UV 2893/10000 Lion, Yet Lamb-like
The sceptre 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.
Genesis 49 v 10
The promise to Judah was fulfilled through the royal lineage of David as well as that of Jesus. Jesus is therefore known as Lion of Judah. We, His brothers bow down before Him. The sceptre of heaven and earth is in His hands. Yet, Judah at the start of his life was not someone who one would connect with nobility of character. He joined his brothers in conspiring to do away with the dreamer Joseph. In later years, he did not keep his pledge to a widowed daughter-in-law and ended up having an intimate and illicit encounter with her when she disguised herself as a prostitute. His transformation is seen in that when Joseph, now as Pharaoh’s right hand and mighty minister, asked that Benjamin be left in his custody. Judah offered to take the place of Benjamin in order to prevent their aged father Jacob from dying from grief. In this single action, we see that Judah had a change of heart. His action of offering himself was a foreshadow of Jesus offering Himself for the sake of all human beings. Though possessed of lion-like or qualities of a ruler, we too should be ever ready to make the sacrifice that we are called to make as a gentle lamb.
Likewise in our lives, the Lord shapes our character through many experiences, suffering, highs and lows, mountains and valleys. Judah died to himself finally in a spiritual sense even as Jesus died physically to redeem all mankind. This is the mark of a true follower of Jesus as well as true servant leader. He should be ready to give himself up as a sacrificial lamb though he had the strength of a lion. The Lord God overlooked the unsavoury past of Judah to look at his good qualities which He endorsed through the final blessing of Jacob who spoke this uni-verse under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
The expression in this uni-verse “to him shall the gathering of the people be” is also a prophetic foretelling of the historic leadership of Jesus of the moral and spiritual world. His living and resurrected presence is with believers even if two or three gather in His name. The Lord rules, judges and redeems the world through the followers of Jesus. The sceptre or the emblem of the kingdom rule of the Lord shall never leave us. We rule over the spiritual world as spiritual descendants in the line of Judah. The principles and precepts that govern our lives are derived from the word, not from the world. The example of Judah gives us hope that however unsavoury our past, He can make our lives and our legacy impactful and attractive to people of our generation and succeeding generations.
Prateep V Philip