A life that praises the LORD.

Why Will You Die, Israel? “And you, son of man, say to the house of Israel, Thus have you said: ‘Surely our transgressions and our sins are upon us, and we rot away because of them. How then can we live?’ Say to them, As I live, declares the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways, for why will you die, O house of Israel? (Ezekiel 33:10-11)

Still thinking of Judah, of how his life gave praise to God.  He was not a spiritual giant. People never want to be more like Judah. There are songs and sermons about Joseph and nothing about Judah.

Judah was a mean, envious and bitter man.  He was the one who suggested to sell Joseph, manipulating his brother to accept his idea. Moreover he left his family and married a Canaanite. Then he refused to give Tamar, his daughter-in-law, to his youngest son and slept with her thinking she was a prostitute.

But God’s grace looks beyond our sins and blesses repentance. Judah could have let Tamar be burned, but instead he recognised his unrighteousness. He could have taken advantage of her, but never touched her again (Genesis 38:24-26). Then he went back to his family (Genesis 42:1-3) and used his influence for good.  He took not only the place, but also the responsibility of the leader (Genesis 43:1-10).  And when Joseph wanted to keep Benjamin as slave, Judah offered to take his place. His bitterness and envy were gone and replaced by compassion and mercy. He was ready to die to serve the other most loved son (Genesis 44).

Judah was a sinner. The kind we can easily look down upon. But he had a repentant heart. The kind of heart that pleases God. And therefore his life praised the Lord.

Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus… (Acts 3:19-20)

This time I will praise the Lord!

Judah, your brothers shall praise you; your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies; your father’s sons shall bow down before you… 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 49:8-10)

Have you ever wondered why the Messiah is from the tribe of Judah? Why from Judah and not from Joseph, “who was set apart from his brothers.”? (Genesis 49:29)?

Maybe because He is the only son of Jacob that was for the glory of God. His other sons were for the glory of their parents. They chose their names for their own gratification.

Reuben was chosen  “Because the Lord has looked upon my affliction; for now my husband will love me.”;  Simeon “Because the Lord has heard that I am hated, he has given me this son also.”;  Levi for, “Now this time my husband will be attached to me, because I have borne him three sons.”; Dan for “God has judged me, and has also heard my voice and given me a son.”; Naphtali for “With mighty wrestlings I have wrestled with my sister and have prevailed.” ; Gad for “Good fortune has come!” ; Asher for “Happy am I! For women have called me happy.”; Issachar for “God has given me my wages because I gave my servant to my husband.”; Zebulun for “God has endowed me with a good endowment; now my husband will honor me, because I have borne him six sons.”; Joseph for “God has taken away my reproach.”, and “May the Lord add to me another son!”; and Benjamin means son of the right hand. (Genesis 29: 32-34, 30: 6-13, 18-20, 22-24, 35:18)

But Judah’s name was given to Him for the LORD’s sake (Genesis 29:35). Because after all, the LORD is worthy of being praised, and not only because of His blessings, but because of who He is. And in some way, Judah’s life was a praise to the Lord.