January 03, 2018

From the Tribe of Judah

Genesis 49:8-12

The scepter will not depart from Judah . . . until he to whom it belongs shall come.

—  Genesis 49:10

God often works in ways we do not understand. He often does not follow human logic.

On his deathbed the patriarch Jacob predicted that the ruler of his descendants would come from the tribe of Judah, not from that of his oldest son.

The first fulfillment of this prophecy was the crowning of King David of Judah. But later, after Judah was conquered and exiled, no other king from Judah ruled.

Had God’s scepter departed? No, the eternal King—Jesus—was coming. He is the only one who can claim the scepter of God’s kingdom.

In fact, Jesus fulfils the entire prophecy. Today’s Scripture ­asserts, “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.” The early church saw in these verses Jesus’ triumphal entry on a donkey and Jesus’ offering of his blood on Good Friday.

Throughout history, God ­often works out his plan behind the scenes. He works the same way today. Sometimes we think God is too slow. But in God’s perfect timing we must learn to wait. Sometimes we think our circumstances are too normal for God to care about. But God loves to work in the events of everyday life and in our personal relationships.

Are your eyes open to see God at work? Be ready for divine surprises in your life.

O God, open our eyes to see Jesus working in ­human history, in the church, in our families, and in our lives. Amen.

About the author — Dean Deppe

Dean Deppe has been a pastor in inner-city, suburban, and rural ­churches. Currently he teaches New Testament theology at Calvin Theological Seminary. His courses include one on the parables of Jesus. He and his wife have four grown children.

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