God drawing us for He is the Light
The boundary of Zebulun’s homeland started at Sarid. From there it went west, going past Maralah, touching Dabbesheth, and proceeding to the brook east of Jokneam. In the other direction, the boundary went east from Sarid to the border of Kisloth-tabor, and from there to Daberath and up to Japhia. Then it continued east to Gath-hepher, Eth-kazin, and Rimmon and turned toward Neah. The northern boundary of Zebulun passed Hannathon and ended at the valley of Iphtah-el. The towns in these areas included Kattath, Nahalal, Shimron, Idalah, and Bethlehem—twelve towns with their surrounding villages. The homeland allocated to the clans of the tribe of Zebulun included these towns and their surrounding villages. Joshua 19:10-16 NLT
Though Zebulun was the fourth largest tribe among the tribes of Israel but this significance is not visible based on the allotment of the land when one will look at the map. Zebulun was one of the tribes that did not drive away completely the Canaanites. Instead of driving them away, they required the Canaanites to submit to forced labor (see Judges 1:30). Jacob prophesied that Zebulun will prosper because traders will pass through this land for they were near what will be later on referred to as the Sea of Galilee. “Zebulun will settle by the seashore and will be a harbor for ships; his borders will extend to Sidon” (Genesis 49:13). Though wealth will be experienced in the land, later on Zebulun will faced difficult challenges. It was the place where the Babylonians and the Assyrians will pass through when these two nations where at war with Israelites. These pagan nations will be used by God to discipline the disobedience of Israel. Because of this, Zebulun was caught on the middle by these warring nations that they were visibly chomped and ruined. Life became difficult for the tribe of Zebulun but years later, God provided them encouragement through the prophet Isaiah. “Nevertheless, that time of darkness and despair will not go on forever. The land of Zebulun and Naphtali will be humbled, but there will be a time in the future when Galilee of the Gentiles, which lies along the road that runs between the Jordan and the sea, will be filled with glory” (Isaiah 9:1). When we go through life of difficulties, it is hard to think that God cares and yet He does. Not only did God provide encouragement for Zebulun, it was promised to them that light will shine in the midst of the darkness. “The people who walk in darkness will see a great light. For those who live in a land of deep darkness, a light will shine” (Isaiah 9:2). That light that will shine is the Son that will be born one Christmas morn. “For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). Jesus will spend much of His time on earth in Nazareth, one of the cities located in Zebulun. God will draw people in His love for He promised that His coming will bring light into the darkness. After John the Baptist was arrested, Jesus went on to Galilee preaching the fulfillment of the coming of the light. “In the land of Zebulun and of Naphtali, beside the sea, beyond the Jordan River, in Galilee where so many Gentiles live, the people who sat in darkness have seen a great light. And for those who lived in the land where death casts its shadow, a light has shined” (Matthew 4:15-16). Let us draw ourselves to God for He will remove the darkness that is trying to overcome us.