Daughters of the Diaspora, get ready : a prophetic word for Black women
Daughters Of The Diaspora Get ReadyA PROPHETIC WORD FOR BLACK WOMENBy Julie A. GibsonSanctuary Books, Inc.Copyright © 2006 Julie A. GibsonAll right reserved.ISBN: 0-9777819-0-9Chapter One Issachar Means Recompense And Leah said God hath given me my hire because I have given my maiden to my husband and she called his name Issachar. -Genesis 30:14-18 The name Issachar means recompense. I like the word recompense. It means divine restitution. The God who sits high and looks low is keeping tally of what is owed whom, and He will bring recompense. The word "restitution" in the Oxford dictionary means "restoring of a thing to its proper owner" or "reparation." Many are familiar with the term "reparations" because it has been debated in the African-American community as of late. The question is should Africans be compensated for past slavery? The answer is yes. American descendents of slavery are due reparations for the forced slave labor of their ancestors. The African continent is due reparations for the theft of human capital that left its shores. The issue is un-debatable in my opinion, but our grievances have been directed to the wrong source. Let me explain it by way of an old African proverb that says, "The master will never supply the tools necessary to dismantle his own house." We cannot look solely to the government to redress these grievances. It is okay to organize and push this agenda through legislative means, but the government is not our primary source. The debate is being waged at too low a level. The magnitude of reparation and restitution owed the African Diaspora cannot be legislated or disseminated through merely natural means. How can one even quantify the effect of a people scattered and peeled for over 400 years? How can physical, mental, cultural and spiritual breaches be repaired? Can monetary tokens resurrect the estimated 50 million Africans buried in the Atlantic Ocean as a result of the Transatlantic Slave Trade? I don't think so. By all means a huge debt is owed and continues to accrue, but the recompense must come from the spiritual realm if it is to be thorough and complete. The demand for reparations must be taken up in the heavenly realms. We must ask Almighty God for divine recompense. We must have righteous indignation like the poor widow in Luke chapter 18 who demanded she be avenged of her adversary. We must stand on the promises of God's eternal word. The King of Glory has promised the daughter of Zion that her reward and recompense is coming. Isaiah 62:11-12 says: The Lord has made a proclamation to the ends of the earth: Say to the daughter of Zion, See, your Savior comes! See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies Him. They will be called the Holy People, the redeemed of the Lord; and you will be called Sought After, the City no longer deserted. Let's ask God to repay us for the atrocities of slavery that our ancestors endured and the persistent repression that still exists. Surely the African Diaspora is due enormous recompense. But rather than receive small monetary tokens and empty apologies, let's go for broke. Let's ask God Almighty, the creator of heaven and earth for just recompense. Let's ask Him to turn things around. Jesus said that the last shall be first and the first last. Can you imagine what it will be like to be sought after and no longer despised and rejected? Can you imagine the African Diaspora being called the holy people, blessed and chosen, not cursed or forsaken? Can you imagine the feeling of being favored by Almighty God? Issachar's mother Leah certainly understood what it felt like to find favor with God after being rejected by man. Many are familiar with the story in Genesis chapter 29 regarding Rachel and Leah. Here we have two sisters married to one man. Jacob loved Rachel. She was beautiful, and because men are sight-stimulated, Jacob was enamored with her. Leah, on the other hand, wasn't too attractive, had weak eyes, and was the booby prize that her father Laban forced on Jacob after his hard labor. However, Leah was the more fruitful of the two. The one whom Jacob loved was barren, while Leah kept having babies. From this story we can draw some parallels. Jacob represents God as our husband, while Rachel represents Israel, God's beloved people whom He chose first. Leah then represents the Gentile church-essentially God's second choice. Looking through the lens of history, this analogy makes sense. The Gentile church has been fruitful in propagating the gospel of Jesus Christ, and the growth of Christianity has overrun Judaism by a wide margin. The Bible is replete with one account after another of Israel's [Rachel's] unfruitfulness. But let's not write Rachel off completely. She was later shown favor by God and bore Jacob sons-namely Joseph and Benjamin-in his old age. This points to the final redemptive plan of God toward the nation Israel: one day the gospel of Jesus Christ will take root and bear fruit amongst Israelites, God's first choice. For now let us focus in on Leah. God blessed the fruit of her womb, and Issachar was the fifth son that Leah bore Jacob. The number five is significant here because five represents mercy. The word "mercy" stems from an ancient Latin word merci, which implies merchant or finances. This is also the root word for "mercenary," i.e. a hired soldier. So we see that not only does Issachar's name point to his purpose, but his birth order also indicates his destiny involving money and mercy. As we dissect Genesis 30:14-18, we see that Leah says in response to bearing Issachar, "God rewarded me because I gave my slave girl to my husband." Here she is talking about Zilpah, her Gentile handmaiden who bore Jacob two sons, namely Gad and Asher. Their names mean "fortune" and "happy" respectively. Let's think about this for a moment. Leah says God has recompensed her for giving her handmaiden slave to her husband. This is a prophetic picture. It depicts the fact that when God employs handmaiden [ex-] slaves, i.e. daughters of the Diaspora in the service of the Lord, the fruits of fortune and happiness will abound. This is the kind of recompense that only Almighty God can deliver. And that He will deliver as daughters of the Diaspora walk in the Issachar Anointing. * * * Father God, in the name of Jesus I ask you to reverse every curse and reproach suffered by those in the African Diaspora. I ask that you would pour out divine reparations and spiritual blessings now. Give us double for our trouble. Amen Chapter Two The Issachar Anointing For your shame ye shall have double; and for confusion they shall rejoice in their portion: therefore in their land they shall possess the double: everlasting joy shall be unto them. - Isaiah 61:7 There is an interesting and encouraging principle in the Word of God for those who belong to the Lord. He does not promise that we will live a trouble free life, but the Word says that He allows us to go through trouble so that we can receive double reward on the other side. In short, we receive double for our trouble. Job experienced this principle first hand as he was assailed by the enemy on every side, stripped of his health, wealth and children. But after his testing, God literally gave Job twice as much as he had before according to Job 42:10. Job's trial seemed like it was a set-up from Almighty God all along as He asked Satan in Job 1:8, "have you considered my servant Job?" Little did Job know that God was putting him in position to receive double for his trouble. A similar set-up I believe has occurred with our people. It is evident that satanic forces have stripped and peeled the African Diaspora relentlessly. But God has allowed the legacy of slavery and oppression to discipline us and not to destroy us. Job was disciplined by the attacks from the enemy. Job's trials made him humble and broken. He was so desperate that he cursed the day he was born, but God would not allow the enemy or his circumstances to utterly destroy him. Job met Almighty God in those dire circumstances and came away with more than mere religion. He gained perspective and a reverence for the sovereignty of God. God rewarded him for passing the test. Our legacy as well has humbled us and broken us as a people, but we are not destroyed. Overall, our trials have imbedded in our constitution the sovereignty of God and the character of Christ. The devil meant it for evil, but God allowed it to position us to receive double recompense. In fact, double for the trouble was the prophetic word spoken over Issachar. In Genesis 49:1-15 Issachar was sentenced to carry the burden of forced slavery, but in Deuteronomy 33:18-19 we see Issachar bearing the fruits of righteousness and reaping the abundance of the seas. It reminds me of the scripture in Psalm 126:5, "those who sow in tears, shall reap in joy ..." In Genesis chapter 49 Jacob while on his deathbed, prophesied to each of his twelve sons. He tells them what shall befall them in the last days. Starting with Reuben, Jacob's first born he says among other things, "unstable as water, you shall not excel ...". He said of Simeon and Levi, "... cursed be their anger for it is fierce ...". Jacob goes on to speak over each of his sons' lives. Time and space does not permit me to elaborate on each of the prophecies, but I will explore in detail the word spoken over Issachar. The fate of Jacob's twelve sons can be seen as a mosaic of all human characteristics in the world, be they good, bad or indifferent. In my opinion, the description of Jacob's twelve sons represent prototypes which establish the demarcations of the various people groups of the world and show their lot in the last days. God in His infinite wisdom and sovereignty framed the character and destiny of nationalities within the models of the twelve sons of Israel. Deuteronomy 32:8 explains it this way: "When the Most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when He separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the sons of Israel (italics mine)." Within these established patterns or blueprints of Jacob's twelve sons we can place all of humanity. So the question begs, where do we enter as Africans in the Diaspora? I believe that Africans in North and South America are inscribed within the tribe of Issachar. Now don't misunderstand what I'm saying here. I am not suggesting that we Blacks are part of any 'lost tribe' of Israel, nor am I a proponent of any sect who suggests the same. The Jewish people are God's chosen people in whom He decided to show Himself to the world. When Jesus returns to rule in His millennial reign, He will rule from Jerusalem and not Harlem! I am simply suggesting that the cultural DNA and prophetic destiny of the various ethnic groups in the world are patterned by the descriptions of Jacob's twelve sons. I further suggest that the African Diaspora finds its place in Issachar. This is what the Bible says about Issachar in Genesis 49:14-15 and Deuteronomy 33:18-19 respectively: Issachar is a strong donkey couching down between two burdens. And he saw that rest was good, and the land pleasant and he bowed his shoulder to bear and became a servant unto tribute. And he said, prosper ... O Issachar in your tents. They shall call the people unto the mountain; there they shall offer sacrifices of righteousness: for they shall suck of the abundance of the seas, and of treasures hid in the sand. In the remainder of this book I will dissect each of these words and unveil the tremendous end-time mantle assigned to daughters of the Diaspora. These women will be charged with a dual purpose of bringing spiritual restoration to the body of Christ and financial deliverance to those held captive by poverty and oppression. These handmaidens of the Lord will help restore godliness to the Church and redistribute wealth as recompense for slavery as they walk in the Issachar Anointing. Chapter Three A strong donkey The first description of Issachar in Genesis 49:14 is that of a strong donkey, a beast of burden, a mule. The description is not too favorable at first glance. As a matter of fact, it is negative. I recall a saying that I used in corporate America when I felt overworked and underpaid. As we gathered around the coffee machine, I would say to my girlfriends, "I am not a mule!" I was wearing thin as I juggled employment, family, church, and civic responsibilities. The fact that I could juggle all those responsibilities and still maintain good humor and panache pointed to an inherent strength that I possessed. The image of Black women is that we are strong emotionally and mentally, but these manifest only as a by-product of spiritual strength. I remember driving through a fast-food lane one day in my slick BMW, clad in corporate attire. The young white hip-hop homeboy said, "Look at this strong Black woman coming through my lane." At the time I was experiencing some personal struggles that were humbling me so I responded appropriately, "My strength is in the Lord." Another time, while jogging with an older white woman, she said, "when I come back again, I want to be a Black woman (referring to reincarnation)." After sharing with her the truth that man is appointed only once to die and after that the judgment, I told her she had no idea what she was asking. Could she bear the triple cup of racism, sexism, and classism? Could she maintain the high road of character and dignity, all the while striving against opposition bent on destroying her and her children? I told her she had better enjoy the privileges of being a white woman in America. The societal constraints and pressures of being Black women have forced us to draw strength and power from a source beyond us. We've learned to look to the hills from which come our help. We have found our help from the Lord. That's why we fill churches and stadiums to the full: to worship God and enjoy the beauty of His holiness. I would endeavor to say that this has been the secret to our survival as a community. We say like Abraham Lincoln who, when asked the reason why he prays, said, "I have found that I have no place else to go." The lack of support in our homes and in the larger society has forced us to forge a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. In Him we have found strength and refuge from the storms of life. Like the Apostle Paul said, "Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God (2 Corinthians 3:5)." We know our strength comes from God. Nonetheless, the image of most Black women is that we are strong. Yes, despite our struggles, we are unapologetically strong. I'm reminded of the stanza in Mari Evans' prolific poem: I am a Black woman ... tall as a cypress ... strong ... beyond all definition ..." The particular strength of the Black woman is going to be needed in the days ahead. Our experiences have conditioned us to endure adversity and maintain an internal reservoir of fortitude which will not only sustain us but others. We've gone through the trouble so that we can help others in their time of trouble. I am not saying that other folks are weak and have not gone through struggles. But generally speaking, the privileges of white America have sheltered them from the harsh reality of oppression that we experience every day. Our experiences have made many of us wiser, tougher and stronger. Let's face it, times are hard and they are going to get harder. We are threatened with the potential of nuclear catastrophe, biological and chemical warfare, natural disasters and economic collapse. All of these are symptoms of the end-times. As Christians, we realize that the strong must bear the infirmities of the weak. In these perilous times, strong Black women will use their strength and wisdom to be a blessing in the land. Foolish Donkey Another definition for a donkey is "a stupid or foolish person." This description is the same one used in the dictionary for "nigger." (Ooh, I used the "n" word). Now before you get mad at me and close the book, just stay with me for a while. I'm working on something here. In Deuteronomy 32:21, God says of Israel: They have moved me to jealousy with that which is not God; they have provoked me to anger with their vanities: And I will move them to jealousy with these which are not a people; I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation. (Continues...) Excerpted from Daughters Of The Diaspora Get Readyby Julie A. Gibson Copyright © 2006 by Julie A. Gibson. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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