When Leah saw that she had stopped bearing, she took Zilpah her maid and gave her to Jacob as wife. And Leah’s maid Zilpah bore Jacob a son. Then Leah said, “A troop comes!” So she called his name Gad.
[Genesis 30:9-11 NKJV]
The story gets ever more complex now - or so it would seem - but by this point we can recognise that whatever Jacob and his family are doing, God is in control and shaping events to further His plan for His people. There seems to be a contest going on in this family with Leah and Rachel vying for position.
Strangely, Leah seems only now to have noticed that she is not having any children and decides to adopt Rachel's use of her maid to reassert herself. Zilpah (her name means to trickle as myrrh), now produces a seventh son for Jacob, who Leah names Gad because she has endured and fought back (literally overcome, or invaded with troops).
Gad, a troop shall overcome him: but he shall overcome at the last. [Genesis 49:19]
The Lord has set out the next step - being 'an overcomer' - and this idea occurs again and again in scripture. Our Fellowship studied the letters to the seven churches in the Book of Revelation, where there is a great encouragement to 'him that overcomes'. Indeed 'overcoming' is a consistent theme in the New Testament books attributed to the Apostle John.
To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. [Revelation 3:21 NKJV]
We begin to get an idea of what The Lord is doing with this second group of four sons, for we cannot be overcomers in our own strength; we cannot go into spiritual battle (invade with troops) without the Holy Spirit guiding every step of the way, but with God leading we shall overcome ...
Joan Baez singing "We Shall Overcome" in 1965
OSWALD CHAMBERS - RUN TODAY'S RACE
Friday 15th May 2020
Naturally, a man regards his right to himself as the finest thing he has,
yet it is the last bridge that prevents Jesus Christ having His way in that life.
GEORGE and GILL STEWART