25 Days of Advent: Forged for our Hope – Day 20
The Tribe Where We Belong
The restaurant was congested with people, each table in close quarters to another. Oversized white plates dominated the surface of the undersized table. An abundance of utensils and various sized glasses claimed the much needed elbow room as we readied ourselves to dig into a small feast. My husband glanced around the table and offered to say a prayer for our meal.
It is a moment where obedience and adoration complete with the noise of the world around you and the pride of the soul within you. One becomes keenly aware of those who are suddenly within the boundaries of personal space. Prayers before meals in public spaces are often interrupted by servers and busboys, and the conversations of other patrons suddenly seem quieter than the moment before. Perhaps out of respect, perhaps out of curiosity.
But no matter the tongue, no matter the god that one is praying to, a public prayer is a confession to the world the tribe of which you belong.
It was prophesied in the first book of the bible, Genesis, that the coming Messiah would come from the tribe of Judah:
Genesis 49:10, 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.
A scepter is a staff often depicted as an ornament held within the hand of a ruler symbolizing power and authority over the people. This prophesy declares that the coming power and authority over God’s people will come from the tribe of Judah which itself means ‘praise’. We find evidence in Christ’s lineage, and a scripture laced with conviction recorded in the book of Hebrews, that Jesus fulfilled this very prophesy for He descended from the tribe Judah as did King David. God had made the covenant with David that the coming Messiah would come from his lineage. This fulfilled prophesy signals a change from the old covenant to our new covenant with Christ for in Jewish law, all former priests hailed from the tribe of Levi.
Hebrews 7:14, For it is clear that our Lord descended from Judah, and in regard to that tribe Moses said nothing about priests.
We are forged for our hope when we set aside our fears and inhibitions to publicly confess to which tribe we belong with our loyalty to our King on full display in humility obedience.
Most of us have not had the privilege of being born into a royal lineage. We don’t share a bathroom and break bread over the dinner table with any heirs to an earthly throne. But under our new covenant with Christ we are given the most incredible gift of being seated with a multitude of heirs to the one true King at a banquet in heaven.
And at this banquet there are no undersized tables. We will not worry over limited elbow room nor be interrupted by servers and busboys. The conversations of others will not distract us, and our obedience and adoration will never compete with anything else.
Father, may I never forget which tribe I will serve all my days. Though my soul may quiver at the truth that the world is always watching, may I represent my Father’s house wherever I go. Give me God-confidence to proclaim Christ’s name and my lineage in all that I do. In Jesus name, amen.