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December 13 – Jacob’s son Judah: A lion to look forward to

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?” – Genesis 49:9

Scripture Reading: Genesis 49:1-2,8-12; Numbers 24:8-9; Ezekiel 19:1-7

God promised Abraham that his descendants would become numerous enough to form a nation. That promise came true. Abraham’s son Isaac had a son named Jacob who had twelve sons. Jacob’s twelve sons became the heads of twelve tribes. Those twelve tribes formed a nation named Israel.

God had also promised Abraham that his descendants would inherit the land of Canaan. However, that promise had not yet come true. Two hundred years later, Canaan was still inhabited by powerful pagan peoples. These nations were far bigger than Israel. Their military technology was far better. Would Abraham’s descendants ever possess the promised land?

Absolutely! God had promised. And to help Abraham’s descendants believe the promise given long before to their forefather, God gave them yet another promise. Through the prophetic words spoken by Jacob while blessing his sons, God promised that Judah would be a lion’s cub. This meant the tribe of Judah would bear and raise lion-like-leaders who would pounce upon the pagan peoples who possessed the promised land and devour them as a lion devours its prey (Numbers 24:8-9). Think of David who not only killed lions, but also lion-like giants like Goliath.

Jesus came as the ultimate lion-like leader. It might not have seemed so when, like a Lamb, He went silently to the cross. But with a great roar of victory, He rose from the dead showing He was indeed the Lion of the tribe of Judah — a Lion who defeated the greatest enemies: death and Satan (Revelation 5:5-6).

Suggestions for prayer

Praise God for Jesus Who is both the Passover Lamb slain for our sins and the powerful Lion Who defeated the last enemy, death, by rising from the dead.

This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God DevotionalRev. Brian Zegers has been serving the Lord by working with Word of Life Ministry as home missionary to the Muslim community in Toronto, Ontario since 2015.

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