Jacob Sees the Future of His FamilyDaily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
"The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler's staff from his descendants, until the coming of the one to whom it belongs, the one whom all nations will honor."
As Jacob prepared to die, he gathered his sons around him and pronounced his vision of their future. Some of the sons receive words of rebuke, such as Reuben for being unruly and for sleeping with Jacob's wife (see Gen. 35:22). Others hear words of praise and blessing (for example, Joseph in v. 22-26).
But Jacob's words for Judah are most striking and perhaps surprising. He is seen as the one who is victorious over his enemies (v. 8-9). Moreover, though he is not the oldest of the brothers, or even as powerful as Joseph, Judah will end up with the scepter of Israel. His progeny will rule, not only over the descendants of Jacob, but even over the nations.
This promise to Judah echoes throughout the rest of the Bible (for example, Ps. 2:8, Dan. 7:13-14, Rev. 5:5-9). Jacob's blessing provides one of the earliest prophetic testimonies to the coming of the Messiah. It reminds us that the day will come when all nations will honor Jesus as the Son of God, and when all people will bow before him (Phil. 2:9-11). Sometimes it's hard to see our daily labors as having any lasting meaning. But, in fact, if we live our lives in service to Jesus the king, God will use us for his purposes and glory. The kingdom of God, which will fully appear in the future, can be present even in our small sphere of the world.
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: What would it mean for you to live with Jesus as your king today? What difference would it make in the way you work? In the way you relate to people? In your dreams?
PRAYER: Dear Lord, even in the days of Jacob you were implementing your great plan for all of history. Your kingdom was coming, in your way and your time.
Now we know so much more than Jacob and his sons. We realize that the king has come and will come again. When we live our lives for him, we find new meaning, purpose, and motivation.
Help us to live this day in service to the one who holds the scepter. May we honor Jesus in all we do, letting every action be for his kingdom and glory. Amen.