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December 22, 2021 12:01 am
From his deathbed, Jacob pronounced God's blessing on his son Judah, from whose descendants would come the promised King. Today, R.C. Sproul teaches that this promised blessing finds its fulfillment in Jesus, the Lion of Judah.
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In Genesis chapter 40 by Jacob gives his final blessings to his songs when it comes to the fourth son. The blessing is significant Judah my son the patriarchal blessing that was given to Abraham and then to Isaac and then Tim may is now in your hands and you will be remembered by this metaphor. You are the why jump ahead to the dawning of the New Testament shepherds of Bethlehem and whatever animals were present that holy night gazed upon the lion of Judah, the promised newborn King today on Renewing Your Mind, Dr. RC Sproul shows on the promised blessings of the gospel were passed down and fulfilled in the Little League babe in the manger. As we continue in our preparation for event we are looking at the promises of the gospel that we find in the Old Testament we've seen already. The first gospel, the proto-van Gogh the promise that God made to Adam and Eve of the future see the future descendent that would come and crush the head of Satan.
We've also seen the promises that God made to Abraham after he called Abram out of a pagan land and promised him that he would be the father of a great nation, and that through him all the nations of the world would be blessed and we have seen how the God confirmed that promise to Abraham through a ritual by which God made the promise and swore by himself that he would never break that promise that when we look at the Old Testament, we speak of these promises that are contained in the form of a covenant a contract, a promissory agreement that God makes with Abraham and his descendents. We see this structure of the covenant blessing, passed on from generation to generation.
And sometimes we call that covenant that is passed on from generation to generation. The patriarchal blessing of the Old Testament know what's a patriarch, a patriarch is a venerable male who is the head of his house, or of his tribe or of his clan. He is the father. The mother of such a group is called the matriarch now were dealing with the patriarchal blessing that is given to Abraham and when Abraham grows old. What does he do heat transfers that promise to his son Isaac, and so this covenant promise this patriarchal blessing is passed from father to son, who, in the case of Isaac. I seek had two sons that were twins nonnormally the patriarchal blessing was inherited by the elder son by the firstborn again. If you read the pages of the Old Testament. You see how much weight is given to the significance of the firstborn, not only among children born in the family, but even with the livestock and the sacrifices that are made the best of the livestock. That is to be used is the firstborn on the case of the sons of Isaac, the twin sons, Jacob and Esau which one is born first. Which one is the elder of the two. While obviously, it was Esau but here God intrudes into this natural human idea of dynastic succession of biological inheritance. I said no. The way were going to transmit this is by virtue not of simple biology, but by divine promise. The New Testament speaks of Isaac as the child of promise.
He was not the firstborn son of Abraham, Ishmael was the firstborn but Ishmael was not born from Sarah so it's really Abraham's second born who receives the promise and now, in the case of Jacob and Esau is not Esau who receives the covenant blessing Jake and you look at that story in the Old Testament, take the time to do it it it reads like a contemporary novel that so filled with intrigue and crime, and said reminds me of a statement that Soren Kierkegaard, the philosopher once made, he said in the 19th century. He said my complaint is not that my age is wicked. My complaint is that it is paltry. It lacks passion and he said whenever I'm discouraged by this. I go back and I read the pages of the Old Testament where people are real. They lie, they see they killed all they commit adultery.
And it's all there were God paints the picture of his people, warts and all.
There's no idealized representation of the history of redemption and that there was a scoundrel in the Old Testament. It was Jacob, and yet who receives the blessing, not Esau, the firstborn, but Jake and Paul rehearses that for us in Romans in the New Testament when he says of God. Jacob have I loved Esau have I hated before either of them was born before either of them had done any good or evil from all eternity with the purposes of God in his grace and in his mercy might stand, God decreed that Jacob should receive the inheritance and so it passes from Isaac to Jacob and then now Jacob has all of these sons, all the tribes of Israel.
And when he grows old and is approaching his own death when he is on his deathbed he assembles all of these sons and the occasion now is for the father to announce his last will and testament in our culture, we read the will and the testament after someone has passed on, and sometimes the children will gathering the attorney's office and the attorney will read the terms of the will that usually starts a family feud but in Israel. The terms of the will are read before the person dies whenever possible answer. Towards the end of the book of Genesis in the 49th chapter, we have a record of Jacob's last will and testament. This is the occasion were the promise of God is being transmitted to the next generation, the covenant blessing itself is being passed on. So let's take a look at this beginning in verse one of chapter 49 of Genesis we read these words and Jacob called his sons and said gather together that I may tell you what shall befall you in the last day. Gather together and here you sons of Jacob, and listen to Israel.
Your father Ruben you are my firstborn. Imagine being there at the bedside of Jacob, the sons are gathered around in the venerable Jacob, whose name is now Israel looks at his firstborn son, and you could sense the poignancy of the moment all of the emotion all of the feelings all of the filial love and expectation that is poured into the firstborn child is now being expressed.
Ruben you are my firstborn, my might and the beginning of my strength. Can you see the chest of Ruben beginning to expand as he hears these fatherly words coming to him the excellency of dignity and the excellency of power Ruben sitting there basking in this father keep talking. Six. Wonderful said again excellency of power, dignity, my my my beginning of strength. The next words on stable is water.
You shall not ask because you went up to your father's bed. Then you defiled it. He went up to my couch. Ruben Ruben, I had such great hope for you such wonderful expectations.
You were my might.
You were my strength you had power you had excellency, but you could not be trusted you work on stable is water you committed the ultimate atrocity against me. Simeon and Levi. The next eldest, our brothers, instruments of cruelty are in their dwelling place. Let not my soul enter their counsel. Let not my honor be united to their assembly for in their anger they slew a man, and in their self-will they hamstrung an ox curse and be their anger for his fears and their wrath, for it is cruel. I will divide them in Jacob. I will scatter them in Israel. What about my next two sons my firstborn son Ruben let me down in the next two were men of cruelty, fierce violence and anger.
That's not how I want my inheritance to go due to fourth due to you are he whom your brothers shall praise your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies, your father's children shall bow down before you Judah is a lion's whelp from the prey, my son, you have gone up. He bows down the lies down as a lion, and as a lion, who shall rouse him for the scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh comes and to him shall be the obedience of the people finding his donkey to the vine and his donkey's colt to the choice vine. He washed his garments in wine and his close in the blood of grapes is eyes are darker than wine and his teeth whiter than Judah. You are the ones before whom your brothers will bow down Judah I'm giving to you the promise of the covenant Judah my son the patriarchal blessing that was given to Abraham and then to Isaac and then to me is now in your hands and you will be remembered by this symbol by this metaphor, you are the why the lion is the one who rule the lion is the symbol of authority and of power, one of the great memories of my life was in January 2019 I'm trying to remember, 65, I believe I went to London traveled there were some friends from Amsterdam, the Netherlands rubs going to school and the occasion for that visit was the burial. The funeral service of Sir Winston Churchill's one of those events. You never forget because the funeral procession had this long court that one from St. Paul's Cathedral to Westminster and there was a parade on the streets of London lasted over a mile and I stood there on the sidewalk and I watched all of the great leaders of the world march right past me Charles de Gaulle I could reach out and touch Maury Sean be before he was assassinated King Constantine of Spain, Queen Juliana of the Netherlands. They were all there, lady, church, I saw Queen Elizabeth and the royal family but in all of his magnificent splendor and attire. The one figure that captivated me was his Imperial Majesty, often known simply by the acronym of his initials him his Imperial Majesty highly Selassie Emperor of Ethiopia walked right past could've reached over and grab them on the shore and because my best friend in college and seminary had been a missionary in Ethiopia had been a friend of the royal family and had regaled me with inside stories about the benevolence and the wisdom of highly Selassie. My friend has such an enormous respect for the Emperor that when he stood there, right before me. I was all excited and I thought this is truly a great many that he may be royal, and he may be majestic but one of the titles was given to highly Selassie was his Imperial Majesty the Emperor of Ethiopia. The lion of Judah and that they are thought to myself, Mr. Selassie your own marvelous me an extraordinary character in your worthy of all of these accolades one title does not belong to you, lion of Judah. There is another one who receives that title who is a descendent of the son of Jacob, Judah, Judah was given the royal house of Israel. The kings of Israel would come from the tribe of Judah, the kingdom of God was given to Judah, the priesthood, was given to Levi but kingship was given to Judah, David was the great king of Judah.
He traced his ancestry back to this man who received this inheritance on that day, but it was only a hint of the greater son who was to come. Who would being both David's son and David's lore, the one who would ultimately fulfill this promise of the kingship that would not depart from Judah until Shiloh come to see the symbol of this transaction was the scepter. The scepter shall not depart from Judah, the scepter was the sign of the authority of the king. You remember when Esther walked into the presence of the king, fearing his wrath, looking to see what he would do with the scepter. Would he indicate that she was to be executed by one motion of the scepter or would he indicate that she was welcome.
The scepter was the kings sign and seal of royal authority and the scepter is given to Judah and the promise of the gospel unfolds. Even here, that the gospel promise includes not only a future savior who would crush the head of the serpent but the future of the promise of God was of a coming king who would fulfill the destiny of Judah from Judah's royal house comes the sun of David even Jesus Christ. Let's look at this again. The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh comes and to him shall be the obedience of the people. The whole transaction patriarchal blessing. The promise of the covenant is to be given to the descendents of Judah, whose great son and royal king to whom God the father gives the promised blessing of kingship is Jesus. Jesus is an event celebrates coming with his cane at Christmas. We look to the fulfillment of the promise, promise that Took Pl. in Jacobson of incredible is that it when God says he will accomplish something. It will be accomplished.
You're listening to Renewing Your Mind on this Wednesday were glad you could be with us as we approach the day we celebrate this fulfilled promise our series this week is called promises in it. Dr. RC Sproul shows as God's promise keeping nature through several Old Testament saints including Eve. Isaiah and Jeremiah would like to provide you with digital download. This five-part series for your donation of any about Tlingit or ministries will add the messages to your learning library online, allowing you to stream it right away will also send you the two DVD set adductors groceries the promise keeper God of the covenant's request. Both resources when you call us at 800-435-4343 if you prefer you can go online to make a email@example.com we sense that people here and around the world are hungry for biblical truth. We estimate that we will have reached 50 million people this year alone, double the number we reached last year so we continue to lean forward inherently good or ministries as our president and CEO Chris Larson a few years before he went home to be with the Lord. Dr. Strohl look to the future is what he told me he said if legionnaire is faithful to its foundations and he went on to say he believed that it would be.
We should have ourselves in the middle of a worldwide renewal of the reformed faith that we can't even begin to anticipate from this perspective today.
RC's vision is happening. I believe that were beginning to see the spirit of God at work, at home, and among the nations to bring such an awakening, new doors of gospel opportunity are opening in linear is uniquely positioned to bolster the courage of Christians around the globe as we seek to provide the mind, renewing life transforming truth of God's word.
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Our goal is to reach more people in the next five years that we have over the past five decades and so this is no time to slow down every gift, no matter the size counts. Please continue in this gospel partnership with us and enter the next 50 years of ministry trusting God together. Thank you for your generosity and for your forward thinking faithfulness. If you would like to join us in this worldwide effort, you can give your year-end firstname.lastname@example.org/donate. Thank you for joining us today and let's close our time together with this coral Dale thought from Dr. Strohl again. This we anticipate our annual celebration of the Advent season. Let us remember this year the promise that God made through his servant Jacob of the kingdom that someday would come that a kingdom that would last for ever, that a king would be given a scepter he would never lose he would never drop he would never betray he would never dishonor at Christmas we celebrate the arrival of our king. The sun of Judah, the lion of Judah. The law giver of Judah, the King of Kings