Though “The deep says, ‘It is not in me.’ And the sea says, ‘It is not with me,’” and “Man puts an end to darkness, and to the farthest limit he searches out the rock in gloom and deep shadow,” yet, the soul who truly comes to God finds that “Light arises in the darkness for the upright”; God is, indeed (and always), “gracious and compassionate and righteous,” a God who, though it is His glory to conceal the hidden things of darkness to the eyes of man, searches out sin until He finds none, a God who will not leave the guilty unpunished though he tarry in longsuffering love and mercy many years (Job 28:14, 3; Psalm 112:4).
And of all aspects of His character expressed in His people Israel, and differentiated by tribal clans according to specific traits, the tribe of Dan best exemplifies God the Judge and the consequential exposure of sin and idolatry in that trait capacity. In the Christian, this righteousness trait is expressed in vigilance against sin in all its forms and capacities. It is not just the baptism of the Holy Spirit, but the baptism of the Holy Spirit AND fire. It is the revolutionary spirit that spoke through Patrick Henry when he said, “Give me liberty or give me death!” I suggest an update to this statement, an expression more suitable for this hour in our history: “Give me death that I might have liberty!” Give me death to myself—and from that mold of sin I was born into and cannot break away from—and place me into the liberty of the sons of God.
Only matured sons are those who ride on donkeys; they are those who have their flesh in subjection to the Holy Spirit. Judges are kings in their spheres, and they predated kings in scripture. Even the King of kings, Jesus Christ, rode a donkey at His coronation. He came not to judge, but to save (though the decree of any king is law). The kingdom of God which does not come with observation is about an internal law, a ruling disposition which is maintained in the fires of intimacy. God is inside the Christian, the Consuming Fire God of all creation; revelation of that fact is the adherence of that subject to her king. Thus the tribe of Dan represents a hidden (no mention of that tribe is made in the New Testament) rule; it is the spirit in man on fire with zeal for God’s government to be established in their own hearts and in all the land. It is the cry in the night for purity!
John the Baptist came in the spirit of Elijah and declared “As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire” (Matthew 3:11). I see that the spirit of judgment and the spirit of burning which washes away the filth of the daughters of Zion and bloodshed from Jerusalem (see Isaiah 4:4-5) is personified in the Dan spirit. Moreover, a resurrection of righteousness prepares the way for His second coming, a coming in His people; thus deliverers (saviors)—those in the mold of the character of Dan—are sent as forerunners to warn others of the soon coming King who will destroy many with the sword out of His mouth and the brightness of His coming. Get pure before it’s too late! “His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear His threshing floor; and He will gather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire” (Matthew 3:12).
As I mentioned earlier, judges are kings—and pertaining to our theme concerning the function of the spirit of Dan in this hour—I like what Spurgeon had to say about this verse of scripture: “It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter.”—Proverbs 25:2. He said,
“What is the business of kings? Why are they set up above their fellow-men? What is their honor? Why, it is the honor of kings to search out matters that concern the administration of justice, to bring prisoners before their bar, laying bare their crimes and convicting them of they are guilty. It is the glory of God to cover a matter, that matter being sin; but it is the honor of kings to search that matter out and bring the guilty one to justice. You know that we think less and less of our police if they are not able to discover criminals. It has sometimes happened that justice misses its mark. Perhaps there is an attempt made to get a certain important witness out of the way, or to suborn another, or to suppress some testimony that might be brought against the accused persons. It is never to the honor of kings when that is done. When for instance a murder has been committed and the criminal cannot be traced, it is not to the credit of the governing powers that it should be so; and though it must be so sometimes— for no human government can be perfect in its detective forces— yet it is not to the honor of “the powers that be.” It is to the honor of kings that they search matters out till they bring home the guilt to the proper individual. Nor is it to the honor of kings if they give their verdict and sentence at first sight according to prejudice. It is their honor to search out a matter—to hear both sides of the case. The magistrate who sits in the king’s name is bound to enquire thoroughly into the matter brought before him, and at last to adjudicate as justice demands. This is sometimes very difficult, but it is to the honor of kings and their representatives when they attempt it. Now to God such a thing as this is impossible. Nothing is concealed from him; the whole universe is but one great prison for those who offend against him and he can find them at any time that he pleases, and he can execute his just sentence upon them without a moment’s delay. He needs no witnesses, he need not summon this person or that who has seen a certain deed done, for the transgression has been committed in his own sight. His glory is that he covers the matter; and as it is the glory of God to cover the matter, it is also the honor of kings to search the matter out; that matter in each case being the breach of law. I am persuaded that this is the meaning of the text.”
In connection to Spurgeon’s take on the idea of searching out a matter is the idea of utter deliverance; the idea of searching out a matter has behind it the idea of light and enlightenment, and as Jesus Himself said, “This is the judgment, that the Light has come” (John 3:19). Deliverance from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light is a deliverance from evil (that which is earthly and decaying) to good (that which is heavenly and improving). Do not be fooled by the word “improving”—which might be thought of as adding to perfection; no, we partake of the divine nature, digesting into mortality that which is immortal (the final completion of which will be the redemption of our body).
As mentioned earlier, the tribe of Dan is not mentioned once in the New Testament (a covenant based on better promises); it is, however, a prominent tribe in the Old Testament, and particularly in the days of the judges (when everyone did what was right in their own eyes). Law—which is what the Old Testament based its promises on—marks this tribe; they are warranted by their hidden nature given to them by God—rather than overtly commissioned by man—to bring righteous order to chaotic thinking and behavior. The serpent is Dan’s symbol, along with the scales of justice; the eagle is its banner, and north, its direction; blue is its color, and sapphire, its stone.
Since the Law is a schoolmaster to bring us to Christ, Dan’s omission in the record of the New Testament, is understandable. Lawgivers are unnecessary at the matured end of Christ formed inside His people. They are, however, prominent whenever the law is slack or not being fulfilled (as it was by Christ, and ought to be in His maturing sons). The idea that the law is only for the lawless ought to make judgment a thing of the past for His children, children that ought to be obedient children, but alas, in this darkening final hour of history, the lost tribe of Dan is activated again to restore righteous order, to reestablish Jesus Christ as the only sure and pure foundation of life. Psalm 89:14 says that “Righteousness and justice” are the foundation or habitation of God’s throne. The mercy and truth which goes before God’s face (attached to the end of that verse) are about the salvation elements used to prepare someone to face the King. In the end, utter purity is required to see Him as He really is; Dan’s job is to utterly prophesy, to declare the whole truth and nothing but the truth, and thereby completely purify the bride of Christ.