Editor's Note: Each Sunday, DrydenWire.com publishes a submitted article in a weekly series from Pastor Brian Cole. If you would have a question for Brian or would like to learn more about him, visit his website or his official Facebook page.
Genesis Chapter 49:1-33 - The Lion of the Tribe of Judah - Part 3
We continue the text as Jacob is prophesying over his sons.
Vs. 8-12 - ““Judah, your brothers will praise you; your hand will be on the neck of your enemies; your father’s sons will bow down to you. You are a lion’s cub, Judah; you return from the prey, my son. Like a lion he crouches and lies down, like a lioness—who dares to rouse him? The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until he to whom it belongs shall come and the obedience of the nations shall be his.He will tether his donkey to a vine, his colt to the choicest branch; he will wash his garments in wine, his robes in the blood of grapes. His eyes will be darker than wine, his teeth whiter then milk.”
There’s quite a bit here, especially prophetically. The name Judah means “praise,” we’re told he’ll have the praise of his brothers. We know that the Southern Kingdom, upon Israel's civil split, that the Southern Kingdom will eventually be called Judah.
We’ve got the mention of the lion 3 times, and of course we know that Christ will descend from Judah, and is called the “Lion of the Tribe of Judah.” (Rev. 5:5).
There’s alot here, but what I’ll mark is that Judah wasn’t a whole lot better than his brothers in sin, we saw that, right? Remember in ch. 38 in particular - he took a pagan wife and got into all this nonsense with Tamor?
But where Judah differs from the lives of Reuben and Simeon is that this man really came to a real place of confession and the FOLLOWED THROUGH with very real a heroic expression of faith. In other words, Judah didn’t just repent in words, but he repented in deed! Judah walked out repentance, and because of that the man is blessed of God and honored of God and gained the respect of his brothers in the process.
Again, for us - and really with the same idea as Levi - it’s not so much that we fail, because we all do - 1 John 1:8 - the real issue is how do we RESPOND, how do we react when we do fail? Man, we have the God of 1,000 chances, and aren’t you grateful for that!? We have a very patient, a long suffering God. (Ps. 86:15, 103:8, 145:8).
Judah shows us that failure doesn’t necessarily prevent us from being used in a very mighty and powerful way by God - SHOULD we choose to turn to Him and bring forth repentance.
Now the “Scepter” or “ruler’s staff” are symbolic of a kingship that would remain with Judah until the Messiah comes - “and the obedience of the nations shall be His.” (The nations of the world). So the scepter would not depart from Judah nor the rulers staff from between his feet until the Lion’s coming.
Then there’s the imagery there of the donkey being tied to a grapevine and of washing clothes with wine. In the language of Hermeneutics this is called (High-probe-alee) hyperbole - what we might call - “exaggerating to make a point.” So the idea is through this imagery is that there will be such prosperity in the millennial kingdom that you might as well go ahead and tie your donkey off on the choice vine man - I mean, who cares if he eats it, who cares if he ruins it, we got a whole lot more where that came from.
Same deal with the imagery of the clothes. We don’t need to wash our clothes with water, there’s such prosperity that we’ll wash our clothes in wine! The (hyper-bolic) hyperbolic images here speak to an age of tremendous prosperity when the Messiah returns to set up His kingdom, and ain’t that just like Him!?
I would really encourage you to go and do a study of this and the other prophecies on your own, don’t just hear what this rookie has to say, but search it out for yourself. This might sound lofty and esoteric, but again, God has something for everyone, and there are some amazing things to be dug into in the Prophetic. And some of you may not realize this, but did you know 2⁄3 of the Word of God is prophetic in nature? Let me also say, there are people that go the other way and make an idol out of prophecy to the displacement of the Gospel.
But the heartbeat of all Biblical prophecy is that we might have a sense of urgency, that we might be on the watch, that we might be on the alert and anticipate the return of Christ. And we will see this BIG TIME going through Revelation!
Alright, Let’s quickly run through some of the lesser known guys here...
Vs. 13-15 - “Zebulun will live by the seashore and become a haven for ships; his border will extend toward Sidon.
“Issachar is a rawboned donkey, lying down among the sheep pens. When he sees how good is his resting place and how pleasant is his land, he will bend his shoulder to the burden, and submit to forced labor.”
So we’ve got Zebulun and Issachar here. Zebulun evidently is going to enjoy some great oceanfront property - he’s got the Mediterranean sea on one side and the Sea of Galilee on the other. Great property there.
With Issachar, there’s a real hint here - when you look at these 2 contrasting images - “Strong, yet lying down.” If you look into this on your own time you're going to see that there’s a real hint here that what you have with this is just some big lazy guys! This was a rather large tribe, but they didn’t exert a whole lot of energy for their size, and as a result of that, from time to time the Syrians would come down and just rip these guys off and carry them off into slave labor.
Join us next week as we continue with Jacob prophesying over his sons. Blessings to you all.