Jacob’s Prophecy

A Message of Hope 

Your throne, O God, will last forever and ever; a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom.  Psalm 45:6

One of the earliest prophecies proclaiming the birth of Christ occurs in Genesis 49:10 when Jacob blessed each of his sons. To Judah he said, “The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet until he comes to whom it belongs, and the obedience of the nations is his.”

Judah and his brothers must have thought that was a strange thing to say. They had no kingdom to rule. They didn’t even have a country anymore. Due to a famine, they were refugees in Egypt, dependent on the charity of Pharaoh.

No doubt Jacob’s sons knew about the covenant God had made with their great grandfather Abraham. Jacob had surely told them what God had said to Abraham: ‘I will make a great nation of you. In you all the nations of the world will be blessed” (Genesis 12:2). But that promise must have seemed like an old man’s fantasy to the eleven brothers as they tended Pharaoh’s flocks in Goshen.

Nevertheless, God kept His promise and Jacob’s words came true. Judah’s descendants, David and Solomon, reigned over many people. However, the “ruler’s staff” Jacob mentioned really belongs to only one individual because only one King will command the obedience of all nations—Jesus Christ.

God’s promises may seem a little far-fetched to you this Christmas season. Maybe you’re grieving the death of a loved one or the end of a cherished relationship. Maybe you’ve lost your job and you lie awake at night wondering how to pay the bills. Maybe a family crisis has left you thinking that God has blocked your calls.

But into our crises, God sends messages of hope. He delivered a promise to Jacob’s sons in Egypt: The Scepter of Justice is coming. Better days are ahead. He delivers a similar promise to us: The day is coming when the kingdoms of the world will “become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign forever and ever” (Revelation 11:15). Let’s rejoice this Christmas as we look forward to that day!


In some translations, Genesis 49:10 reads “until Shiloh come” instead of  “until he comes to whom it belongs.”  Many Bible scholars believe that “Shiloh” means “peacemaker” and therefore is another word for Messiah. How was the Messiah a peacemaker? Read Luke 2:14 and Ephesians 2:11-22.

Read all of Psalm 45. What verses make it clear that the psalmist is writing about Jesus and not just a human king?

Psalm 45:6-7 is quoted in Hebrews 1:8-9. Read all of Hebrews 1. Why is Jesus superior to any other being in heaven and on earth?

When we get to heaven, what will our place in Jesus’ kingdom be? Read 2 Timothy 2:12 and Revelation 20:6.

 Denise K. Loock


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