Monday, May 16, 2011
Genesis 49:10 Until He Comes...
"The scepter will not depart from Judah,
nor the ruler's staff from between his feet,
until he comes to whom it belongs
and the obedience of the nations is his."
(Genesis 49:10 NIV)
Jacob is in the midst of blessing his son Judah when this verse comes along. Its curious statement is sandwiched between promises of preeminence and prosperity for this tribe. It is curious not because of the words themselves, which are fairly obvious: Judah's tribe will continue to reign over the others. However, the object of the last part of the verse and the scope of that one's rule is what gets our attention.
First, we might ask ourselves, "Just who is that one 'to whom it belongs', anyway?" Actually, we need to look at the scope of this one's rule to help give us a clue. The obedience of the nations will be his, not just the tribes of Israel. Therefore, he is someone who will be far greater than Judah himself. It is as though Judah and his descendants will be placeholders until the actual ruler comes along, one who is from that tribe.
Then we need to ask ourselves, "To whom does that right belong -- to rule over all the nations?" My first thought would be 'God'. As Creator, he has the right to reign over all nations. Other Scriptures immediately come to mind:
Psalm 2, where the kings and rulers of the earth take their stand against the LORD and against his Anointed One (v.2), but God merely laughs at them and insists that He has installed His king on Zion (v.4-6). This King is spoken of as having an iron scepter (v.9) and the kings are urged to serve him, and submit to his rule, or they will be destroyed (v.10-12). However, those who take refuge in him are blessed (v.12).
It is this Anointed One who Genesis 49:10 speaks about. Both Genesis 49:10 and Psalm 2 are regarded as Messianic -- that is, they refer to the Messiah who will come. There is much more to be said on this matter, but this will come out as we go along. Personally, I believe that Jesus Christ turns out to be that Messiah who is predicted here. Perhaps you do not believe that. I hope you will still follow along and see why I believe that way. There are a whole lot of Scriptures which point to him. As we go along, I will try to point them out.
By the way, 'Christ' is the English term for the Greek word which means 'the anointed one'. It is a translation of the Hebrew word which means Messiah. So, even to those who do not claim to believe in Jesus' divinity, Jesus is commonly known as Jesus Christ, or Jesus the Annointed One/Messiah. I think that is interesting. As is the fact that 'Jesus' translates to "Yahweh/Jehovah/God is salvation".