July 21, 2013 – July 27, 2013
“The sceptre 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.” Genesis 49:10.
Study Help: The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 1, 377; Steps to Christ, 115, 124–126.
“The priesthood was apportioned to Levi, [and] the kingdom and the Messianic promise to Judah.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 235.
1 PRAISED BY HIS BRETHREN
- What was Leah’s frame of mind when she bore her fourth son, Judah? Genesis 29:35. How was her attitude exemplary at that time? Psalm 50:23. Explain the meaning of the name “Judah” (see marginal note in the Bible).
Note: “While we review, not the dark chapters in our experience, but the manifestations of God’s great mercy and unfailing love, we shall praise far more than complain. We shall talk of the loving faithfulness of God as the true, tender, compassionate shepherd of His flock, which He has declared that none shall pluck out of His hand. The language of the heart will not be selfish murmuring and repining. Praise, like clear-flowing streams, will come from God’s truly believing ones.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 367.
- How did Judah express his remorse at the idea of leaving Joseph to die of starvation? Genesis 37:25–27. How did he partially admit his sin in the case of Tamar? Genesis 38:24–26.
Note: “Some of them [Joseph’s brothers] were ill at ease; they did not feel the satisfaction they had anticipated from their revenge. Soon a company of travelers was seen approaching. It was a caravan of Ishmaelites from beyond Jordan, on their way to Egypt with spices and other merchandise. Judah now proposed to sell their brother to these heathen traders instead of leaving him to die.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 211.
2 A REMARKABLE CONTRAST
- Describe one manifestation which shows how Judah prevailed above his brethren. Genesis 44:14–18, 30–34; 46:28, first part.
Note: “In words of touching eloquence he [Judah] described his father’s grief at the loss of Joseph and his reluctance to let Benjamin come with them to Egypt, as he was the only son left of his mother, Rachel, whom Jacob so dearly loved. [Genesis 44:30-34 quoted.]
“Joseph was satisfied. He had seen in his brothers the fruits of true repentance.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 230.
- Explain the contrast between Reuben and Judah as far as personality is concerned. Genesis 43:8–13 (cf. 42:36–38); 1 Chronicles 5:2. Why are trustworthiness and dependability such valuable traits?
Note: “We are living in an age when almost everything is superficial. There is but little stability and firmness of character, because the training and education of children from their cradle is superficial. Their characters are built upon sliding sand. Self-denial and self-control have not been molded into their characters.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 143.
“Reliable men are very scarce for the reason that the hearts of men are so devoted to their own selfish interests that they know no other.” Ibid., vol. 2, 636.
“It is not so much the religion of the pulpit as the religion of the family that reveals our real character. The minister’s wife, his children, and those who are employed as helpers in his family are best qualified to judge of his piety. A good man will be a blessing to his household. Wife, children, and helpers will all be the better for his religion.” Ibid., vol. 5, 161.
“A man may not bear the most pleasant exterior, he may be deficient in many respects; but if he has a reputation for straightforward honesty, he will gain the confidence of others. The love of truth, the dependence and confidence which men can place in him, will remove or overbear objectionable features in his character. Trustworthiness in your place and calling, a willingness to deny self for the purpose of benefiting others, will bring peace of mind and the favor of God.” Ibid., vol. 4, 353.
3 FIRMNESS PERPETUATED IN THE SEED
- What did Jacob say about Judah, and why? Genesis 49:8.
Note: “The crowning blessings of the birthright were transferred to Judah. The significance of the name—which denotes praise—is unfolded in the prophetic history of this tribe:
“ ‘Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise: thy hand shall be in the neck of thine enemies; thy father’s children shall bow down before thee. Judah is a lion’s whelp: from the prey, my son, thou art gone up: he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion: who shall rouse him up? 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’ (Genesis 49:8–10).” Patriarchs and Prophets, 236.
- How can we be inspired by Jacob’s description of Judah’s firmness of character? Genesis 49:9; Proverbs 28:1.
Note: “The lion, king of the forest, is a fitting symbol of this tribe, from which came David, and the Son of David, Shiloh, the true ‘Lion of the tribe of Judah’ (Revelation 5:5), to whom all powers shall finally bow and all nations render homage.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 236.
“Remember that the nearer we approach the time of Christ’s coming, the more earnestly and firmly we are to work; for we are opposed by the whole synagogue of Satan. We do not need feverish excitement, but that courage which is born of genuine faith.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 475.
“Some men have no firmness of character. They are like a ball of putty and can be pressed into any conceivable shape. They are of no definite form and consistency, and are of no practical use in the world. This weakness, indecision, and inefficiency must be overcome. There is an indomitableness about true Christian character which cannot be molded or subdued by adverse circumstances. Men must have moral backbone, an integrity which cannot be flattered, bribed, or terrified.” Ibid., vol. 5, 297.
“God desires us to make use of every opportunity for securing a preparation for His work. He expects us to put all our energies into its performance, and to keep our hearts alive to its sacredness and its fearful responsibilities.” Gospel Workers, 291.
4 A RICH HISTORY
- How did God honor the tribe of Judah when the tabernacle was built? Exodus 31:1–5.
Note: “The Lord gave an important lesson to His people in all ages when to Moses on the mount He gave instruction regarding the building of the tabernacle. In that work He required perfection in every detail. Moses was proficient in all the learning of the Egyptians; he had a knowledge of God, and God’s purposes had been revealed to him in visions; but he did not know how to engrave and embroider. …
“Then God Himself explained how the work was to be accomplished. He signified by name the persons He desired to do a certain work. Bezaleel was to be the architect. This man belonged to the tribe of Judah—a tribe that God delighted to honor.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 59.
- Name some lessons we can learn from Caleb, another member of the tribe of Judah. Numbers 13:6, 30; 14:24.
Note: “He [Caleb] had believed God’s promise that He would put His people in possession of Canaan, and in this he had followed the Lord fully. … Now at upwards of fourscore his vigor was unabated. He did not ask for himself a land already conquered, but the place which above all others the spies had thought it impossible to subdue. By the help of God he would wrest his stronghold from the very giants whose power had staggered the faith of Israel. It was no desire for honor or aggrandizement that prompted Caleb’s request. The brave old warrior was desirous of giving to the people an example that would honor God, and encourage the tribes fully to subdue the land which their fathers had deemed unconquerable.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 512, 513.
“Calebs are the men most needed in these last days.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 130.
- Relate how one dark chapter in the history of Judah was contrasted by the shining faithfulness of a few young witnesses for God. Daniel 1:1, 6–8; 3:16–18.
5 A BOUNTIFUL BLESSING
- What prophecy had been given regarding the tribe of Judah, and how will this be fulfilled? Genesis 49:10; Isaiah 7:14–16; Matthew 21:9.
Note: “Glorious are the promises made to David and his house, promises that look forward to the eternal ages, and find their complete fulfillment in Christ.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 754.
- How is Moses’ prayer for Judah significant for us today? Deuteronomy 33:1, 7. What accounts for the fact that the name of this tribe is mentioned first in the list of the sealed saints? Revelation 7:5, first part.
Note: “We need to study, to meditate, and to pray. Then we shall have spiritual eyesight to discern the inner courts of the celestial temple. We shall catch the themes of song and thanksgiving of the heavenly choir round about the throne. When Zion shall arise and shine, her light will be most penetrating, and precious songs of praise and thanksgiving will be heard in the assemblies of the saints. Murmuring and complaining over little disappointments and difficulties will cease. As we apply the golden eyesalve we shall see the glories beyond. Faith will cut through the heavy shadow of Satan, and we shall see our Advocate offering up the incense of His own merits in our behalf. When we see this as it is, as the Lord desires us to see it, we shall be filled with a sense of the immensity and diversity of the love of God.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 368.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1 Explain the spiritual strength inherent in the name “Judah.”
2 How do we know that Judah was respected in his home life?
3 Describe some characteristics of the tribe of Judah.
4 Relate some significant points about Bezaleel, Caleb, Daniel, and his companions.
5 Compare Moses’ prayer for Judah with Jesus’ prayer in behalf of all believers.
Copyright © 2007 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.