Sermons 23, 24 and 25 in An Exposition of Deuteronomy 33
"The Blessing of Asher," pages 719-842.
In Sermon 23, verses 24 and 25 of Deuteronomy 33 cover the man Asher. Among the ancient Jews, the sermon points out, names bear great meaning. The name Asher simply means "happy" or "blessed."
Moses speaking as he was moved by the Holy Ghost, prophetically assigned to this tribe a condition exactly correspondent to the import of its name. “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.” At one time the tribe of Asher counted over 50,000 men that were capable of going to war. As Asher was blessed with many children, so also was the Lord Jesus Christ blessed with many in the church that he established. The number of children Asher was blessed with is a type of the number of children that Christ was blessed with. In this sense, the prophecy of Moses concerning Asher also applies to our Lord Jesus Christ. --TL
Sermon 24 is Parkinson's second chapter on the blessings for the tribe of Asher. This chapter follows his most excellent detailed approach of exposition of the text (with his exceptional knowledge of ancient Jewish writers and languages) dealing with any problems and objections to his exposition. His conclusion is a wonderful application that always magnifies the Lord Jesus and benefits the believer. The chapter contains one of the longest footnotes in any of the 30 chapters and is a rich, scholarly study in itself. At the conclusion of the footnote he says; "My only apology for the great length of this note, is the ardent desire I feel, to be helpful to Christians, in resisting the suggestions of Satan, and in refuting the cavils of Jews and infidels, in regard to the revealed current of promise, respecting the true Messiah." The chapter is an independent study in itself and will afford great insight into truth and much benefit to the reader. Be sure to have your 'hip boots' on for the 'shallows' is not where Parkinson would have us be! --GL
In Sermon 25, Parkinson looks at Asher as a type of the gospel church. Comparing Asher’s divine Providence from God he states that “the gospel church, though liable to trouble from every description of enemies, is constantly under divine protection.” He goes on to quote Christ to the disciples “ In the world ye shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 In other words, the church is “constantly under divine protection.” As surely as Asher survived throughout the Mosaic dispensation, so will the church survive the Gospel age or the “end of time”. Parkinson goes on to state that the “perpetuity of kingdom is certain.” He does this by discussing the covenant. “This covenant, which God the Father, before time, made with his Son, as the covenantee of his chosen, and which he openly makes with them, that is, makes known or shows to them, at their effectual calling, is emphatically everlasting.” Both sides of this covenant rest in God and His work. Parkinson discusses the Gospel by saying: “Let us, both preachers and other Christians, remember, that salvation is of the Lord – that it is He that builds up Zion, by the effectual calling of sinners – that to Him, all things, which are agreeable to his counsel, are possible – and, remembering these facts, let us rejoice and give thanks, that ‘the Lord, who gathered the outcasts of Israel,’ is saying, ‘Yet will I gather others to him’ (that is Christ, both personal and mystical) ‘ besides those that are gathered unto him.” Parkinson continues his sermon by discussing church officers and the cessation of Apostolic gifts in a long note attached to this sermon. --DD