Jacob Blesses Judah

Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
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The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until tribute comes to him; and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.

Genesis 49:10

Judah was the fourth and final son born of Jacob by Leah, his lesser wife, the one who knew she was unloved. Her father Laban had tricked Jacob into marrying her, presenting her on his wedding night, rather than her sister Rachel whom he loved. So Jacob, the deceiver, was himself deceived and Leah grieved the knowledge that she was not his favorite.

Yet when she gave birth to this son, Leah praised God and named him Judah which means praise. And when Jacob pronounced blessing upon each of his sons, he proclaimed that all would one day bow down and praise Leah’s son.

Jacob declared also that this Judah would be a lion, powerful and strong to destroy his enemies. He would appear, however, not in strength but as a cub sent in weakness. This lion would descend and lie down, appearing for a time to have been conquered by his enemies. This blessing which Jacob pronounced promised an eternal kingdom to his son and his descendants. Though the reigns of Judah and his sons would wax and wane, troubled by both their enemies and their brothers, its coming would not be stopped. This blessing, once declared, would become a reality, and the coming king would be clothed in robes stained by blood and wine.

Scripture mentions another lion, a powerful enemy who prowls and deceives, who seeks to kill and destroy this coming kingdom. During Lent, we are mindful of the darkness of battle waged by this enemy and the magnitude of his evil intent. But his powers are limited, and all his attempts to thwart the coming kingdom will fail. Although for a short while the Lion of Judah relinquished his power, and submitted to the slumber of death, he awoke and emerged triumphant from his three-day den.

The mighty Lion of Judah arose, having conquered the power of sin. The King has claimed his eternal throne but, rather than destroying all his enemies, in mercy he has extended his eternal scepter to all who will believe. The coming of his kingdom will not be stopped, but will bring restoration to all who have been deceived, compassion to all who are unloved, and comfort to all who grieve.

Fitting tribute will be brought to the king, this Lion of Judah. The obedience and praise of all people will be offered to the one whose name means praise.

QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: Have you ever heard the roar of a lion or seen one shake his mane? Which of the two lions in Scripture comes to your mind more often? Does the image of Christ as a powerful lion offer you comfort? How?

PRAYER: All praise to you, whose name means praise! May your unstoppable kingdom come, with power and might, until you reign on earth as you do in heaven. Gather people of every nation, tribe, language, and tongue to offer fitting tribute of obedience and praise! Amen.