Zebulun will live by the seashore
and become a haven for ships;
his border will extend toward Sidon.
“The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance”(Psalm 16:6).
At the end of this piece I will add a couple of comments from others, but here’s what struck me as I reflected on today’s verse. I thought how peaceful and welcoming this sounds (and maybe a little unspectacular) compared to the turbulence of the language found elsewhere in this chapter. I also recognise it’s important to be where God puts you.
I heard a preacher say that the best place to be is wherever the Lord sets you down.
I have spent around three-quarters of my ministry in a small country town in West Yorkshire. I didn’t move here because I thought it would be a nice place to live. It undoubtedly is. I cannot say otherwise. But I’m as clear as I can be on this – I came to Boston Spa because of God’s call; it was not down to personal choice. However, I’ve often thought that the words of Psalm 16:6 are relevant to the place of my calling.
Wherever I may live, I want my home and my life to be “a haven”. This word “haven” is a generous word; a giving word, a welcoming and hospitable word. It’s a word that speaks of shelter and security. If you’re providing haven, you are giving to others; you’re looking out towards the needs of others. Wherever God calls us to live, it is there He also calls us to serve. Life’s seas are often stormy; its waves are frequently raging. Even when the waters are calm, there are many toiling mariners out there who need places to come for refreshment. May God bless us that we may be a blessing to many.
“Zebulun would live by the seashore. The territory in Canaan allotted to the descendants of Zebulun was slightly inland; it is not known when or for how long they lived “by the seashore.” The blessing implies that they too would be prosperous; it is written that they would feast on the abundance of the seas (Deuteronomy 33:19).’ Tom Hale: ‘The Applied Old Testament Commentary’, p.201.
‘While not directly on the Mediterranean coast, the tribe of Zebulun was assigned land close enough to the sea to make the transport of goods profitable for the people. Zebulun was located on an important route that carried merchandise from the coast to the Sea of Galilee and to Damascus…For the most part, the Jews weren’t a seafaring people, but the tribe of Zebulun did business with the Phoenicians east of them and provided imported goods to the people west of them.’ Warren W. Wiersbe: ‘Old Testament Commentary’, p.137.
PRAYER: Lord, I thank you for the strong conviction that I am where I am right now because you want me here. I pray that the place where I live will be the place where I give. Make my life, my home, my ministry a ‘haven’ for others.