As he is dying, Jacob gathers all his sons together to bless them. Each blessing is a prophecy of salvation. Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit Issachar would be granted land that would one day have a town called Nazareth. God would send his son there nine months before his birth when the Holy Spirit overshadowed Mary for the immaculate conception.
We see the type of man Issachar was and the type of Savior Jesus would be. Something significant is said about Issachar.
Genesis 49: 14 Issachar is a strong ass couching down between two burdens: 15 And he saw that rest was good, and the land that it was pleasant; and bowed his shoulder to bear, and became a servant unto tribute.
Not a great deal is mentioned about Issachar. There is a lot about most of his brothers. Jacob gives him a particular blessing. He was a selfless man thinking of others before himself. He bore burdens of others. His grandfather Isaac was like that. When Jacob looked at him he saw a young mule. You’ve probably seen this if you messed around horses or donkeys very much. You can put a heavy load on a donkey and he’ll carry on.
Issachar had a great load, a responsibility to bear. Because Jesus wasn’t afraid of the burdens to be borne for our salvation he crouched down and bore them all the way. He could have backed off but didn’t.
Here we see a picture of our Savior and see troubles in our lives too. The greatest burden—the burden of sin—could not be borne by humanity. We couldn’t bear it and pay it ourselves without being crushed under it. Sin was crushing us to death. The debt was a horrible price we couldn’t pay. It was a powerful hold on us. Satan has hold of many governments, families, and individuals. He won’t let go. We can’t bear our sins and we can’t break ourselves from Satan’s hold. He may let us think we’re free but we’re not. Jesus was able to couch between the grip of sin and the hold of Satan and bear it to Calvary. He lowered his shoulders to bear it, putting them under our sin. There is not a sin he won’t forgive or a grip he can’t break. With every drop of his blood, Jesus paid the price.
When Jesus lay on the cross and was raised between heaven and earth, I can see Satan there making fun, weighing him down. Jesus stayed there so the burden of our sins wouldn’t crush us and the grip of Satan could be released. This was not a victory for the devil. He soon realized Jesus was bearing the burden of sin to attain victory. When Jesus said it is finished Satan was doomed. Now we have someone who will lower his shoulder and take the burden away.
We find his incentive in verse 15. He saw that rest was good. For the joy set before him, Jesus endured the cross despising the shame. We now can have rest instead of misery, justification instead of condemnation, and release instead of being ensnared. Thank the Lord that he chose the bloody path so we wouldn’t have to die lost and go to a burning hell, a place of darkness, weeping and gnashing of teeth. Even now, because of Jesus, we can know peace and happiness. Because he lives we shall live also. We can enjoy life now as well as the life to come.
Verse 15 also says he bowed his shoulder to bear, and became a servant unto tribute. A tribute is a debt owed. The debt of sin couldn’t be paid until Jesus paid it all. He became the servant for our tribute so we could be free. Psalms 55:22 states cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved. Matthew 11 says come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
Jesus bowed his shoulder to bear our burdens. Come to him and pray for whatever needs you have in your life.