Judah is a young lion —
my son, you return from the kill.
He crouches; he lies down like a lion
or a lioness — who dares to rouse him?
The scepter will not depart from Judah
or the staff from between his feet
until he whose right it is comes
and the obedience of the peoples belongs to him.
Before his death, Jacob takes the time to address his sons and bestow upon them particular blessings or curses. His son Judah was given a great blessing, the promise that his other brothers would bow before him (vs. 8). It is said that his family will rule over the rest; pointing us ahead to the future Messiah King. This promised descendant of Eve, Abraham, and Jacob is now shown to be specifically from the tribe of Judah. Jacob blesses Judah with the hope that one day one of his offspring will be given power and authority that will not end, but will extend to all peoples. This great hope was of primary concern in the New Testament as the Apostles seek to show that Jesus has a just claim to the throne of David through this very promise (Matthew 1:1-16).
Today Jesus sits enthroned in glory, with the scepter and ruler’s staff in hand. They cannot be taken from Him as all authority and dominion are His because all things were created by Him and for Him (Colossians 1). This aspect of this prophecy has been fulfilled, but we await its completion. We look forward to the day when all the people on Earth submit in loving obedience to the King.
Spend a few moments to meditate on the hope that this promise gives the church in this age and the implications that it has on our ministry to the world.