Lent day 22: Who is Judah, again?
Luke 3: 33 “the son of Judah”
And so we reach the most famous of the 2 Judah’s in this genealogy.
The name in Hebrew is Yadah and it means ‘God/Yahweh be praised.’
Alongside ‘to praise’ it also means ‘to revere or worship with extended hands’ or ‘to give thanks’.
Judah was certainly not perfect nor pleasing to God in every way and yet when the dying Jacob called his sons to his death-bed and spoke prophetically to each of them, his words to Judah were: “Judah, your brothers will praise you; your hand will be on the neck of your enemies; your father’s sons will bow down to you.” Genesis 49:8
THE HAND OF PRAISE (Judah) WILL BE ON THE NECK OF THEIR ENEMIES!
Let me speak these words over you as you read them:
So long as your mouth is an instrument of praise, so long as you change your vocabulary, so long as you bring a sound of honour to God, it will be like your hands are on the neck of an already defeated enemy! Where a house is divided then do a sound-check, listen to the words of the house. The house of God is a Judah-house.
Every moment of praise to God is a declaration to Satan: Because of Jesus’ victory on the cross where you were stripped of your power and authority over my life I am going to squeeze some more victory out of you that is rightfully mine!!
If the devil can shut you up, stop you praising, it means that you will not experience what Christ has won for you.
People who are not Judah-people live in fear of what can go wrong. They worry about the ‘roaring lion prowling around looking for someone to devour.’ (1 Peter 5:8)
But there is another lion, a far greater lion and Judah-people who praise God live in trust of the Lion of the tribe of Judah.
It’s worth a read even though there are several verses, read it slowly:
“Then I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides and sealed with seven seals. And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, ‘Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?’ But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it. I wept and wept because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside. Then one of the elders said to me, ‘Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals. Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing at the centre of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. The Lamb had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirit of God sent out into all the earth. He went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who sat on the throne. And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of God’s people. And they sang a new song, saying: ‘You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.” Revelation 5:1-10
I love this! Can you see it?!
Jesus is announced as the Lion of the tribe of Judah who is able to open the Revelation of God. We picture a roar of victory praise! Strong, confident and fearless! Then John looks and sees a Lamb who had been slain and whose blood had purchased for God every person in the world!
We are not just Lion people. How annoying it is when we see nothing but hear the victory shouts of praise. It is like the shouts of the Israelites on the battlefield facing Goliath. “We are taking the land for Jesus” is our song and we have the vision statements and one-sentence strap lines, mission strategies, booklets and films to accompany all that we declare of how we are seeing the Kingdom of God built, but there is little to see.
We are Lion-Lamb people. We declare and we demonstrate. We shout praise and we surrender our lives. We boast of Jesus and we shed the blood of our own cross. This is how we fight our battles!
Judges 1: 1-2 “After the death of Joshua, the Israelites asked the Lord, ‘Who of us is to go up first to fight against the Canaanites?’
The Lord answered, ‘Judah shall go up; I have given the land into their hands.’
Praise enters the battle first and praise fights the battles and praise wins the battles!