The Cross and its Shadow

The prophetic words of his dying father open up a volume in the life and character of this son: Gad, a troop shall overcome him: but he shall overcome at the last. Gen 49:19 Gad may be taken as a type of the backslider, who is overcome by a troop of temptations, but awakens to his danger; and in the strength given him from God, overcomes at last, and enters the pearly gates of the New Jerusalem, rejoicing in the Lord,

The secret of the Gadites' being victorious over their enemies, is given in the account of one of their great battles: They cried to God in the battle, and He who entreated of them; because they put their trust in Him. 1 Chron 5:20

When Peter found that he was actually sinking beneath the waves that he had been walking upon, he cried, Lord, save me. And immediately, Jesus stretched forth His hand, and caught him. Matt 14:30, 31. In like manner, the one who finds himself overcome by temptations over which in the past he has been victorious, has the privilege, like Gad and Peter, of crying out for help, and he will immediately, receive it, if he puts his trust in God.

To every backslider the Lord sends this message: Turn, O backsliding children, saith the Lord; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion. Jer 3:12-14 The Lord uses the, symbol of marriage to illustrate the close union between Himself and His people; and when they backslide and dishonour Him, wonderful thought! - He still says, Go and proclaim these words I am married unto you, - the backslider.

Again the Lord asks: Where is the bill of your mother's divorcement, whom I have put away? or which of My creditors is it to whom I have sold you? He answers the question Himself: Behold, for your iniquities have ye sold yourself. Isa 50:1

The Lord requires but one thing of the backslider: Only acknowledge thine iniquity, that thou hast transgressed against the Lord thy God. Jer 3:13 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

To every backslider the Lord says, Come now, and let us reason together: . . . though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. Isa 1:18

Hear the Lord pleading with the backslider: Return, ye backsliding children, and I will heal your backslidings. Jer 3:22 That is a wonderful promise; but listen again to His pleading voice: I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for Mine anger is turned away. Hosea 14:4 It is no stinted portion that the backslider receives; the Lord heals his backslidings and loves him freely. Who, that has ever once tasted the peace and joy of sins forgiven, can refuse such offers of pardon and love?

On one of the gates of the city of God, the name of Gad will be written, Gad, the one who was overcome by a troop, but at the last became the victor.

Twelve thousand of the one hundred forty-four thousand will also be marshaled under the name of Gad Rev 7: 4,5 - twelve thousand, who arise from backslidings and defeat, acknowledge their transgressions, claim the promises of God, wash their robes in the blood of the Lamb, and enter as victors the city of God. Rev 7:14

It is very difficult for the human heart to reinstate one who has betrayed his confidence and has spurned love and friendship; but the infinite God will not only heal our backslidings and love us freely, but He also says, I, even I, am He that blotteth out thy transgressions for Mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins. Isa 43:25

Because they were shepherds, the Gadites requested that their portion be given them out of the land first conquered on the other side of Jordan. They took part in the conquest of the land on the west side of Jordan, and did not return to their families until they were given an honourable discharge by Joshua, at the door of the tabernacle in Shiloh. Joshua 22:1-4 Moses evidently refers to their choice of land and faithfulness in the parting blessing. Deut 33: 20,21

Their inheritance lay between the territory of Reuben on the south and the half tribe of Manasseh on the north. At first the inheritance of Gad embraced half of Gilead; later they possessed all of it. 1 Chron 5:11, 16 They became so closely identified with Gilead, that in some cases the name Gilead is used synonymously with Gad.

The character of the tribe was throughout fierce and warlike, men of might, and men of war fit for the battle, that could handle shield and buckler, whose faces were like the faces of lions, and were as swift as the roes upon the mountains. Such is the graphic description given of those eleven heroes of Gad, the least of them more than equal to a hundred, and the greatest to a thousand; that, undaunted by the swollen floods of Jordan, joined the forces of David at the time of his greatest discredit and embarrassment. 1 Chron 12:8, 12, 13, margin

Gad, although separated from the rest of Israel west of the Jordan, still retained some connection with them. From the following words of Ahab we should infer that Gad was considered a part of the northern kingdom: Know ye that Ramoth in Gilead is ours, and we be still, and take it not out of the hand of the king of Syria? 1 Kings 22:3

Tiglath-pileser carried Gad captive into Assyria, 1 Chron 5:26 and the Ammonites inhabited their cities in the days of Jeremiah. The prophet bewails the condition in the following words: Hath Israel no sons? hath he no heir? Why then doth Melcom (Moloch) inherit Gad, and his people dwell in his cities? Jer 49:1, margin Of all the tribes of Israel, Gad and Reuben alone returned to the land their forefathers had left five hundred years before, with their occupations unchanged. The civilisation and persecution in Egypt changed the occupation of most of the tribes.

Barzillai, the friend of David, was a Gileadite; 2 Sam 19:32-39 and so was Jephthah, that mighty man of valour. Among the worthy characters of Gilead, or Gad, was Elijah the Tishbite, who by his word locked heaven for three years and a half; and in answer to his prayer, the clouds emptied themselves again upon the earth.

Elijah was honoured by God as only one other person was ever honoured; Heb 11:5 and when the time for his translation drew near, he crossed over Jordan into the land of his childhood, where, by the grace of God, he had gained that strength of character which enabled him fearlessly to rebuke Ahab and Jezebel his wife. It was from his own native land of Gilead that the chariots of God bore him in

triumph into heaven. 2 Kings 2:7-14 Once he has returned to earth, when he with Moses appeared in glory, on the mount of transfiguration, and talked with Jesus of the great sacrifice soon to be offered at Jerusalem. Luke 9:28-31

SUMMARY

The tribe of Gad were the descendants of the seven sons of Gad. Gen. 46:16.
The tribe numbered 40,500, when they entered the promised land. Num. 26:18
Tiglath-pileser carried Gad captive into Assyria. 1 Chron. 5:26.  Noted Characters  Barzillai, the friend of David. 2 Sam. 19: 32-39.
Jephthah, that mighty man of valour. Judges 11:1
Elijah the Tishbite was from Gilead, or Gad. 1 Kings 17:1.