Zebulun is the youngest son of Jacob to Leah. Let us do a recap on this area. Jacob has two wives not by his own choice but as we can see, it’s by what we call forced circumstances. Leah was not his first choice or preferred wife.
But Zebulun was older than Joseph though.
Jacob's prophetic words to Zebulun:
Gen. 49:13, "Zebulun shall dwell at the haven of the sea; he shall be for a haven of ships; and his border shall be unto Zidon."
As we can see, Jacob prophesied that Zebulun shall dwell by or near the seaside. Moses' parting blessings to the tribe of Zebulun spoke of his tribe as sea-faring people.
Deuteronomy 33:18, 19, And of Zebulun he said, Rejoice, Zebulun, in thy going out; and, Issachar, in thy 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.
The Bible does not say anything about Zebulun's personal life except his birth. He has three sons which bore his name.
His 3 sons as recorded in Numbers 26:26, 27 are the following:
1. Sered - called the Sardites
2. Elon - called the Elonites
3. Jahleel - called the Jahleelites
Apart from this information, there was no other record of the tribe having taken any significant events in the wandering or the conquest of Palestine.
But there is something about this tribe. From what the Bible describes them, they are literary or artistic people. Deborah describes the tribe of Zebulun as among those who handled "the pen of the writer."
Judges 5:14, "...and out of Zebulun they that handle the pen of the writer."
Another noted act they did was like the tribe of Naphtali, Zebulun also jeopardizes their lives during the battle of Mediggo. This battle was a type of the battle of Armageddon.
Judges 5:18, "Zebulun and Naphtali were a people that jeoparded their lives unto the death in the high places of the field."
The cause of God is much dearer to them than anything. They are willing to sacrifice their lives just to fulfill the will of God for His people. They are willing to expose their lives to reproach.
In heaven, 12,000 of the 144,000 living saints will enter the city of God under this name of Zebulun. These are they who, when the enemies of the Lord are numerous and popular, will expose their lives to reproach even unto death in the high places of the field. There will be men like Zebulun that will handle the pen of the writer and will yield a wide influence and when the cause of God is in great test or crisis, they will be more willing to jeopardize their lives even unto death in the high places. This will cause victory to the cause of God.
The motive that actuated the tribe of Zebulun to jeopardize their lives is not for money. It is for their real love to God and to His cause that they sacrifice their lives.
Judges 5:19, "...they took no gain of money."
This is a lesson for all dear brethren. We work for the Father not for money but because we love Him and we want to help gather a people ready for the coming of His Son our Saviour and King the Messiah, Jesus Christ. Our reward is more than money can buy. The eternal life is greater than anything that we can ask for. Heaven is too dear for us in exchange of money this world can offer. But yes, the enemy will try to offer us money, wealth and worldly prosperity like he offered Christ in the wilderness. This was his last temptation to Christ in the wilderness. As we know, first He was tempted with appetite. He never yielded to it. Second, he was tempted with presumption. He never yielded to it. And the last temptation was the love of the world. And yes, He never yielded to it. Never he yielded to any temptation, no desire to any of these, not even in the thought. He knows that desiring any of these even in the thought is like carrying these into action. He knows doing this is sin.
We are warned:
1 Timothy 6:10, "For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows."
The tribe of Zebulun and Naphtali did not fight for God because there is money to gain. This is the same with us. We work for the Lord not because there is money to gain. Whether Zebulun and Naphtali were prosperous with goods or shall I say they were rich and better than the other tribes that they can go to battles self-supporting, that we don’t know. The Bible does not say anything more other than they did not take any money for gain.
Looking back at the history of Israel, remember that they were taken captive to Babylon. There was a time with the cause of God was again in crisis after they returned from their captivity. And there is this noted character who seemed to be a self-supporting worker. His name is Nehemiah. He came forward and did what others could not do.
When Christ was on the cross, there were two rich men who also came forward to perform a work for the Saviour. These were Joseph and Nicodemus. These two were rich men holding high positions. They did something that perhaps the loved ones of Jesus were not able to do. These two paid for the burial of Jesus. The help of these rich men was badly needed in that hour of darkness.
John 19:38, 39, "Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus: and Pilate gave him leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus. And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight."
This is the type of people that God wanted to further His cause. Their worldly goods were used to the good purpose. Not for selfishness but laying it up for the Lord. The work needs means to further push it. And God needs faithful steward who will step forward to give extra to the Lord apart from returning the tithes which belongs to the Lord.
Two hundred years after that crisis happened in Israel, there was another crisis that happened in the cause of God. The first earthly king of Israel, Saul, was dead. The truehearted of Israel came to David to crown him as king.
1 Chronicles 12:23, "...and came to David to Hebron, to turn the kingdom of Saul to him, according to the word of the LORD."
All tribes were there to crown David as king, but none of the 12 exceeded Zebulun in number and in terms of equipments of war. There were 50,000 of them expert warriors who came and brought their own instruments of war.
1 Chronicles 12:33, "Of Zebulun, such as went forth to battle, expert in war, with all instruments of war, fifty thousand, which could keep rank: they were not of double heart."
Notice that they were expert in war, they were equipped with all instruments of war, they can also set the battle in array, and they were not double-hearted. These are the men that the Lord could trust in a crisis. This is a true warrior for God. A double-hearted or doubleminded men are not true warriors for God because.
James 1:8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.
A doubleminded warrior is not a true warrior for God. He would be swaying back and forth. Am I going to move forward? Or should I just wait later? I think it’s very difficult in this battlefield, should I hide here or go there? Well, the next thing you know is that your enemy got you captive. A true warrior will press forward not doubting or anything.
We are all in the battle, and God is calling us to put on the whole armour that He provided for us.
Ephesians 6:11, "Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil."
Brethren, who among us is ready to perfect such a character in the fear of God, and have the seal of God placed upon their foreheads, who will be willing to expose to reproach his life for Christ's sake? Think about this brethren. Talk to the Lord to search your heart and let Him reveal to you the things that you need to do and the weaknesses that you needed to overcome by the power of the Lamb. We all have to do this.
Going on, Isaiah prophesied that the land of Zebulun will see a great light as it was also for the tribe of Naphtali if you can remember in our past Sabbath sermons about the tribe of Naphtali.
Isaiah 9:1,2 " Nevertheless the dimness shall not be such as was in her vexation, when at the first he lightly afflicted the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, and afterward did more grievously afflict her by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, in Galilee of the nations. The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined."
The tribe of Zebulun was seafarers, yes, they lived by the sea. Their territory was close to the sea of Galilee. And yes, the great light, Jesus Christ spent His life and ministry around this area as prophesied by Isaiah. In fact, the first miracle performed by Jesus Christ was at Cana around Zebulun's territory.
John 2:11, "This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him."
Also, it was at Cana of Galilee when the nobleman came to ask Jesus to heal his son who was at the point of death. He had faith on Jesus and as a result of his faith, his son was healed.
John 4:46-51 is where you can find the story about the nobleman's son being healed.
Remember brethren, a prayer of faith still works till this day. The Great Physician is the same yesterday, today and forever.
Zebulun had 3 sons whose descendants formed the tribe which bore his name.
They were self-supporting warriors in the battle of Megiddo.
The tribe of Zebulun was seafarers. Nazareth which was the childhood home of Jesus was within their borders.
Isaiah prophesied that Zebulun would see a great light and yes, it happened when Jesus, the Great Light came to earth to die for man.
Expert in war, loyal to the cause of God, not double-hearted men
They shall dwell at the haven of the sea; he shall be for a haven of ships; and his border shall be unto Zidon."
They dwelt by the seaside near Galilee.
Why they be found in heaven?
Because they were overcomers, able to do their duty and sacrificed their lives for the cause of God not for money or gain