Claiming Your Inheritance
And of Asher he said, Let Asher be blessed with children; let him be acceptable to his brethren, and let him dip his foot in oil. Thy shoes shall be iron and brass; and as thy days, so shall thy strength be (Deut. 33:24).
If you had inherited $6 million, would you claim that inheritance? Let me ask you that question again. If someone wanted to give you $6 million because it was rightfully and legally yours, would you take the money?
I think most of us would respond with an emphatic “Yes!” However, I can tell you that there is one man who would not. That man is Tomás Martínez, a 67-year-old from Chile who not only did not accept his lawful inheritance of $6 million but also fled from the authorities who tried to give it to him and was never seen again.
Let me explain. Forty years earlier, Tomás and his wife had separated after only a few months of marriage.
To escape prosecution for writing some bad checks, Tomás fled to Bolivia where he became an alcoholic and drug addict, known for begging in the streets.
Meanwhile, his wife continued living a quiet life in Chile. Though they had been a middle-class couple, she inherited a huge fortune a couple of years before she passed away. The two of them never divorced, and she never remarried. Since they had no children, Tomás Martínez was her rightful heir.
When detectives were hired to locate him, they tracked him to a bar that he often visited. Tomás realized the men were looking for him and thought they had come to arrest him for the bad checks he had written years ago. He slipped away moments before they could identify him and hasn’t been seen since.
Now let me ask you, can you imagine someone living as a homeless beggar when they could be rich? What kind of convoluted thinking would keep a man trapped in the petty mistakes of his past when he could claim an inheritance worth millions? That is a tragic story if ever there was one.
But here’s the thing, friends. Many of you are living right now like Tomás Martínez. You have been granted an inheritance by your heavenly father that is worth far more than millions of dollars. It is a blessing of abundance and favor and wealth and security and strength. It is a blessing, an inheritance that is yours to claim right now.
The Blessing of Asher is your right and your inheritance, and you can claim it tonight.
And of Asher he said, Let Asher be blessed with children; let him be acceptable to his brethren, and let him dip his foot in oil. Thy shoes shall be iron and brass; and as thy days, so shall thy strength be.
To Claim Your Inheritance, Break Free from the Past.
You must break free from your past. The tragic thing about the story of Tomás Martínez is the way he allowed the mistakes of his past to dominate his life. He missed out on an inheritance worth millions because he was stuck in the past. That’s a mistake we often make. We allow old patterns of thought, old habits, and old mistakes to keep us tied to a negative way of life.
One of the first things I noticed about the blessing that Moses pronounced on the people is that he was determined to break that pattern.
The Israelites were poised to enter the Promised Land.
The long career of Moses was at an end. The new generation of Israelites had risen up to replace those who had died in the wilderness. It was time to move into the future. And to ensure that the people could do so, Moses gave them a little history lesson. His point? Don’t get stuck in the past.
They needed to learn from the past if they were to move into the future. You must do the same. If you are to receive God’s blessing in the future, you must be sure that you won’t repeat the mistakes of your past.
When were the times that you didn’t trust God, preferring to remain stuck over the risk of following the Lord?
Where are your weak spots, the places at which you are especially vulnerable to temptation?
How have you failed—the Lord, others, yourself?
What have your learned from those mistakes? How will you guard against them in the future?
If you want to inherit $6 million, you must quit writing those bad checks.
Learn from your past.
Another lesson Moses taught the people was that they need a new identity. If they were going to inherit the Promised Land, they would have to break old patterns of thought. That older generation all died in the wilderness because they had the wrong mind-set. They had come from the bondage of Egypt, and they could never quite get accustomed to thinking in terms of freedom.
As soon as they faced the least hardship, they begged to go back to Egypt. They saw themselves as slaves, and they could never break that old way of thinking. They allowed themselves to be defined by the process not by the mission. They could see the struggle but not the victory.
Moses knew that the present generation needed a new identity. To think like an overcomer, you must stop comparing yourself to other people and pay attention to what God says about you. You are an overcomer (1 John 5:4), a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17), a conqueror (Romans 8:37). The way you see yourself will largely determine how you see the world and how you view the challenges you face.
Find your true identity in what God says about you. Let that positive, optimistic vision guide you into the future. Moses wanted the people to break free from the past, and he wanted them to accept their new identity as overcomers. If they did not, they would never inherit the Promised Land.
The same is true for you. What are the mistakes and failures that are holding you back?
What are the small ways of thinking about yourself that are blocking your faith?
Move up, move forward, and claim the inheritance that is rightfully yours.
To Claim Your Inheritance, You Must Believe It Is Your Right.
The second point I want to make is that to claim your inheritance, you must believe it is your right. Moses had prepared the people to receive God’s blessing. It’s likely that people in biblical times had a better understanding of what a blessing is than we do.
A blessing is not simply a brief prayer before meals or a polite thing to say when someone sneezes. A blessing is a future already decided. A blessing is a gift from God, made available for you to receive by faith. The Bible is filled with descriptions of God’s blessing, and we’re about to review the Blessing of Asher.
Before we review the details of that blessing, I want you to understand why this blessing is yours to claim.
First, a blessing is irrevocable. A blessing cannot be altered because it is the Word of God. Once you are blessed, you are blessed. We see that principle illustrated in the passing of the Abrahamic blessing from Abraham’s son Isaac to Isaac’s son Jacob. Jacob swindled his brother Esau out of his birthright. Jacob tricked his father into pronouncing the blessing upon him rather than upon Esau. But once it was declared, the blessing could not be altered, even though Esau pleaded with tears. A blessing is irrevocable.
Understand that the blessings God has given are still there.They’re still good, still in effect. God’s Word cannot be broken. Any blessing, once given, is secure.Also, you must realize that blessings grow greater with time. When God created the world, he pronounced a blessing on the first human pair, Adam and Eve.
“God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth” (Genesis 1:28).
This was a blessing of abundance, dominion, and multiplication. The blessing, however, did not go away.
It was later repeated and expanded when given to Abraham. God said to Abraham, “I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed” (Genesis 12:2–3), “Thou shalt be a father of many nations. . . And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee. . . And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God” (Genesis 17:4–8).
Notice that in addition to abundance, dominion, and multiplication, God added that Abraham would in turn bless the world.
The blessing was enlarged. This blessing that God pronounced first to Adam, then to Abraham, was expanded again through Christ to include freedom from sin. The writer of Hebrews states God’s promise this way: “ I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah . . . For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more” (Hebrews 8:8, 12).
All that God had promised remains available, and to those promises were added others. As Hebrews puts it, “The new covenant is established on better promises” (Hebrews 8:6, niv).
Blessings grow greater with time.
And now we come to the most important point about blessings. This blessing of Adam, of Abraham, and of Christ—this blessing is also available to you right now.
It is your lawful inheritance.
Paul states that the descendants of Abraham are not the literal offspring of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—that is, not just the Jewish people. For by faith in Christ, all who believe are Abraham’s children. Paul writes: “Understand, then, that those who have faith are children of Abraham.” Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: All nations will be blessed through you.’ So those who rely on faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith” (Galatians 3:7–9, niv).
So what’s the result? Paul puts it this way: “If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Galatians 3:29, niv). Translation: All of the promises God made to Abraham belong to you too. You can trust the promises of God. They are irrevocable. They grow greater with time. And they are available to you right now. You are an heir to the blessings of God. Believe it.
You Can Claim Your Inheritance by Faith Today.
You can claim your inheritance of blessing today, if you will act in faith. For the blessing that Moses pronounced on Asher can be your inheritance today.
Let’s take a look at the five parts of this pronouncement and see how you can claim what is rightfully yours.
The first blessing pronounced on Asher is the blessing of abundance.
Moses declared, “Let Asher be blessed with children” (Deuteronomy 33:24). The blessing of children was especially meaningful in biblical times when families depended on their offspring for agricultural work and to care for them in their old age. The birth of Asher himself represented the end of a struggle to bring forth children. The blessing of children symbolizes the abundant harvest. So this blessing, that Asher would be blessed with children, is a blessing of ample provision. Asher was to be blessed with abundance.
That this blessing is available today should be beyond dispute. Jesus himself promised that God will provide our food and clothing (Matthew 6:25–26), and Paul writes, “My God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19). From Elijah’s multiplication of the widow’s oil, to the feeding of the five thousand, to the miraculous catch of fish, the Bible is replete with stories designed to show the blessing of abundance. God will provide for his children not at a subsistence level only, but in abundance.
Remember that we are blessed to be a blessing.
When we freely give, we freely receive. By faith, adopt an abundance mentality, and you will begin to see the full measure of God’s provision.
The second blessing pronounced on Asher is the blessing of favor.
Moses declared, “Let him be acceptable to his brethren” (Deuteronomy 33:24). The role of the tribe of Asher was to produce oil for the sanctuary. This service was a benefit to all of Israel. Because of this selfless provision, Asher would enjoy the favor of other tribes. The people of Asher weren’t simply looking out for themselves; they helped move the whole kingdom forward. They taught their daughters to marry into the priesthood, ignoring the risk to their own tribe’s identity. By faith, adopt a mind-set of generosity. Put others ahead of yourself, and you will be blessed with favor.
The third blessing pronounced on Asher is the blessing of wealth. Moses declared, “And let him dip his foot in oil” (Deuteronomy 33:24).
Oil was a valuable commodity in biblical times, as it is today. Because Asher produced oil for the temple and the benefit of the priests, God blessed them with an abundance of oil—so much so that they could bathe their feet in it. Think of Mary, the sister of Lazarus, anointing Jesus’ feet with pure nard (Matthew 26:6–13). What an extravagant act! Asher was blessed with oil to spare.
Jesus, too, promised this blessing. “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again” (Luke 6:38). To claim the blessing of wealth, you must abandon the notion to hoard it. Freely give, and you will freely receive.
The fourth blessing pronounced on Asher is the blessing of security.
Moses declared, “Thy shoes shall be iron and brass” (Deuteronomy 33:25). The reference to shoes of brass denotes peace or dominion. The person shod with brass is wearing steel-toed boots: nothing can harm him. That person will be secure, having nothing to fear. Once again, this blessing is guaranteed also by Jesus for his servants.
When sending out the seventy disciples on the first-ever short-term mission trip, he told them, “Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you” (Luke 10:19). Paul writes: “If God be for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31).
The fifth blessing pronounced on Asher is the blessing of strength. Moses declared, “And as thy days, so shall thy strength be” (Deuteronomy 33:25).
What a beautiful promise! The natural way of things is that we grow weaker with each passing day.
We have come to expect that as we age. We’ll lose a little bit of ability. We won’t be quite as effective as we once were. But the blessing of Asher establishes a spiritual law that countermands the natural one. As your days increase, your strength will also. Impossible? Not for Moses, who didn’t begin his real work of liberating the Israelites until he was eighty years of age. Not for Sarah who bore a child in her old age.
Not for Caleb, one of the faith-filled spies who believed it was possible to conquer the land.
Years later, at the age of eighty-five, Caleb told Joshua: “I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent me out; I’m just as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then. Now give me this hill country that the Lord promised me that day. . . . the Lord helping me, I will drive them out just as he said” (Joshua 14:11–12).
To claim the blessing of strength, you must have a mind-set of purpose and possibility. Do not surrender an inch of ground to the devil, who wants to render you useless. Work while the Lord gives you strength.
By faith, you can claim this inheritance of strength.
Will you claim your inheritance today?