Monday, November 03, 2014

The Incarnation: "He whose right it is" Has Come.

"The scepter will not depart from Judah or the staff from between his feet until He whose right it is comes and the obedience of the peoples belongs to Him." Genesis 49:10 (HCSB)

Ever think about the importance of the word "until" in that Jacobian prophecy? It means all that precedes it is moving toward whatever lies behind the "until". "Until", then, is given a heightened sense of anticipation or even wonder, landing with full weight on whatever lies behind it.

Here's what Vos says about what lies behind "until":

"The 'Shiloh,' that is 'the One to whom Judah's sceptre and ruler's staff belong' appears here (Genesis 49:10; crb) as the ultimate embodiment and virtually as the eternalizer of Judah's preeminence among the tribes. In other words the One later called the Messiah is a Consummator in more than a purely chronological sense."

Vos then notes Moses' use of "until" in connected to his use of "the last days" idea of Genesis 49:1:

" Genesis…the idea of progression towards a fixed end is marked by the word 'until.' To be sure the term 'acherith' ("the days to come", or as it is used around the OT, "the last days"; crb) stands in Genesis 49:1 at the head of the prophecy with general reference to what is foretold concerning all the tribes, yet it is meant virtually so that in Judah's destiny alone it is realized to the full extent of its import." Geerhardus Vos, The Pauline Eschatology, p. 2-3

And…so what?

Three things stand out about from the implications of Genesis 49

  1. The "days to come" or "last days" are specifically tied to the coming of "Shiloh". The "days to come" are ushered in by the coming of "Shiloh". Christ's incarnation, life, death, resurrection, and (most importantly to Genesis 49) ascension/exaltation heralds the arrival of the "days to come", the acherith, or last days. We live in the "already"/"not yet" on the other side of the "unitl". The "Shiloh" rules and reigns at the right hand of the Father. The obedience of the peoples belongs to Him.
  2. Everything about Judah and David is anticipating, moving toward, and finds final significance and meaning in "until". The Old Testament is the story of the movement of history toward the "until" of Genesis 49:10. This is especially true as the Old Testament story is developed through Judah, David, and Solomon.
  3. "Ultimate embodiment." "The Eternalizer." "The Consummator." Christ is the glorious fulfillment of Judah's destiny. All of Jacob and Judah's hopes and dreams are realized in the Shiloh who walked among us.

Nothing happens in my life today that "He whose right it is" doesn't know about, doesn't care about, and didn't come to die and rise for.