Genesis 49:1-33; Matthew 16:1-12; Psalms 21:1-7; Proverbs 10:3-4
OT: “Judah, your brothers will praise you. Your hand will be on the necks of your enemies; your father’s sons will bow down to you. 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.” (Genesis 49:8-10 CSB)
Just before Jacob passed away, he called all of his sons to him so that he could give blessing and share his understanding of what the future held for them. Ruben, Simeon, and Levi all disqualified themselves from any blessing – so the blessing of leadership fell to Judah. Joseph (and his two sons) received the blessing of abundance and fruitfulness. In the middle of Jacob’s blessing of Judah, he gives a Messianic prophecy. He declares that the mantle of leadership will not depart from Judah’s lineage – and it will last until “he whose right it is” comes. In the Hebrew, that phrase is one word: Shiloh. The literal translation for that word is tranquility and rest – and it is considered to be a proper name. Shiloh is a person that embodies tranquility and rest – a peace maker – the rightful ruler of the nation. It is a word that describes the one who will ultimately come and crush the head of the serpent – the promised Messiah. So, the scepter of leadership will not depart from the line of Judah until the Messiah finally comes and all people submit in obedience to Him.
NT: “The Pharisees and Sadducees approached, and tested him, asking him to show them a sign from heaven. He replied, “When evening comes you say, ‘It will be good weather because the sky is red.’ And in the morning, ‘Today will be stormy because the sky is red and threatening.’ You know how to read the appearance of the sky, but you can’t read the signs of the times. An evil and adulterous generation demands a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah.” Then he left them and went away.” …Then Jesus told them, “Watch out and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”” (Matthew 16:1-4, 6 CSB)
Once again, the Pharisees and Sadducees refused to consider who Jesus was until He showed them a convincing sign (as if He hadn’t shown numerous signs already). And once again, Jesus told them the sign that he would show them: that He would die, be buried for 3 days, and then rise again. But He also criticized them for being able to see, believe, and respond to the signs in the weather, but refused to see the fulfillment of prophecy that characterized His life. He was of the line of Judah… He was a direct descendant of King David… He had been born of a virgin… He had come out of Egypt… He had lived and ministered in Galilee… He had brought sight to the blind… He had healed diseases. There were signs all around. Shiloh had come and He was Him – he just wasn’t the messiah that the Pharisees and Sadducees wanted, and so they rejected Him. That is the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees: only willing to worship and submit to a Messiah that aligns with their terms and is agreeable to all of their requirements. Don’t let that attitude creep into your life, or else it will permeate your entire being and blind you to what God is truly doing.
Psalms: “Lord, the king finds joy in your strength. How greatly he rejoices in your victory! You have given him his heart’s desire and have not denied the request of his lips. -Sela- For you meet him with rich blessings; you place a crown of pure gold on his head. He asked you for life, and you gave it to him — length of days forever and ever. His glory is great through your victory; you confer majesty and splendor on him. You give him blessings forever; you cheer him with joy in your presence. For the king relies on the Lord; through the faithful love of the Most High he is not shaken.” (Psalms 21:1-7 CSB)
What a beautiful ode written by King David to the Lord that loved and trusted completely. David recognized that everything he had was a gift to him from the Lord – and because of that, David relied completely on the Lord and trusted completely in His faithful love. When we submit completely to Shiloh, then shiloh comes to us and fills our life.