Life-Study of Genesis, by Witness Lee

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A. Coming Back to the Victory of Christ

Praise the Lord that, under the inspiration of God, after Dan, Jacob spoke of Gad! With Gad we see recovery. After the apostasy of Dan, Gad came in to recover the lost victory (49:19). The victory of Judah, the lion, had been lost by Dan’s apostasy, but Gad regained it and even enlarged it. Gad is not a young lion, but a lioness producing cubs. He is the continuation of the victorious Judah and Dan.

B. Enlarged by God

God was so happy about Gad’s recovery of the victory that He enlarged him. Deuteronomy 33:20 says, "Blessed be he that enlargeth Gad." Gad was enlarged not only by God, but also for God. He was enlarged for the executing of God’s justice among God’s people.

C. Crushing the Enemy
by the Productive Life of Christ

Gad crushed the enemy by the productive life of Christ. Deuteronomy 33:20 says, "He dwelleth as a lioness and teareth the arm, even the crown of the head" (Heb.). Gad crushed the enemy not as a lion, but as a lioness producing young lions. This implies that his destruction of the enemy is a corporate matter. It is the same with us today in the Lord’s recovery. We are the young lions destroying the enemy in a corporate way.

D. Taking Care of the Brothers

The best aspect of Gad is not merely that he crushed the enemy’s head, but that he would not enjoy his victory by himself. Although he gained land on the east of the Jordan, he would not enjoy it until the other tribes had won their portion of the land. Gad went with the other tribes to fight the battle to gain more land so that all the tribes might be able to have their share. The New Testament interpretation of this Old Testament figure is that we must always take care of the brothers, the members of the Body.

For many years I could not understand Moses’ word in Deuteronomy 33:21. This verse says, "And he provided the first part for himself, for there a portion of the lawgiver was reserved; and he came with the heads of the people, he executed the justice of the Lord, and his ordinances with Israel" (Heb.). Although I studied this verse again and again, especially the last part about the heads of the people, I simply could not understand it. But today I understand this verse. The "first part" refers to the land east of the Jordan. Gad provided that part for himself; yet he would not remain there to enjoy it. Instead, he came with the heads of the people, the princes of the other tribes, to fight the battle for the rest of the land. Here we see the action, the move, of the Body. Dan took care of himself individualistically, but Gad took care of the Body corporately. In the church today we would say that Gad was filled with the sense of the Body.

The reason for Gad’s success was that he let go of his own enjoyment in order to take care of the Body. This is justice in the eyes of God. It is the executing of the justice of the Lord. In New Testament terms, it is the accomplishment of God’s will. When the children of Israel entered the good land, it was God’s will in His justice that His people be settled. God did not want only Gad; He wanted all the twelve tribes to be settled to become His kingdom that His ordinances may be observed. This is to accomplish the will of God. Romans 12:1 and 2 say that if we present our bodies a living sacrifice, we shall be able to prove what the will of God is. According to Romans 12, the will of God is simply to have the Body life. Thus, to have the Body life, to take care of the needs of others, is to execute God’s justice for observing His ordinances. Nothing is so just as caring for the members of the Body. No ordinances can be observed without the execution of God’s justice. God’s New Testament ordinances can only be observed in the Body of Christ, which is built up by the mutual care of its members in justice.

Dan’s failure was that he was individualistic. Gad’s success was that he was corporate, moving with the brothers. Dan was for himself, but Gad was for all the tribes. Whenever you are concerned only for your own spiritual interests, you are a Dan. But when you forget your own spiritual interests and care for all the other brothers, that is, care for the Body, you are a Gad. We must care for the Body and move with the Body. Are you a Dan or a Gad? Are you taking care only of your locality or of the whole Body? As long as we do not care for the Body, we are today’s Dan, and we have fallen into a form of apostasy.

(Life-Study of Genesis, Chapter 103, by Witness Lee)