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S. A. J. Lyttek, a multiple award-winning writer, always loved writing, but didn’t arrive at the profession in the typical manner. After college and graduate school, she plunged into government consulting. In this environment, she discovered a knack for writing tests, interviews and other measurements. That soon became the focus of her career—reigniting her love for the written word. Thus captivated, she spent evenings freelancing “fun” writing including short stories, poems, articles and cards. When her eldest was a toddler, she quit full-time work to stay home and write. Eager to spend more time with her children, homeschooling intrigued her. From preschool through high school, she homeschooled both sons while continuing to freelance. An integral part of the homeschooling community, she has developed and taught writing classes to a generation of homeschoolers. Married to her childhood sweetheart, Gary, Mrs. Lyttek loves to share her commitment to homeschoolers and her fascination with the written word.

Anna's Heritage Miracle Part Two

12/4/2019 7:28:00 PM BY Susan Lyttek

Deuteronomy 33:24-25 Of Asher he [Moses] said,

“More blessed than sons is Asher;
May he be favored by his brothers,
And may he dip his foot in oil.
“Your locks will be iron and bronze,
And according to your days, so will your leisurely walk be.” (NASB)

Iron, bronze and days of leisure… What a life the tribe of Asher received! They had food in abundance, they had valuable material goods, they had a great location on the world stage, and they had time to enjoy it. What could possibly go wrong?

They got too content too fast. Life was good.

Judges 1:31-32 Asher did not drive out the inhabitants of Acco, or the inhabitants of Sidon, or of Ahlab, or of Achzib, or of Helbah, or of Aphik, or of Rehob. So the Asherites lived among the Canaanites, the inhabitants of the land; for they did not drive them out.

Out of twenty-two villages and their territories, plus the city of Tyre, Asher left seven villages plus their territories alone. In other words, they decided that about a third of those God told them to get rid of, weren’t bad enough to worry about. There was plenty of food and luxury to go around, right?

In addition, the tribe of Asher started shrinking. When Moses numbered them, there were 41,500 men. When David counted them, hundreds of years later, there were 40,000. Not much of a number difference, but people groups generally increase over time.

Then came the divided kingdom. As a whole, the people of the north, which included Asher, stopped following the Lord with a whole heart. They observed some ceremonies and said their sacrifices were to Yahweh God, but most no longer made the lengthy trek to Jerusalem. After all, Bethel was closer. And if their king said Yahweh would understand, they could go along with it. Besides, some of the ceremonies and celebrations of their neighbors were fun. They loved God, of course, and didn’t take the other stuff seriously, so all was good.

Then Assyria started to gather power and strength. To buy them off, every wealthy Israelite was taxed by their king to give fifty shekels of silver to buy off Assyria and get them to stop their invasion. We already established that Asherites were wealthy. God does not tell us how many of the two hundred shares were paid by Asher, but it could have been substantial. After all, they, Naphtali and East Manassas held the northern border… closest to the invading Assyrians.

Giving money to a potential enemy isn’t a good idea historically. It only whets their appetite for more.

Fifteen years later, a newer and stronger Assyria would return.

2 Kings 17:6 [ Israel Captive ] In the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria captured Samaria and carried Israel away into exile to Assyria, and settled them in Halah and Habor, on the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes. (NASB)

Before the events in this Scripture, at the fifteen-year mark, Assyria captured part of East Manassas, all of Naphtali and part of Asher. In other words, they came at the northernmost tribes and drove a wedge down the middle of Israel. This gave them control of the Jordan and the inland lakes, such as the Sea of Galilee.

Seeing how things were headed, the latest king of Israel (they changed kings fairly quickly during the Assyrian years) increased the tribute to Assyria and swore allegiance. That only worked for so long.

The next king was a puppet king, put on the throne by Assyria. But when he betrayed them with a treaty with a rival kingdom, they came down in force, besieged Samaria for three years and then took over all of Israel. All of the people of the northern tribes, including Asher, were resettled in other parts of the Assyrian empire… never to return.

But wait, Anna was part of Asher! How did that work?

There was the miracle of timing and obedience. That miracle allowed Anna her heritage.

In the south, in Judah, King Hezekiah ruled at this point. He was one of the more godly kings. In addition to many of his other efforts to restore faith in God and appropriate worship, he led the compilation of more of Solomon’s proverbs and led the scribes to gather all the other Scriptures. By reading the Word of God, Hezekiah learned the proper way to celebrate Passover. He had the priests cleanse and prepare the temple. Then he issues a proclamation calling the people to come and observe the season in honor of the Lord.

Then, under the inspiration of prayer, Hezekiah went beyond that. He sent a personal under his seal to all of the tribes of the northern kingdom.

2 Chronicles 30:9-12 “For if you return to the Lord, your brothers and your sons will find compassion before those who led them captive and will return to this land. For the Lord your God is gracious and compassionate, and will not turn His face away from you if you return to Him. So the couriers passed from city to city through the country of Ephraim and Manasseh, and as far as Zebulun, but they laughed them to scorn and mocked them. Nevertheless some men of Asher, Manasseh and Zebulun humbled themselves and came to Jerusalem.”

Did you get that? Some men of Asher came down in obedience to God’s call. I don’t think it accidental that they came from the tribes near the front with Assyria. They could see the danger at their door.

While they were worshipping in Jerusalem with their families, the rest of Israel lost the fight and were taken away.

Years before Anna was born, God prompted one of her forefathers to worship in truth at the Lord’s temple. That step saved him, his family and those who would come after him.

God went to amazing lengths to make sure Anna would be there in the temple on the eighth day to see, hold and testify to the mission of His holy son.