Greetings to you all and happy Sabbath day; let us study continue to study about the 12 tribes of Israel, the tribe of Judah. This name is pretty much well-known. Some of us may already have some gained understanding and knowledge regarding this tribe. But we will dig a little deeper on this tribe and in hopes that you will learn more things about them and why they will be found in heaven.
Let us remember that a name has no weight of record in heaven if it is separated from character. In other words, our name is not going to be a basis on whether we will be found in heaven or not, but rather it is our character that is going to be determined whether we are worthy of heaven or not. It is what we do here on earth that determines our fitness for heaven.
Revelation 22:12 “And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward [is] with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.”
So again, it is what we do in our obedience to God, and not by our name, position, church name or back ground that will save us. Remember how Reuben failed to show a character worthy to receive the blessings of a firstborn? His blessings were transferred to his other brothers who manifested and developed characters worthy of the blessings. For example, Joseph received the double portion of his father’s inheritance. This is the temporal birthright. It has to do with wealth. Then Judah received the spiritual birthright of becoming an ancestor of the Messiah. But managing or controlling great wealth does not require that much ability compared to receiving a spiritual birthright and becoming the tribe where the Messiah will come from. This portion is what Judah received.
1 Chronicles 5:2 says that Judah “prevailed above his brethren, and of him came the Chief Ruler.” So, who is the Chief Ruler? It’s Christ, the Messiah, the Son of God. He is to come to earth in human flesh from the tribe of Judah.
And in Jacob’s deathbed, this blessing was pronounced over Judah. We can read from
Genesis 49:10, “The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto Him shall the gathering of the people be.”
So the question goes: How did Judah prevail above his brethren and thus inherit the spiritual birthright? This issue is of great importance to all of us especially those who are desiring for a great spiritual birthright by which all of us may become heirs of eternal inheritance. We cannot read any verse from the Bible that will tell us that Judah prevailed over his brethren by force of arms. But if we carefully study the lives of the 12 sons of Jacob, it shows the fact the Judah was a leader. In the previous sermon of the tribe of Reuben, we learned that Reuben’s offers to become surety for Benjamin was refused, but Judah’s offer was accepted.
When Jacob’s sons were in great perplexity because the ruler of Egypt who was Joseph his son demanded Benjamin as hostage, it was Judah who pleaded their cause. And as a result of this, Joseph made himself known unto his brethren. We can read the story in Genesis 44:14-34; 45:1-3.
Therefore, by strict integrity and principle, Judah won the confidence of his father Jacob and his brethren. Jacob pronounced another blessing to Judah.
Genesis 49:8, “Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise; thy hand shall be in the neck of thine enemies; they father’s children shall bow down before thee.”
You may say, isn’t it that Joseph was the one whom the brethren bowed down? Yes, it’s true, but the circumstance is different. Joseph had wealth and position which he acquired from foreign land, but Judah won the respect of his brethren in everyday life. Joseph was in Egypt, a foreign land, while Judah was with his family and therefore he gained their confidence in everyday contact of the home life. But this confidence was not born in a moment. He cultivated strict integrity every day and that is how he won their respect, until of their own free will, and not by force of any circumstance, they praised him and bowed down before him. That is why Jacob said “Judah, thou art he whom they brethren shall praise.” This is the result of a life that is victorious over conflict and selfish tendencies of the carnal heart.
This is a lesson for us dear brethren. A noble character does not come in a wink of an eye but is cultivated and must be built each and every day. It will not come by a sudden onset of a good deed, but it is developed slowly every day by the way we do things, our attitude towards things, the way we handle trials, the way we deal with those who do not like us, those who come against us and such, and most importantly our relationship with God. This is how we come into the person that we are.
If Reuben failed, Judah prevailed under the same circumstance. Remember that the sin of Rueben that debarred him from his birthright was not a public sin, but it was a sin that was hidden from the eyes of the public. Reuben had no regard for the honor of his own family, but Judah regarded it and in the same home, with the same temptations and environment, Judah prevailed above his brethren. Therefore, he passed those temptations that Reuben failed to overcome.
This is why among the 144,000, 12,000 of which will bear the name of Judah. These are the faithful ones who, in times of perplexity, have been recognized by their brethren as trust leaders. Strict integrity under perplexity is what Judah is.
Genesis 49:9 says “Judah is a lion’s whelp: from the prey, my son, thou are gone up: he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up?”
Now, what do these words mean? It means that it would be as easy to conquer a lion as to overcome a person who has the character of Judah, and that it would be as safe to rouse an old lion as to contend with a person who stood fast in his integrity with God. This character is worthy of example. God needs a people who are firm and will not surrender Christian integrity but will know a surety that the Lord will be with us when we are assailed by Satan and his evil angels. This is the same as the man who builds his house upon the rock. Matthew 7:24-25. No storm, no matter how strong it is, will be able to shake or destroy it but that it will stand strong and firm.
Another character of the tribe of Judah is their independence. This tribe decides for the right without waiting for the decision of others who failed to take their stand. We can this see in the history of the nation Israel. Remember how God selected David to replace Saul as king over Israel. When Saul died, the tribe of Judah did not wait for others to acknowledge David as king, but instead, they crowned him king over Judah, and David reigned over them for 7 and half years before he was crowned king over all Israel.
2 Samuel 2: 4, 11 “And the men of Judah came, and there they anointed David king over the house of Judah. And they told David, saying, [That] the men of Jabeshgilead [were they] that buried Saul… And the time that David was king in Hebron over the house of Judah was seven years and six months.”
David was from the tribe of Judah. And his tribe remained loyal to him even after the death of Solomon; they remained loyal to the seed of David.
It seems that the tribe of Judah furnished several well-known names noted in the sacred history. As we can see, there is no other tribe who furnished the world with so many mighty men of God. Aside from David who has been honored above all earthly kings as being taken as a type of Christ, we have Solomon who was very well known as a very wise man. And at the head of the list is the incomparable name, -- Christ of Nazareth, the Lion of the tribe of Judah. Revelation 5:5
Another one that is known for being courageous is Caleb, one the 12 spies who were sent to Canaan. When the other 10 spies saw only giants and the difficulties in the way of entering the land, Caleb said
“We are well able to overcome it.” Numbers 15:30
Other names noted of their godly character and strict integrity were the 4 young men who risked their lives than defile themselves with the king’s meat. I’m talking about Daniel and his 3 friends who were taken captive in Babylon. And because of their faithfulness to God, they were thrown into the fiery furnace but were never hurt. The promised made hundred years ago was fulfilled.
Isaiah 42:3, “… when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.”
Daniel was very true to his integrity to his tribe and because of this, he was thrown into the lion’s den. He chose to face those hungry lions rather than permit any interruption in his communion with God.
Brethren, this is the true character that God is looking for in his people in these last days especially those who desire to be among the 144,000 who will go through the time of trouble, who will never taste death, who will serve as the first fruit offering to God the Father. Strict integrity amidst perplexity should be our motto. It is during the difficult times that we reveal our true character. Let us not be found compromising when our tests come. Be it in character in how we deal with others in loving them, departing from the works of what the tribe of Dan is about that we see going on today, overcome the world and do not be overcome by it, do not yield to the character of Satan as so many are doing today as the Spirit of God is withdrawing and receive the latter rain that will help you fulfill your duty today in being that example for Christ in His righteousness. Depart from all evil and be that life's sermon for Christ. Christ is love and we are to love as He loved. We are to build up the Lord's kingdom through love and caring for the sick lost world. Remove very evil thing that would speak for Satan like the tribe of Dan loves to do. You can see their evil works today, but let us not be like these accusers who stand before God and the world accusing those they profess to Love. Be strong in love and roar like the lion from the tribe of Judah your good works towards GOD and others. If Christ is abiding in our lives we will have corresponding works to go with our lip service. Let us remember the tribe of Judah where the Chief Ruler, the Christ came from. If you want to know so much about the tribe of Judah, study your Creator Who loves you so much and gave Himself for you. In your time of need and battle, Christ is always there for you. Let Him for your battles and you hold your peace and be not like the world.
Deuteronomy 20:4, "For the LORD your God [is] he that goeth with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you."
Continue to strive and fight the good fight of faith. Never quit. We may have to go through the fiery furnace in order to prove our loyalty to God just like Daniel and his 3 friends had to go through, but remember, so long as we fight for the truth in our obedience to the great I AM that I AM, he will fight for you. He is the head of His army that will fight for you just as He has always done throughout the entire record of the Bible. You are not alone.
Matthew 28:20, "...and, lo, I am with you alway, [even] unto the end of the world. Amen."
Our Great KING of kings from the tribe of Judah, He will stand over us as a strong fearce lion guarding His own pride.
Psalms 46:1, "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. He will stand with us in our test. Christ has the power and grace. We have to take hold of it. He knows our human weaknesses. He knows how it is like to be tested."
Hebrews 4:15, "For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as [we are, yet] without sin."
Christ was tempted but never sinned. Let us strive to do the same thing. Overcome evil with good and depart from the works of the tribe of Dan. If you are working the works of Christ, you will be strong like the tribe of Judah. You will not fear anything because you trust is put in the Lord. If the Lord says you can, you can. If the Lord says to go to Nineveh, you go. If the Lord says you can destroy the modern day Goliath, you can. Satan up and put on the armor of God and be like the tribe of Judah and defeat your enemies through the power of God that is with His children.
Remember brethren, temptation is not sin, but it is yielding to the temptation, embracing it, desiring it and wanting it, which is sin. If you allow the temptation to take root in your thoughts, then it will enter the heart and then into your daily lives and thus your characters will be seen doing the works of the tribe of Dan. If you cannot govern the mind, if you cannot resist the temptation in the mind, then eventually your character will become one with Satan. Your fruits will eventually be visibly seen as not after the order of Christ. You will have no fruit that the Tribe of Judah is within thee. The tribe of Judah, they are fighters and that fight against the temptations as our perfect example which was in Christ that was left for us.
1 Peter 2:21-22, "For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:"
So, go forth with the Spirit of God who brings you the power to give glory to God through your works that shall give life to your lip service that you are having the image of Christ stamped upon your life. You can only have His image seen in your life unless you are connected with Him and the rain that is falling. If you are receiving the showers of blessings it will be seen in your daily life and a change will take place. You will see the rain of God transforming those whom you love who are not even walk as they should now, but in time, with all your sowing of love, having the righteousness of Christ stamped on your life, they will be touched by the Spirit of truth and a transformation will take place too.
2 Corinthians 5:17 - Therefore if any man [be] in Christ, [he is] a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
2 Corinthians 3:18 - But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, [even] as by the Spirit of the Lord.
And remember, as you are a soldier for Christ, "No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord." - Isaiah 54:17