Thursday, May 4, 2017

Block 68: Naphtali

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“...whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” Matthew 23:12
Brothers Dan and Naphtali were two sides of a coin.  Both were sons of Jacob and Bilhah (Rachel’s handmaiden).  While Dan turned away from the faith of his father, Naphtali quietly and humbly followed his father’s faith.
Naphtali was chosen as one of six tribes to stand on Mount Ebal and pronounce curses, promising God they would refrain from the behaviors.  The curses are detailed in Deuteronomy 27: 15-26.  For example,  Naphtali cursed the man who killed his neighbor secretly (Deuteronomy 27: 24).  When Jacob gave his final blessings, he granted Naphtali land in the northern region of Israel, near the Sea of Galilee.  Of the twelve tribes,  Naphtali was given the most beautiful and most fertile parcel of land.
Little else is known of Naphtali.  Ultimately, his tribe was divided into four clans (led by Naphtali’s four sons). Naphtali was a righteous and godly leader of his tribe, and in return, he was granted God’s favor.  Together with his four sons, Naphtali’s tribe  saw victory over the Canaanites.  The followed Gideon into battle to chase the Midianites from the Jezreel Valley, and provided troops and guards when David became king.  Naptali’s humble leadership resulted in the greatest honor:  his land of Galilee was home to all of the disciples, except Judas.  And in the ultimate example of how God exalts the humble, Jesus was born in Nazareth and chose to begin his ministry along the Sea of Galilee.  
Naphtali understood that “man can receive nothing unless is it has been given to him from heaven” John 3:27.  This is such an important lesson for us:  all of our abilities, gifts and opportunities are given to us by God — to be used for His purpose and His glory!

I chose Glorified Nine Patch to represent Napthali.  A nine patch is a humble block, just as Naphtali was a humble tribe leader.  And just as this block is glorified, Naphtali was exalted for his steadfast faith.

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