Jacob's Blessing of Judah
Genesis 49:8-12, "Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise: thy hand shall be in the neck of thine enemies; thy father's children shall bow down before thee. 9 Judah is a lion's whelp: from the prey, my son, thou art gone up: he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up? 10 The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be. 11 Binding his foal unto the vine, and his ass's colt unto the choice vine; he washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes: 12 His eyes shall be red with wine, and his teeth white with milk."
Jacob gathered his sons together at the time preceding his death and prophesied concerning the tribes of Israel. Concerning Judah through whom the Messiah, our Lord Jesus Christ, would come he speaks:
1. His brethren would praise him. Praise is something earned and not simply given. Sometimes it is given because of status or position such as that of a king, but most often it is merited by a godly character accompanied by meekness. The Lord Jesus, is from the tribe of Judah, and is worthy to be praised.
2. Next, Judah is exalted with a comparison to that of a lion, the king of the beast of the field. F.W. Robertson writes in the Biblical Illustrator, "Judah is put forward as the type of the Hebrew hero. He is represented under the similitude of a lion. "He stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up?" (vs. 9.) It has been remarked, perhaps not idly, that the simile is a lion couchant, not rampant. Not the strength of the oppressor, but that of one strong in right, the majesty of defence: "who shall rouse him up?" Jesus Christ is the lion of the tribe of Judah (Revelation 5:5).
3. The third thing said respecting Judah is that of a permanence in authority (vs. 10.) F. Hastings writes, "Judah lasted longer than any of the tribes as a distinct power, and, since Christ came of that tribe, it may be said to be permanent still. Who thinks of Naphtali, or Zebulun, or Issachar? But Judah is a name most familiar. The "scepter" is the sheik's staff, which, like a marshal's baton, indicates his right to lead. Judah was to lead, and to give the law until Shiloh came; and he did. Shiloh evidently points to the Messiah." (See also Micah 5:2)
4. The fourth prophecy concerning Judah has reference to his prosperity. He would possess lands rich in vineyards and pastures (verses 11, 12).
The Lord owns the cattle on a thousand hills, and as you have heard, He owns the hills too! (Psalm 50:10-12).
May we thank God for all that is prophecied concerning our Lord Jesus Christ.
Your Friend and His,
QUESTIONS TO PONDER
1. Do you consider a wide array of things for which you can praise the Lord? Take time to praise the Lord for at least three things this morning.
2. Who has the right to lead in every circumstance? How does He have that right?
3. How rich is God? Can we even calculate what He owns?