Abraham was the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar, Matthew 1:2-3 NIV
“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. Genesis 49:8-10
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 it’s seven seals.” Revelation 5:5
Advent Chronicles are first person retelling of characters in the Christ story. Both Matthew and Luke include genealogies in their account of Jesus’ birth. Being from the line of Judah fulfills the prophecy by the blessing from his father Jacob. Let’s listen in to Judah and his son Perez talking after Jacob has pronounced his blessing over his sons.
A little mift, Perez asked, “why did grandfather Jacob only bless Joseph’s children and not me or any of the other cousins?”
“Joseph was always Dad’s favorite. We all knew it. Joseph flaunted it in front of us. You never met his mother Rachel, Joseph and Benjamin were her children. Dad loved Rachel more than my mother Leah. Look at us, 12 sons with four different mothers. We are one BIG messed up family.”
“Shouldn’t Reuben have received the first born blessing as is the custom?” asked Perez.
“Even though he dishonored Dad by sleeping with one of his concubines, I still think Ruebun should have received the first born blessing. He was the one who stopped us from killing Joseph when he came to us in the field. He was going to rescue him later, before I came up with the idea to sell him into slavery to some traders.” Judah lets out a very big and slow sigh.
“Why did you do that father?” Perez asked looked directly at Judah’s eyes, face and body language.
“Part jealousy from Dad’s love for Joseph was the start. We all wanted Dad to love us like he did Joseph. I wish you could have seen that coat of many colors he made for him. He never did anything like that for the rest of us. We had to work in the fields, while Joseph stayed at home organizing things. I also think anger at his haughtiness was also involved. He kept having these dreams that all of us would bow down and worship him, even our Father, Jacob.”
Perez interjected, “But didn’t those dreams come true when we moved to Egypt?”
“Yes, they all came true. We were all humbled at the way Yah had unfolded his plan for our family. I truly felt bad for being the one who suggested that we sell Joseph to those traders. Impulsive and ‘guy stupidity’ is the best I can come up with to explain how it happened so quickly. Somehow, I thought Joseph would escape since he was so special and come back to us. But he did not, and father grieved as I had never seen him before, thinking that Joseph was dead. I felt so bad knowing what I did, I left home.
“So, what did you think about the blessing he spoke over you today?” Perez asked, trying to change the mood, as both knew Jacob was moments away from dying also.
Judah paused for a moment. Trying to reconcile what was spoken over him and the realization he did not deserve this blessing, Judah continued. “Maybe father finally realized what mom experienced at my birth. She so desperately wanted my father’s love and she felt giving him boys would make him love her more than her sister. When she became pregnant with me, her prayer turned away from father to Yah, whom he talked about so often. As I was born, she gave praise to Yah and named me Judah exclaiming, “This time I will praise the Lord.” She knew I was special, maybe father remembered this too?
“What do you think he meant by a scepter? Will you become like a Pharoah?” Perez pushed a little more for understanding.
“Not me, for sure. Perez, do you have plans for building a kingdom for which you have not discussed with me? They both laugh.
Yah’s ways are different from ours. Out of the people in the world, Yah chose my great grandfather Abraham to come and take possession of Canaan, the promised land. He told great grandfather that his descendants would be too many to count and that they would be a blessing to all nations. Yah made the same commitment with my grandfather Isaac. Then, Yah skipped over My uncle Esau and made the covenant with my father, your grandaddy, Jacob. Now for some reason, he has chosen me to be the next leader or at least a ruler will come from my descendants. I did not deserve this nor did I earn this blessing.
One thing I do understand is the analogy of the lion crouching. As I have grown older, I have learned the art of waiting. I have seen a lion waiting for his prey. When he is about ready to attack, he crouches and becomes still. He is totally focused on the victory which is about to happen. He will share his spoils with all the cubs in his pride. Perhaps my children and those who follow after them, will wait in anticipation for the Lion of the Tribe of Judah to appear. Maybe Perez, a king of kings will come from your children. Just make sure they honor Yah all the days of their lives. He forgives and restores.
Today, my father smiled at me differently than ever before. He was speaking in that authoritative voice he gets when he knows Yah is close to him. Somehow in that blessing I knew my father forgave me and at the same time so did Yah. He is the restorer of my broken heart and life.
Perez, get my harp for me and listen as I sing of great grandfather’s adventures with Yah. Did I tell you about how great a warrior he was…he took down five kings and their armies.
Perez responds, “Yes Dad, you have told us many times…but I think now I want to hear it again with different ears. Is it okay if I crouch beside you to listen?”
Advent Chronicles– John reveals in his book of Revelation that Jesus is sitting on the throne of God right now as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. Victory over death has been obtained. True forgiveness can be yours today. The genealogy of Jesus is filled with broken lives and God still worked out his plan for Jesus. He can do the same for you today. Your failures do not disqualify you from receiving God’s love and forgiveness. May you receive a vision of your prayers being answered…while you are waiting.
Blessings Love y’all