Gen 49:10: 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.
Jacob, the grandchild of Abraham has a great multitude of kids and grandkids, beginning to fulfill the promise that God made to Abraham. As he reaches the end of his life, he brings his children together and passes out blessings to them. When he reaches Judah, he has a unique blessing for him: 1. He puts Judah’s children onto a throne that doesn’t exist. They have no ruler over one another, they are a conglomeration of family members. 2. They are in Egypt currently, not the Promised Land. This prophecy of Judah’s lineage ruling is strange because they do not yet have a ruling structure that fits to this mold. At the moment, the children of Israel are lead by God in what they are doing, not one of them rules over another. So when Jacob both blesses and prophecies that Judah’s lineage would rule, it becomes apparent that changes are in store for the people. But it isn’t just that there will be a king from Judah lineage, but rather that there will always be a king.
Aside from Judah having the monopoly on kingship, it isn’t until David is on the throne of Israel that this prophecy is expounded on further:
2 Samuel 7:12-13: When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.
God through Nathan defines into existence an eternal kingdom established through David’s offspring. David, God’s anointed, the shepherd king, the man after God’s heart has to miss out of the eternal kingdom that God has prepared. We watch on the sidelines as the light of hope grows brighter yet with the promise of David’s descendant on the throne forever.
After waiting for generations to learn more about the blessing that God has promised through Abraham, we hear of this forever kingship and our interest is piqued. We look forward to a king whose kingdom will never end, whom God specifically endorses. We long for this, and cannot wait to be blessed through them.
Dear God, King of all Kings,
You have placed before us a hope of a time when a worthy king shall take the throne and shall build a place for you. We desire to be in that place and be in the kingdom that never ends. We wait for your promise to be fulfilled and to be blessed by your people.
In Jesus Name,
Christmas Carol of the Day:
It Came Upon a Midnight Clear
A Crown for a King
As we look at kings and kingdoms, let’s make some paper crowns. First take a strip of paper that can wrap around your child’s head. Make sure it’s a little loose, but not too big that it becomes a necklace. Then decorate the printable template attached (thanks supercoloring.com: Printable Crown ) or creating your own! Using crafting bits you find laying around, or whatever you would like to make it special. Once the crown is perfected, glue it to the strip of paper. Give it time for the glue to dry.
While you wait, talk about what being a king/queen means. You may be surprised at the answers.
- What it is like to be King/Queen?
- What makes a good Ruler?
- Where do Rulers live?
- What should a Ruler do?
- How should they treat people?
- What does a King look for in a servant?
After a period of time, shift the conversation. We all tend to put ourselves in the role of king/queen. But ultimately: that is not our role.
- How do we serve a good king?
At the end of the day, or whenever they stop playing with the crown (2 minutes later in my house!), together put the crown up out of reach. I’d add it to the Christmas tree. When you do, talk about how during Christmas, we celebrate the birth of our King. Let’s save our crown for him.