Thursday, June 22, 2017

Block 72: Zebulun

Click HERE: Go to to download the draft pattern for this block.

“...pardon everyone who sets his heart to seek God.”  2 Chronicles 30:19
From the moment he was born, Zebulun’s mother, Leah, knew he was a gift, destined for greatness.  As Jacob’s tenth son (sixth born of Leah), Zebulun was one of six tribes chosen to stand on Mt. Ebal and pronounce curses, promising God NOT to participate in certain behaviors, such as casting idols or withholding justice and others.  In fact, Zebulun was zealous in his pronouncements, listing twelve behaviors he would refrain from and would encourage his tribe to avoid the same. Yet when Zebulun entered the Promised Land, he didn’t live up to God’s expectations for him.  God had commanded Zebulun to drive out the inhabitants of the land, and Zebulun fell short.  Instead of driving out the Canaanites, he forced them into slave labor.  God had given Zebulun a clear command, and Zebulun disobeyed this command.  Maybe in Zebulun’s mind, he thought he was doing enough.  Many times, we are just like Zebulun when we do not obey God’s commands explicitly, but rather act in a manner that is “good enough.”  Sometimes it is just not convenient for us to follow God’s wishes all the time.  Lucky for us, and lucky for Zebulun, God has an unlimited capacity to love and forgive. In Zebulun’s case, God’s love for him never ceased and He pulled Zebulun back into communion with Him. On Jacob’s deathbed, Zebulun was given the land of Galilee, where he returned to God and followed his commands. His tribe fought many battles and played an important role  in critical victories in Israel’s history.  Later, Isaiah promised that the land of Zebulun would be honored.  And indeed, it was.  We know that Joseph and Mary were from Nazareth, in the land of Galilee, and that Jesus began his teaching along the shores of Galilee. Zebulun’s tribe became seafaring merchants and provided financial stability to the land.
So our lesson from Zebulun is a gloriously liberating one.  God is always present when we return to Him.  Regardless of all of the times that we turned away from God, regardless of all of our sins and transgressions, if we return to God with our whole heart, He will forgive us and use us to do His work.  Our only role in life is to fulfill God’s purpose for us.

I chose Ocean Waves to represent Zebulun, whose tribe was mainly comprised of seafaring merchants. 


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