For Judah prevailed above his brethren, and of him came the chief ruler; but the birthright was Joseph's:) ~1 Chronicles 5:2
Judah was the fourth son of Jacob. His name means “praise.” However, there was a time in his life when there was nothing praiseworthy about him. Over time, Judah rose out of the ashes of his failures and demonstrated that failure is not fatal. Judah is commended by his father in Genesis 49 and by the writer of 1 Chronicles 5. Let us see how Judah prevailed above his brethren.
We see Judah and his sins.
In the first two mentions of his adulthood, Judah had a nefarious character. The first sin we see is the dark stain he brought into his life by having an immoral affair with his daughter-in-law. Through the prodding of a friendship that he had with a man of low character, Judah was senseless and shameless in what he did. The second sin was being part of the conspiracy that betrayed his youngest brother, Joseph, cast him into a pit, and then, later, sold him as a slave to the Midianites for twenty pieces of silver.
We see Judah and his substitution.
Years later, Judah and the family were suffering from the effects of a worldwide famine. Judah and his brothers went to Egypt to purchase grain but did not realize that Joseph was the ruler in charge of food distribution. Joseph told the brothers that if they return for more food, they must bring the youngest brother with them. Jacob was reluctant to allow Benjamin to go with them out of fear that he would lose Benjamin to an unfortunate fate. Judah did something very courageous. He pledged his life for Benjamin. He said, “I will be surety for him.” He said that he would bear the blame forever if something bad happened to Benjamin. Judah was a picture of the substitutionary place that Jesus took for every sinner.
We see Judah and the Saviour.
As Jacob was on his deathbed, he made certain prophecies about each of his sons. He pronounced that Shiloh would come forth from the lineage of Judah. In other words, the Lord Jesus Christ would be a descendant of the tribe of Judah. Judah was chosen as the tribe of preference for the father’s blessing. Israel’s most famous king, David, came out of Judah. More important than David is that the King of all kings, the Lord Jesus Christ, descended from Judah. “The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be” (Genesis 49:10). The royal scepter of Shiloh would descend from Judah. What a privilege this was!
We see Judah and his significance.
Judah prevailed over his brethren! His repentance and unselfish actions elevated him from the slough of failure to the mountaintop of blessing! The bestowal given to him was all of God’s grace. The most famous descendant of Judah is our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus is the Lion of the tribe of Judah. He is the undefeated Lion. He is the Lion Who defeated the lion that walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. How did He prevail? He demonstrated that failure is not fatal. There is forgiveness in spite of failure. There is a new beginning in spite of failure. You can do what is right in spite of failure. Judah prevailed in character, consecration, and conduct.
Don’t let failure keep you in bondage. Humble yourself under the mighty hand of God, and He will exalt you in due time.
Have a humble God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Acts 14-15