Monday, February 21, 2011

Revelation 7 (Part 10) Asher & Joseph

By Odon Bulamba (10th June 2011)

Asher means happy.
Born in 1900 BC, second son of Jacob and Zilpah, the maidservant of his first wife, Leah.

Genesis 30:13, 34:26, 46:17, 49:20, 1 Chronicles 2:2, Luke 2:36, Revelation 7:6

Why was he called “Happy” since Gad already had that name?
Remember Asher was born from Leah’s servant. When she gave birth to that boy she thought he wouldn’t have the same rights as Leah’s children. She called him happy because this child brought happiness into her life.
You might be slaves or minimised by the world, but don’t lose joy. Joy doesn’t only belong to rich people, here God wants to teach us that even though we are only servants or workers happiness also belongs to us. Don’t be disappointed! Some people think this belongs only to people who have prayed for 30 years. It’s not true. For God we are all servants of God, Asher and Gad were both Jacob’s descendants and had the same right to bring joy in the family.

It was hard for Zilpah, a servant, to believe she could give birth to a son of Jacob. She was nobody but through giving a son to Jacob, she has become someone. She felt she didn’t deserve it.

God says that those who humiliate themselves as children do, will be raised up. You might sometimes feel you don’t deserve to enter God’s kingdom but because of God’s love and mercy, today you are someone. If you’re crossing the hardest situation, tell God you know you are weak, but if He visits you, your sickness or pain will be changed into happiness. Don’t neglect yourself because God will come to you when you think you’re not worthy of the Kingdom.

Timothy was not sure if he could lead people, he found himself too young for that ministry. But Paul told him not to minimise himself, that he was someone in God’s kingdom.
Another example with Zacchaeus. Jesus told him although he didn’t find himself worthy, He’ll come to him and live with him a live full of joy.
So we are all called to produce that fruit of joy. Let’s bring joy in this country.
When God Himself came down, He was nobody. He was really neglected in that society. Noone would even believe what He was saying but He was God among people.

Personally I say that weak people today are greater because they commit themselves to God all the time and they can easily change and become someone.


Joseph is a picture of Jesus-Christ and of someone led by the Holy Spirit.

How can you be led by the Holy Spirit?
Some people think that to be led by the Holy Spirit is to sit down and listen to your conscience or your senses or sit down and say: What can I do now, do I take right or left? They listen to their own thoughts that say to take left, they take left and think this is to be led by the Holy Spirit.

To be guided be the Holy Spirit is something really important in Christian life. If we understand it, we can never be misled. Satan also can guide people, give them instructions, and mislead them. So we need to understand how the Holy Spirit talks to us and to discern if it’s Him, our own thoughts or Satan’s voice.

We will learn more about Him when we talk about His functions in Christian life and the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Understand the Holy Spirit is among one of the hardest topics in the Bible. If you ask your pastor how he knows he is led by the Holy Spirit he might answer, it’s just there. How can you explain the Holy Spirit working in you?
To produce fire, you must do the right thing with your matches, the Holy Spirit also makes you do the right thing. To understand His ministry, power and action you must know how to apply the Word of God into your life and how to match His power into your personal life.

Joseph lived a good life.

What is the difference between Joseph, the son of Jacob and Joseph, Jesus’ father?

They might have the same name but they lived at different times. The timing is very important. What we are facing today might not be among us tomorrow. What we are living today might be known to our children only in 10 years.
They both went to Egypt with different purposes, one was taken by force and the other one was escaping. Which one is the better, to be taken by force or to escape? We would prefer to escape.

If we say we belong to God, there are two ways to follow Him:

   1. The first one is for God to force you to do things to go on the other side, on the Christian life’s side. If you don’t, it’s disobedience. If you do and accept it, it’s painful and you will suffer like Joseph but remember he had a reward.  At the last minute, he was lifted up and you will too.

   2. But the other Joseph was given a choice. He was visited by the angel of God and told to escape. If he didn’t believe the dream, he could have stayed. His son might have been killed. The choice of leaving or not was up to him.

Personally, I prefer to be forced by God, because if I have an option, I might think like a human being and not do as I am told straight away. It was up to Joseph to decide.

This is a serious problem for the church today; we have grace, God warns us about a danger, we hear Him but ask for 5 more days instated of leaving right now. On the contrary, if God forces us to leave now, we don’t have the power to say no, it’s better. You’ll be protected from a danger. It’s sometimes better to be pushed by God, He’ll prove His power on you but He’ll protect you from trouble later.

So, Joseph, Jesus’ father respected God but was sometimes confused with his own ideas. When Mary got pregnant he thought it was a good opportunity to break up their relationship. He was ready to sacrifice his love to Mary because of the baby. He said he couldn’t accept her pregnancy.

The other Joseph, sold by his brothers, forgot and forgave completely everything they had done to him in the past. When he saw them again in a new country, he thought he had to support, accept, go through this fire to regain his family.

Here are two pictures of Joseph.
Some preachers say that Joseph, Jacob’s son, is a picture of Joseph, Jesus’ father. Others say the second Joseph was a holy man. They even adore him, offer him flowers and make statues of him.

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