IV. BECOMING ONE OF THE TRIBE
According to the Hebrew text of 1 Kings 7:14, we are also told that Hiram was of the tribe of Naphtali. Although his mother was a Danite and his father a Tyrian, Hiram eventually became one belonging to the tribe of Naphtali.
A. A Hind Set Free
In 49:21 Jacob said, "Naphtali is a hind let loose: he giveth beautiful words" (Heb.). Here Jacob spoke of Naphtali with high favor. A hind does not seem to be related to beautiful words. But we must not understand the Bible according to our natural mind; we must understand the Bible according to the Bible.
1. Trusting and Rejoicing
A hind signifies a person who trusts in God in a desperate situation. Habakkuk 3:17 and 18 say, "Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vine; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no food; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, and I will joy in the God of my salvation" (Heb.). Those who trust in God and rejoice in God in the midst of a desperate situation, a situation in which every source of supply is cut off, are hinds.
2. Walking Upon High Places
Habakkuk 3:19 says, "The Lord God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places." Those who trust in God walk, not in the valleys, but upon the tops of the mountains. If you do not know how to exercise faith in God when you are in a desperate situation, at that time you will creep in the valleys. You will never walk and skip upon the mountains. Only those who trust in God when they are in a desperate situation can leap upon the mountaintops. People may say, "Look! The fig tree does not blossom, the vine does not bear fruit, the olive labors in vain, the fields yield no food, the flocks are cut off in the fold, and there is no herd in the stalls. Oh, the situation is desperate, and we are finished!" When you hear this, you should say, "Praise the Lord! Now is the time for me to trust in Him." If you are like this, you will not be discouraged. Rather, you will leap and skip like a hind upon the mountaintops.
3. Living in Resurrection
The hind is also mentioned in the title of Psalm 22, which says, "Upon the tune of the hind of the morning" (Heb.). This psalm is about Christ in resurrection through crucifixion. The first verse was uttered by the Lord Jesus on the cross: "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" However, verse 22 says, "I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the assembly will I praise thee" (Heb.). This verse is quoted in Hebrews 2:12, which relates the resurrected Christ to the church. Hence, Psalm 22, sung to the tune of the hind of the morning, is on Christ in resurrection for the church. In the Old Testament the hind refers not only to a person who trusts in God and walks upon the mountaintops, but also to one who lives in resurrection for God’s assembly, for the church life.
Are you a "hind," or are you a "turtle"? I never saw a turtle skipping upon the mountaintops. Turtles are found in low places near water. Those who trust in God are not "turtles" but "hinds." They are in resurrection for God’s assembly, the church. Only by regeneration and transformation can we be this kind of person. Naphtali is the tribe of the hind, and a hind signifies a regenerated and transformed person, a person who trusts in God, walks on the mountaintops, and lives in resurrection for the church life. How wonderful!
B. Giving Beautiful Words
Naphtali also gives beautiful words. Naphtali was in the land of Galilee (Matt. 4:15). All the first group of apostles came from Galilee, and in Acts 1:11 they were addressed as "men, Galileans." Out from these Galileans, people of Naphtali, came beautiful words, that is, the preaching of the gospel. In the New Testament we see that the word which came out of these Galileans was the word of life (Acts 5:20), the word of grace (Acts 14:3), the word of salvation (Acts 13:26), the word of wisdom (1 Cor. 12:8), the word of knowledge (1 Cor. 12:8), and the word of building (Acts 20:32).
(Life-Study of Genesis, Chapter 85, by Witness Lee)