Day 21: The Lion of Judah

Genesis 48-50

Key Verses

Genesis 49:8-12
Judah, your brothers shall praise you;
your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies;
your father’s sons shall bow down before you.
Judah is a lion’s cub;
from the prey, my son, you have gone up.
He stooped down; he crouched as a lion
and as a lioness; who dares rouse him?
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.
Binding his foal to the vine
and his donkey’s colt to the choice vine,
he has washed his garments in wine
and his vesture in the blood of grapes.
His eyes are darker than wine,
and his teeth whiter than milk.

These chapters mark the end of Jacob’s life and the end of Genesis. We see Jacob blessing each of his 12 sons including Joseph’s children, Ephraim and Manasseh. Each blessing draws from the son’s life and projects their past choices on their future descendants. Judah and Joseph both have the longest and most positive of all the blessings. It’s almost as if the writer of Genesis is wanting the reader to ask… “Will the promised Savior come from Judah or Joseph’s family?”

It’s interesting… this tug of war between Judah and Joseph continues through Israel’s history… When Jacob blessed Joseph’s two sons in Chapter 48, he claimed them as his own sons. After the Israelites conquered the Canaanites to reclaim the land, each son or tribe was given an allotment of land (with the exception of Levi. The Levites were given the honor of the priesthood). Both Ephraim and Manasseh received land, which ensured that Joseph’s descendants received a double portion of the inheritance. Since Jacob gave the blessing of the firstborn to the younger brother, Ephraim, it is from Ephraim’s family that we see many great leaders of Israel.

Could the promised King come from Joseph’s family? But Israel’s greatest king, David, was from the tribe of Judah. In the end, we know it was from Judah’s family that the promised Savior would come. Today’s “Key Verses” contains the blessing Jacob gave to Judah. Jesus’ name in Revelation, the Lion of Judah, came from Jacob’s blessing to Judah.

In the end, Jacob died and was buried with his fathers in Canaan. Genesis was written by Moses for the people of Israel (who had been in Egypt for over 400 years)… so that they would know their history. If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, you have been grafted into the family of Abraham, so Genesis is your family history too! We have the privilege of having seen the promise of the Savior fulfilled – but the promise to Abraham- of a land and a people – will not be completely fulfilled until the end of the age in the new heaven and new earth…

John, the writer of Revelation, writes:

And one of the elders said to me, “Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.” …And they sang a new song, saying,

“Worthy are you to take the scroll
and to open its seals,
for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God
from every tribe and language and people and nation,
and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God,
and they shall reign on the earth.” (Revelation 5:5; 9-10).

And the people said… “Amen!”

Day 19: Peace at last!

Genesis 44-45; Matthew 14:22-36

Key Verses:

Genesis 45:4-5; 6-8
So Joseph said to his brothers, […] And now do not be distressed or angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me before you […] to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors. So it was not you who sent me here, but God.

Matthew 14:27
But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.”

Finally. We reach the climax of the story in Genesis 45! But let’s look back at chapter 44, specifically at Judah.

Judah, being very much in the background of Joseph’s narrative, has quietly undergone a dramatic transformation. Remember… it was Judah’s idea to sell Joseph to the slave traders (37:26-27). And don’t forget Judah’s gross negligence of Tamar back in Chapter 38. But, he repents of his wrongdoing in vs. 38:26. And from this moment, the writer of Genesis portrays Judah in a positive light… In chapters 42 & 43, we see a contrast between Reuben and Judah. Reuben tries to persuade his father to let Benjamin come back to Egypt with them to buy grain, but Jacob does not listen. It is Judah that is able to convince Jacob to entrust Benjamin to him. And now we see in vs. 44:18-34, Judah’s impassioned speech before Joseph to spare Benjamin. Judah finally looks like the one through which the legacy of the Savior will pass!

After Judah’s speech, Joseph could no longer control himself. Imagine the scene as Joseph sends all Egyptians from the room and announces to the stunned men that he was Joseph, their brother. In the ESV bible translation, it reads that the men were “dismayed.” More like terrified. Remember – Judah had just finished begging for Benjamin’s life – and now the brother that he betrayed reveals himself – and He. Is. Powerful…. VERY POWERFUL. They had to be terrified.

Isn’t this a beautiful picture of the gospel? Our sin betrays us in the presence of God. We should be terrified, but instead we find GRACE! …So did Joseph’s brothers…

So Joseph said to his brothers, …and now do not be distressed or angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life…God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors. …So it was not you who sent me here, but God.

Who sent Joseph to Egypt? Yes, God. Joseph recognizes the terror of his brothers, and he comforts them.

Jesus does the same with his disciples in Matthew 14. It is the familiar passage of Jesus walking on the water. But just think of the emotions of the disciples. They had been in a boat, battling a severe storm for 9 hours (according to the ESV Study Bible). They were exhausted, and they thought they saw an evil spirit. They were TERRIFIED. But just the sound of Jesus’ voice brought them complete comfort. The storm didn’t go away, but his presence brought them peace.

Where there is much grace, there is peace. There is peace in the presence of Jesus. The disciples found peace that night.

And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

Day 21: The Lion of Judah

Genesis 48-50

These chapters mark the end of Jacob’s life and the end of Genesis. We see Jacob blessing each of his 12 sons including Joseph’s children, Ephraim and Manasseh. Each blessing draws from the son’s life and projects their past choices on their future descendants. Judah and Joseph both have the longest and most positive of all the blessings. It’s almost as if the writer of Genesis is wanting the reader to ask… “Will the promised Savior come from Judah or Joseph’s family?”

It’s interesting… this tug of war between Judah and Joseph continues through Israel’s history… When Jacob blessed Joseph’s two sons in Chapter 48, he claimed them as his own sons. After the Israelites conquered the Canaanites to reclaim the land, each son or tribe was given an allotment of land (with the exception of Levi. The Levites were given the honor of the priesthood). Both Epraim and Manasseh received land, which ensured that Joseph’s descendants received a double portion of the inheritance. Since Jacob gave the blessing of the firstborn to the younger brother, Ephraim, it is from Ephraim’s family that we see many great leaders of Israel.

Could the promised King come from Joseph’s family? But Israel’s greatest king, David, was from the tribe of Judah. In the end, we know it was from Judah’s family that the promised Savior would come. Read Jacob’s blessing to Judah:

Judah, your brothers shall praise you;
your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies;
your father’s sons shall bow down before you.
Judah is a lion’s cub;
from the prey, my son, you have gone up.
He stooped down; he crouched as a lion
and as a lioness; who dares rouse him?
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.
Binding his foal to the vine
and his donkey’s colt to the choice vine,
he has washed his garments in wine
and his vesture in the blood of grapes.
His eyes are darker than wine,
and his teeth whiter than milk (Genesis 49:8-12).

In the end, Jacob died and was buried with his fathers in Canaan. Genesis was written by Moses for the people of Israel (who had been in Egypt for over 400 years)… so that they would know their history. If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, you have been grafted into the family of Abraham, so Genesis is your family history too! We have the privilege of having seen the promise of the Savior fulfilled – but the promise to Abraham- of a land and a people – will not be completely fulfilled until the end of the age in the new heaven and new earth…

John, the writer of Revelation, writes:

And one of the elders said to me, “Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.” …And they sang a new song, saying,

“Worthy are you to take the scroll
and to open its seals,
for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God
from every tribe and language and people and nation,
and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God,
and they shall reign on the earth.” (Revelation 5:5; 9-10).

And the people said… “Amen!”

Day 19: Peace at last!

Genesis 44-45; Matthew 14:22-36

Finally. We reach the climax of the story in Genesis 45! But let’s look back at chapter 44, specifically at Judah.

Judah, being very much in the background of Joseph’s narrative, has quietly undergone a dramatic transformation. Remember… it was Judah’s idea to sell Joseph to the slave traders (37:26-27). And don’t forget Judah’s gross negligence of Tamar back in Chapter 38. But, he repents of his wrongdoing in vs. 38:26. And from this moment, the writer of Genesis portrays Judah in a positive light… In chapters 42 & 43, we see a contrast between Reuben and Judah. Reuben tries to persuade his father to let Benjamin come back to Egypt with them to buy grain, but Jacob does not listen. It is Judah that is able to convince Jacob to entrust Benjamin to him. And now we see in vs. 44:18-34, Judah’s impassioned speech before Joseph to spare Benjamin. Judah finally looks like the one through which the legacy of the Savior will pass!

After Judah’s speech, Joseph could no longer control himself. Imagine the scene as Joseph sends all Egyptians from the room and announces to the stunned men that he was Joseph, their brother. In the ESV bible translation, it reads that the men were “dismayed.” More like terrified. Remember – Judah had just finished begging for Benjamin’s life – and now the brother that he betrayed reveals himself – and He. Is. Powerful…. VERY POWERFUL. They had to be terrified.

Isn’t this a beautiful picture of the gospel??? Our sin betrays us in the presence of God. We should be terrified, but instead we find GRACE! …So did Joseph’s brothers…

So Joseph said to his brothers, …and now do not be distressed or angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life…God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors. …So it was not you who sent me here, but God.

Who sent Joseph to Egypt? :-) Yes, God. Joseph recognizes the terror of his brothers, and he comforts them.

Jesus does the same with his disciples in Matthew 14. It is the familiar passage of Jesus walking on the water. But just think of the emotions of the disciples. They had been in a boat, battling a severe storm for 9 hours (according to the ESV Study Bible). They were exhausted, and they thought they saw an evil spirit. They were TERRIFIED. But just the sound of Jesus’ voice brought them complete comfort. The storm didn’t go away, but his presence brought them peace.

Where there is much grace, there is peace. There is peace in the presence of Jesus. The disciples found peace that night.

And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”