“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.”
– Genesis 49:10
Genesis 49:10 is a stout promise that was just made to Judah about Judah’s line, that through the line of Judah would come a king who’s scepter would rule and tribute would be brought to him. Not just any tribute, but the obedience of the peoples, the tribes, the nations.
We take the gospel to the nations because to Him shall be the obedience of all peoples. Jesus is worthy of the praise of every tribe and tongue.
That’s the language here, that all the nations. This isn’t just about the people of Jacob, or the people of Israel, the people of Judah. No, this is about all peoples one day giving their obedience to a king from Judah’s line. This is a clear promise, that takes us all the way from the first book in the Bible, to the last book in the Bible, when John looks, in Revelation 5, and he sees a vision of the lion of the tribe of, you guessed it, Judah. Bowing down before him is every nation, tribe, tongue, and people, every people group in the world.
Genesis 49:10 Reminds Us to Spread the Gospel
When the Bible talks about peoples or nations, it’s talking about distinct people groups. It’s not talking about just nations, like we think of nations today, around 200 or so geopolitical entities. Those nations did not exist in the Bible. United States of America did not exist in the Bible, peoples did.
Genesis 49:10 Leads Us to Take the Gospel to China
When we see in Old Testament, Canaanites, Hittites, Jebusites, Hivites, on and on, and on, and on. Today, it’s the Han, and the Hui, and the Berber, and the Baloch, and the Aoka people in China, 300,000 plus of them. The Aoka people who live in southeastern China, animistic people who worship all kinds of spirits and demons, are constantly trying to appease them. The meaning of Genesis 49:10 is clear. The obedience of the Aoka people belongs to Jesus, the lion of the tribe of Judah.
That’s why we go to the Aoka people in China to spread the Gospel to them, and to thousands of other people groups around the world like them, who have little to no access to the Gospel right now. That’s why we look around us in the cities where we live, in the communities where we live, where are there even people groups that around the world it’s hard to get the Gospel to, but God has brought some of the people from those people groups to us. We look for opportunities to share the Gospel across cultures, among different types of people.
Let me encourage you, don’t just share the Gospel with people who look like you. To Jesus belongs the obedience of all the peoples, all the tribes, languages, nations. Look for opportunities to share the Gospel with people from other ethnicities, other backgrounds, other languages. This is what our churches must be focused on. This is the commission Jesus has given us. Make disciples of all the nations. King Jesus, the lion of the tribe of Judah has told us to go and make disciples of all the peoples.
This Verse Leads Us to Pray For Help From God
God help us to be obedient to your great commission. Help us not to see mission as a compartmentalized program over here in the church for a select few people who are called to care about that. No, God. You have called us all to care about that. You’ve shown us from cover to cover, literally in your Word, that you are calling all the peoples and all the nations to obey Jesus, to experience salvation in Jesus. God, use our lives, our families, our churches, to make the glory of King Jesus known among all the peoples in the world. We pray especially for people groups like the Aoka who have yet to be reached with the Gospel. God, please change that. Use us to change that for them and thousands of other people groups like them.
Jesus, we confess you are worthy of the obedience and the worship of all the nations. Use our lives and our families, and our churches to make your worth known among them, that they might experience your salvation, and the freedom that comes in bowing the knee in obedience to you. It’s in Jesus’ name, the name of the lion of the tribe of Judah we pray. Amen.