has also intrigued me in studying the Bible. Each time I listen how Rachel was an idol worshiper because it is she who stole her father Laban’s household gods, (little g). She lied to her father’s face as she sat on them to hide them from him saying it was her “time of the month” so please excuse me for not getting up. Later in the account from Genesis it says that Jacob told everyone in his entourage to give up their false idols,

Genesis 35:1-7  Elohim said to Jacob, “Arise, go up to Bethel and dwell there. Make an altar there to the Elohim who appeared to you when you fled from your brother Esau.” 2 So Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, “Put away the foreign gods that are among you and purify yourselves and change your garments. 3 Then let us arise and go up to Bethel, so that I may make there an altar to the Elohim who answers me in the day of my distress and has been with me wherever I have gone.” 4 So they gave to Jacob all the foreign gods that they had, and the rings that were in their ears. Jacob hid them under the terebinth tree that was near Shechem.

5 And as they journeyed, a terror from Elohim fell upon the cities that were around them, so that they did not pursue the sons of Jacob. 6 And Jacob came to Luz (that is, Bethel), which is in the land of Canaan, he and all the people who were with him, 7 and there he built an altar and called the place El-bethel, because there Elohim had revealed himself to him when he fled from his brother.

After this, God reaffirms the covenant He made with Jacob and tells Jacob again that his name is no longer Jacob. From now on it is Israel.

9 Elohim appeared to Jacob again, when he came from Paddan-aram, and blessed him. 10 And Elohim said to him, “Your name is Jacob; no longer shall your name be called Jacob, but Israel shall be your name.” So he called his name Israel. 11 And Elohim said to him, “I am Elohim Almighty: be fruitful and multiply. A nation and a company of nations shall come from you, and kings shall come from your own body. 12 The land that I gave to Abraham and Isaac I will give to you, and I will give the land to your offspring after you.” 

After God tells Israel to “be fruitful and multiply” the narrative tells us that Rachel dies giving birth to her second son, Benjamin.

Genesis 35:16-18 1 Then they journeyed from Bethel. When they were still some distance from Ephrath, Rachel went into labor, and she had hard labor. 17 And when her labor was at its hardest, the midwife said to her, “Do not fear, for you have another son.” 18 And as her soul was departing (for she was dying), she called his name Ben-oni; but his father called him Benjamin. 

We named my youngest daughter Rachel because we were so enamoured by the love that Jacob had for Rachel. The more I have come to study and understand the Bible I realize that Rachel was not God’s perfect will for Jacob. In the back of my mind I wonder if it was because of her attraction to false gods that she was barren for so long and that she didn’t fulfill the righteous destiny that was within her reach. There’s no disputing that Rachel gave birth to Joseph, a man greatly used of God and who has many similarities in his life to the life of Yeshua Jesus Christ. In retrospect, Rachel and Joseph were accountable for the choices each one made and their legacy is only what it is.

Rachel, in her attempt to compete with her sister Leah, did something like what Sarah did in giving her servant Hagar to Abraham to have a child. Rachel gave her servant Bilhah to Jacob and she bore him Dan,

Genesis 30:1-6 And when Rachel saw that she bare Jacob no children, Rachel envied her sister; and said unto Jacob, Give me children, or else I die. 2 And Jacob’s anger was kindled against Rachel: and he said, Am I in God’s stead, who hath withheld from thee the fruit of the womb? 3 And she said, Behold my maid Bilhah, go in unto her; and she shall bear upon my knees, that I may also have children by her. 4 And she gave him Bilhah her handmaid to wife: and Jacob went in unto her. 5 And Bilhah conceived, and bare Jacob a son.

6 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.

So this morning at about 3am, I didn’t start the scriptures of this weeks Torah Portions in Genesis. I scrolled down and started them at Titus 2, followed by 1 John 3:4-10 and ending with Revelation 7:1-12

The reading from Titus 2 can be summed up by these verses,

Titus 2:11-14 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.

The reading of 1 John 3 stresses a topic I bring up often, the need to NOT Practise sin. Titus’ verses just told us to be “zealous for good works” which is the opposite of practising sin,

1 John 3:4-10 Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness. 5 And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin. 6 Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him.

7 Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. 8 He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. 9 Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God. 10 In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother.

Then the final scriptures were from the Book of Revelation 7:1-12. It says how God commanded that the winds would not be allowed to blow upon the earth until the 144,000 are sealed with the seal of God. It lists 12,000 from all of the 12 tribes of the sons of Israel but as I listened, an obvious one is left out, the Tribe of Dan.

Isn’t it amazing how God has prepared, foreknown everything and the principles of the Bible remain intact even if a bad apple tries to corrupt God’s agenda. Judas Iscariot had every opportunity to achieve a “righteous destiny” but chose not to. Dan has a similar story and should be a lesson and a warning to every person, even Christians. There is a principle of God told in the life and legacy of Dan.

Dan was the tribe that fell into idol worship, image that. Rachel said she would “bare upon my knees” Dan, meaning that she would adopt him as her own child. Dan too had a choice to follow, “practise” his father’s ways or his adoptive mother, Rachel’s ways. It seems as though he and his descendants chose to commit their lives to idol worship, even stealing the false gods of others. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

Judges 18:2  2 So the children of Dan sent five men of their family from their territory, men of valor from Zorah and Eshtaol, to spy out the land and search it. They said to them, “Go, search the land.” So they went to the mountains of Ephraim, to the house of Micah, and lodged there.

11 And six hundred men of the family of the Danites went from there, from Zorah and Eshtaol, armed with weapons of war.

17 Then the five men who had gone to spy out the land went up. Entering there, they took the carved image, the ephod, the household idols, and the molded image.

The men of Dan had gone to Micah’s house. Micah’s mother had false idols made as a reward for Micah when he returned money he had stolen from her. Then a traveling Levite comes along and Micah “hires” him to be a priest for his household. The Danites didn’t only steal the idols, they stole Micah’s priest too!!!

23 And they called out to the children of Dan. So they turned around and said to Micah, “What ails you, that you have gathered such a company?” 24 So he said, “You have taken away my gods which I made, and the priest, and you have gone away. Now what more do I have? How can you say to me, ‘What ails you?’ ”

You see, the legacy of the tribe of Dan turned out to be idol worship throughout it’s history. It was so bad and widely known that a Herbism was if you called someone a Danite, it was calling them an idol worshiper.

The people of Dan were in the northern kingdom of Israel. In 1 Kings 12:25–33 King Jeroboam split from rule under Rehoboam, he was afraid that those who lived in his kingdom in the north would still go down to the southern kingdom to worship at Jerusalem, since that was where the temple that God had authorized was located. So Jeroboam built two additional altars for the people of his nation to worship. He established worship in the south at Bethel and in the north at Dan. Jeroboam had Golden calves made to worship and got rid of the “true priests” of God and did like Micah, hired his own priests. The gross sin of Israel was idol worship.

Dan should be a warning to everyone that chooses to have idols in their life because of what God did to them. The punishments of being taken captive by other lands didn’t cause them to repent. The time came when God brought a full end to the northern kingdom of Israel for 2,000 years. You might think that’s a lot but God wasn’t finished there. God blotted out their name in the entire New Testament. The tribe of Dan, the name of Dan is not found in the New Testament.

As I listened to the Torah Portions before getting out of bed, God brought that to my attention to ponder. After I got up and I began to read my 3 Bible verses for today and the devotional reading the first one from YouVersion app was this.

After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands;
Revelation 7:9 NASB
https://bible.com/bible/100/rev.7.9.NASB

And I thought, I just listened to that, every one except the tribe of Dan??? God doesn’t make mistakes. Dan was not mentioned in the list of tribes intentionally by the Word of God. This time it’s NOT by the Inspiration of the Holy Spirit, it’s by Jesus Christ Himself. The Book of Revelation isn’t the revelation that John got by inspiration. It says,

Revelation 1:1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:

Jesus Himself is giving these revelations to John and His Words should NOT be taken lightly. Then as I read the devotional reading in my Tecarta Bible app it included Revelation chapter 3. Jesus also says this in them in connection of who’s names are “forgotten” and not to be mentioned again.

DailyPlan : one-year-tract : 2019-12-12 #Bible https://www.mydailybible.org/dp/esv/one-year-tract/2019-12-12.htm

Revelation 3:5  The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life. I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels. 6 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’

When Jesus says, “I will never blot his name out of the book of life” how can you read that and not be left with the idea that a name being blotted out is possible. At all appearances, it would seem like Dan and the tribe of Dan has been blotted out. I’m certain that God has left for Himself a “remnant” from the tribe of Dan but as an object lesson, the name doesn’t appear in the entire New Testament.

Some people believe in a “once saved always saved” or “eternal security” of having once prayed a prayer asking Jesus to forgive them of their sins and dedicating their life to Him. The hard question everyone needs to answer for themselves is, “is that Biblical?” Jesus and the writings of the Apostles all mention phrases in relation to salvation like,

He who endures to the end will be saved.

Our need to “finish the race.”

The theme that a Christian should persevere, endure in a Godly lifestyle and finish the race well is mentioned throughout the Bible.

The Words Jesus had for the 7 churches in the Book of Revelation all had something concerning their need to improve a virtue or deal with an error in their behavior. All of the recommendations by Jesus had implications to their “eternal security.”

Paul a pharisee and apostle of Yeshua Jesus told us to be a “Dan” because Dan means “judge.”

1 Corinthians 11:31  For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. 32 But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world.

Every day we need to look at our actions, motives, intentions and affections of our heart and weigh them against the Word of God. As Sanctification is an ongoing process as Jesus works in us, so is repentance. Titus tells us to “purify” ourselves for His Appearing. Thank God, He doesn’t show us all our faults at one time. He Graciously washes our feet, our hands, our heart and mind little by little with a Love that is hard to comprehend at times. He IS a Good Good Father,

 

 

 

 

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