Before I even start, I want you to know that I will be unable to adequately relate what I am experiencing. You’ll have to go through it yourself to know what I mean and trust me when I tell you it is worth it. If you’ve been following me for a time, you’ll know that I am a beginner student of messianic prophecy of the Old Testament. It has been so rewarding. I spent several hours on it yesterday. I’m still enjoying the blessings today!
Here’s what is so, so cool. Our bible has a story that is so intertwined with the telling of the coming of our savior that one cannot imagine the bible being fictional as some claim it to be. All through the pages we are shown what is to come before it does. Why? So that we may believe. Quite frankly, I have taken all this for granted. That’s starting to change.
My progress? I haven’t made it out of Genesis. Let me give you a few of the foundational passages that build a case for the Messiah to come. Keep in mind that God doesn’t give us everything at once. He reveals his plan slowly with the expectation that we will walk by faith and simply trust him. In this, we are continually pointed to Jesus, in both his first coming as well as his next.
First, we have The Fall. This is our initial hint of big things to come. I won’t go into detail, but much can be said of this and of the verses to follow.
Genesis 3:15 I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and her offspring;
he shall bruise your head,
and you shall bruise his heel.”
Some versions refer to “offspring” as “seed”. This is both plural and singular. Careful study will easily demonstrate that this speaks of the Messiah being victorious over Satan. It’s NOT meant to explain why humans are afraid of snakes. So, right away, in the third chapter of the first book, we see a prophecy of someone to come. Next, we have Noah. God also started to identify the family this person would come from:
25 he said,
“Cursed be Canaan;
a servant of servants shall he be to his brothers.”
26 He also said,
“Blessed be the Lord, the God of Shem;
and let Canaan be his servant.
27 May God enlarge Japheth,
and let him dwell in the tents of Shem,
and let Canaan be his servant.”
The descendant of Shem is Abraham, through whom the Israelites would one day enslave the Canaanites in the Promised Land. And, of Abraham is this promise:
Genesis 22:17-18 17 I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies, 18 and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice.”
Again, plural and singular. This next passage is where I spent my day yesterday. This is Jacob’s blessing to his sons. Strangely enough, he gives a special blessing to Judah and not the oldest.
Genesis 49:10 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.
That scepter is kingship which will materialize through David and, through David, Jesus our Messiah, the Lion of Judah. So, out of this strange blessing, we see a hint of things to come. Isaiah speaks of it in Chapter 11 of his book – the shoot that comes forth from the stump of Jesse. See, more prophecy! Let’s look at Chapter 9:
Isaiah 9:6-7 6 For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 Of the increase of his government and of peace
there will be no end,
on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
to establish it and to uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
from this time forth and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.
But before this happens, we see just how unlikely humans are to bring this about. Remember Judah? He certainly didn’t look likely to make this happen. Remember, Judah tried to end the family line. His first son was wicked and the Lord killed him. He was without child, so the widow married the second son to provide offspring. That son was wicked also, and God killed him. Judah was supposed to offer the widow to his THIRD son but refused for fear that he, too, might die. That would have been the end of the family tree, if left to Judah.
That wasn’t the end of that story. God’s word ALWAYS comes true. You see, that widow, Tamar, left Judah’s household. One day, Judah was with some unsavory friend (another story in itself!) and had sex with what he thought was a prostitute. Well, that woman was none other that Tamar who got pregnant by Judah, her father-in-law! That child, a son, was the “missing” link to the genealogy to Jesus.
Judah & Tamar bore Perez, Perez fathered Hezron, Hezron fathered Ram, Ram fathered Amminadab, Amminadab fathered Nahshon, Nahshon fathered Salmon, Salmon and Rahab (remember her, a prostitute?) fathered Boaz, Boaz and Ruth (remember her? A Moabite widow!) fathered Obed, Obed fathered Jesse, Jesse fathered David the king.
See what I mean? So often, it seems to be the end, but God always makes it work. All because of a simple prophecy that didn’t make any sense at the time. And, until we study it, it doesn’t make any sense today. Just think of all that is left to discover in the pages of our bibles!
Father, I pray that this post give a sense of the excitement that I have for what I am discovering in the pages of your wonderful book! Thank you so much for giving it to us. Indeed, you are a God who desires us to seek you and to know you because of it! Amen!
Copyright © 2020 Scott Powers