Judah and His Offspring

One of the main characters in the popular Chronicles of Narnia series is the lion, Aslan. In this series of fantasy stories, Aslan represents Jesus Christ. Perhaps author C. S. Lewis got the idea for Aslan from the title ascribed to Jesus in Revelation 5:5.

The genealogy in today’s passage narrows the focus to the line of Judah. This reflects the author’s interest in David and his kingdom. David’s ancestor Jacob had predicted: “The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until he to whom it belongs shall come and the obedience of the nations shall be his” (Gen. 49:10). Jacob’s prophecy describes the future preeminence of the tribe of Judah as well as the advent of the Messiah.

One interesting feature of this list is the theme of redemption, which is evident in the backstory of some of those mentioned. The line of Judah is traced through Perez, a child who was conceived through trickery (Genesis 38). Hezron and Ram were ancestors of Boaz, who married Ruth the Moabite (Ruth 4:18–22). Bezalel was the craftsman who was empowered by the Holy Spirit to build the tabernacle (Ex. 31:2–5). God had “filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills” in artistic craftsmanship (Ex. 35:31).

This history of redemption would have been especially significant for the original audience of this book. Chronicles was probably written during the second or third generation after the return from exile in Babylon. Still coping with the consequences of divine discipline and struggling with disappointment over the new normal, no doubt some still wished they could return to an earlier golden age (see Hag. 2:3).

Apply the Word

God can redeem our failures and mistakes. Be encouraged today by the reminder of God’s promise. Review this verse to focus your heart on God’s faithfulness: “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LordŽ, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’” (Jer. 29:11).

BY John Koessler, Chair and Professor of Pastoral Studies

John Koessler serves as chair and professor in the division of applied theology and church ministry at the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, Illinois. He is married to Jane and has two sons, Drew and Jarred. John is the author of The Radical Pursuit of Rest (InterVarsity), The Surprising Grace of Disappointment (Moody) and True Discipleship (Moody). John has written several other books and articles and serves as a contributing editor for Today in the Word.

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