Full Text for Messianic Mountaintops, Part I (Text)

Moun 3 $+ + ...- t4ain v tops MARTIN NAUMANN IN NOMINE JESU "In Jesus' Name." These soft, quiet, submissive words, in- toned at the beginning ol every chapel address by Martin Naumann, always prepared the way for the richly substantive, solidly Scriptural, profoilnd ly theological, yet simple messages that followed. He was so completely at home in Cod's Holy Scripti~res and worked with such childlike, yet mature and manly, trust in what Cod was saving through the prophetic and apostolic Word that students and faculty alike sensed imme- diately the authority with which he spoke. Like many a great preacher and teacher his style was his own; but the message carried all the weight of Isaiah, Paul, Jeremiah, Moses, John, fot- it was their message which he delivered so surely. To open up the Scriptures and explain how "all things must be fulfilled which were written in the law of hlloses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms" concerning his Savior, this was his great art. 'Those who sat at his feet, in lecture room or chapel, remember how their hearts did burn within them because of his great, God- given ability to expound Cod's Word. He spoke and lectured as one who not only lived out of Scripture's content but who lived closely with his God day by day. Messianic Mountaintops is a fitting bequest to all who knew and loved him. When he died so suddenly on Maundy Thursday, 1972, it seemed quite appropriate that he should be preparing his Good Friday sermon for Trinity congregation, Springfield, on the familiar words of Jesus from tl~e cross, "Father into Thy hands I commend my spirit." Born in Wisconsin (1901), reared by missionary parents in India, educated at Milwaukee (Concordia College) and St. Louis (Concordia Seminary), pastor in Germany (Saxony and Bremen) and in lllinois (Altamont), Dr. Martin J. Naumann (affectionately known as "Martin of tours" by his colleagues because of his role in planning, leading, and promoting his beloved Bible-land seminar extension courses) enriched the life and pastoral prepa- ration of many students at Concordia Theological Seminary, Springfield, Illinois, from 1948 until his timely death (Cod's time is always right was one lesson everyone learned from Brother Naumann) during Holy Week, 1972. He was a truly cosmopolitan sort of man with countless friends on every continent and, not least, in heaven. The familiar requiescat in pace does not seem adequate in the case of a man for whom theologia crucis was the warp and woof of life, home, classroom, pulpit. Then, as now, here was a man IN PACE CHRISTI! Eugene F. Klug "Search the Scriptures, for in them ye think ye have eternal life : and they are they which testify of me" (John 5:39). Jesus Christ, who spoke these words, tells us what we are to do and why. We are asked to search the Scriptures. The reason? There is eternal life in them, says Jesiis. How so? They point to Jesus as the cnrrse of eternal life. Christ's words are as clear as anything can be. Nevertheless, every man is by nature SO completely blind that the ScriptLlres are 'Itter nonsellsc to him. Yet, he desires with his heart a blessed Everlasting life was the wish of the men the savior addressed with this directive, and the Scriptures were known to as giving the hey to an everlasting life. However, rvhen the ~~~d pLlt into the center of the Bible, the blindness of his enemies 'Onfronting Hjnl co~lld not and IV~LI~~ not see Him there, A similar blindness to Jesus as the cellter of the Holy Scriptures plagues sonle students and itdmirers of the Bible. Christians rvill deny or doubt that the whole Scripture, "cveIl)~ the old Tcstnlnent) speaks of Christ. However they think of finding christ in the Testament in only certain small sections or a few Messiilnic Solne p@opk hart at tinles acted, in scarchincy tjlc Scriptures, D. like a Prospector searching the s;inds of a river+ lie sifts slid washes the salld and hopes to find a gleam of precio~ls gold, perhaps eveli a 11Ligget. They cherish the Bible as indeed lvonderfLil gift, but rliinli that they must pick the i\itessianicity out of it as a child picks raisins otlt of a cake. 3 The title Messianic iUoz~ntaintups is intended to serve as ;I tor- rective to the habit of interpreting only certain passages or sections of the Old Testament as Messianic. Even though we select the out- standing prophecies of the Old Testament, we want it distinctl!. that these are not the nuggets or raisins, but are to the whole of the Old Testament as are the peaks of mountnins to the whole massive range. Traveling in a mo~lntainous region, the tourist migllt to know what the that towers majestically above him is called. Altllough in sollle parts of the world the people living there might not even have nalnes for their mountains, yo11 will find that in the ~l~~ the people have a special name for every peak and point it out to Amollg these hundreds of peaks Montblanc> the Zzrgspitze, the Jullgfrau are well known. However if Yo11 should sing'e oLlt a certain peak and say, "That is the Zugs~,itza, and what rounds it is you be wrong: for the lvhole inlmense surrounding and solid block of granite 1s an integral Part of the Zwgspitze, Self-evident as this is in regard to the concept moun- tains yet the Old Testanlent, the massive and imrnrltable rock ~~d~~ Word is by some considered hardly anything more than the history of a people or at most a witness to some acts of God. The ~~~~i~~i~it~ of the Old Testament is regarded as only a part Or featllre of the literature of the Jews- Ho~vcver, no serious stutlent of Scripture, who takes at full value Christ's word to the people of His time can escape t.he convic- tion that all of the Scriptures is indeed Messianic in character. 'To be sure, he may come upon passages that must be understooci as state- ments about Jesus Christ and His Icingdom. He admires and is moved by the pay dirt of prophecy. Nevertheless he must not consider them only isolated golden nuggets, few in number, embedclecl in the sands of Israel's history. They n~ust not be separated from the environlnent of which they are an inseparable part. He must not break them loose but keep them attached to the firm base ancl integrated in the hles- sianic Bible of which they are the salient features. Men like \YilheInl Vischer in his Witness to Christ i~z the Old Testament hell>ed to revive an interest in the Old Testamcnt that was in danger of bein lost in a flood of speculations and highcr criticism. The anti-01 tf Testament bias of National-Socialist anti-Semitism hac] to serve to arouse Christians to a defense of the whole Bible. 'The clestructive work of sonic of the criticisms leveled at the Old Testament kvas evi- dent even in the writings and speeches of the deceivers of the German people. "The Great Deception" of Franz Delitzsch was echoed and aniplified by the "Loud SpeakersJ' of a tragic era of the very people to whom God through Luther had given the Bible in their otvn language. His sermons should set a pattern for the evaluation of the Old Testament. "There is no word of Scripture that docs not point to Christ!" is his concept of the Alcssianicity of the Holy Scriptures. L~~ther, forced into the Scriptures as n doctor Bil?Zicu.s, found CIlrist in them, not occasionally, but everywhere. Vischer has coined a phrase which is ~~irtually a paraphrase of the saying attributed to St. ii~~gustinc: "Thc IYeii; Testaillent Tics hidden in the Olii; the Old lies open in thc New." Vischer says: "The Olcl Testament te1.l~ us ~vhnt the Xlessiah is; the :New tells Lrs 7oh.o the RIessiah is." The interpreter of the Bible practices the universally accepted procedures necessary to get at the intended meaning of anything spoken or written or pjctured, whatever it nlay be. -However, we must note one cr~~cial clifference: thc Bible as the IAJord of God demands that he who interprets it believes it to have absolute author- ity. Ever so many, however, are unwilling to accept the self-testimony of a person, as docs God, as true because hc asserts that it is. What: could be called a vicious circle is, however, in thc case of the Bible the herrneneutic circle into which the believer has been placed and out of which he cannot go without being unfaithful to the Scriptures. This is not, as has been said in criticism, a belief in the Bible instead of in Christ. This view of the Bible is taught to the believer by the One in whom he beIieves, Christ. In order to show the relation of Scripture to Christ me should like to propose a simple demonstration. The ciemonstration involves the acceptance of miracles. Wc nl~lst recognize that the great gap in the theories and practice of science is the miracle. hqodern science, by its Very nat~lre and lllethodology, cannot find room for It therefore says neither no yes to them, relegates them thefore to the realm of faith. Unfortunate'y there are those theologians who regard the findings and nonfindings of modern scierlce as valid criteria for interpreting the Scriptures therefore reject miracles as factual and classify them wit11 the world- wide 1nirac1.e stories old and new. It is evident that in this vien: every- thing of ;i supernatural character from Genesis to Revelation has religious and moral valuc only for a possible truth to be searcheci out in the same way 2s is clone wit21 inyths, fables, and other non-factual literary genres. The central miracle is that "the 'Word was 111ade flesh and dwelt anlong us"-God and .h4;111 in the persoil of Jesus Christ. His symbol is the cross. All syste~natically articulated statements on this liliracle cannot malarltness. IVliat n triumph of hell, what a jilbilation and infernal Iaug'hter there 11iust have bceil. In thc play "J.l3." by h4acJzeish, the tictor taking the part of Nicldes (Satan) in one scenc brcaks out into a fiendish Ianghter that chills thc bones. The hour of darltness Jvas here 2nd now, as it was in the clark~less of Golgotha. i\lld it is at that point and in that situation that God says: "I will not tolerate this condition, I am I putting, 1 a111 establishing the opposite itnd a cc,unter-covenant to the one just made. I am going to 1)re:tIi it 1113." This tlcclnration is cnough. God gives His wort1 2nd l>romise. \VC are not unaware of the 11igIicr-critical mcti~od (it h;ls been around for a long time) that fails to see the greatness of tllc promise. \jJc lcnow of the atte~npts to de-rcalizc tllc truth of this \170rc1 of God. PI:~DI~SC of cvcr1asting enmity bet\vr:en nianliincl ancl serpents. I'romisc of a s~lperiority over the poisonous fangs of snakes. Is tllr~t: the great rnon~ent that is to light up the dark clay of tllc Fall? Ascribecl to an author long after Moses, visualizing some unltnoivn sage of the T-lebrcws that felt by such a story he migt~t warn his fello~v Jews agajnst joining the snalte ~vorsl~ip of thcil: timc? Can you lxlieve it? How coulrl Eve stancl up against Satan? lleacl on: "And bet.c.ilccn thy scetl and her SecclV-not only Evc, but also onc of hci: children is to participate in this war on Satan-but can this Secd ~iin if I;:vc hcrsclf has fallen? Iread 011 'ignin: "He, thc Seed, shall bruise thy hcad and thou sl~alt bruise his heel." According to God's plan, the Sced of the \Vonlnn was to encounter Satan, the Scrpcnt, 'lncT crush his head, dcstrov Satan's ivorlts and deliver manl(inc1, not in solnc easy, offhand ;ct or bloodless battle. Thc SCI]IE~I~)S l-~olver is SO terribly daring as eve11 to attack thc Secd, the Son. Again it is pure fan tnsy to cxl>lain that llerein is tlcscribed man's war against ~~ermin. .? \ATc may ask, Dicl man c\'er ;~ttc~npt to fight serpents, poisonous adders, by stepping in bare Ileels on their heacls? If thnt were 311 the hopc that is contained in this ivord of advice, "when you see a snalie, step on it," thc writer mirst: be a sac1 prophet that puts this into the frame- ~vork of Genesis tlxec . . . 13esides, ~ilhere is the cvidencc of a wal: 01- enmity of serpents against man? In contrast we have Scripture to interpret Scripture. Xo span of tinle or space can remove the promise froin the fulfillment. No page or pages of books of Scripture draw a line or raise a barrier between Genesis and Revelation, Here there is no doubt left either as to who the Serpent is and who conquered him. The Holy Spirit, the author of a11 of the Word of God, said nothing in Revelation or any book or any part of Scripture that in any way differs from any other. Therefore we ltnow the Eden promise to be the great and glorious light that shone in the darkness of the Eden lost to man to give man hope. Not just a glimmer of hope, but the full ltronlise of God that made life beyonci Eden tolerable in spite of painful child- birth, agony of labor and disapyointinent, thorn and thistles and bread salted with the sweat of man's brow. Tolerable is the right ~vord. R4an can now bear it, this life on earth cursed for his sin, for Inan Itnojvs God did not curse Ilinl but blessed him with the l~romise of a redenlption by the One 1vho certainly possesses a power greater than that of any of God's creatures and yet be Eve's son. Serious-minded souls ask: How do we know that Adam and Eve understood? The answer is right in the same chapter. \$%en God had said with solenln emphasis that man was to return to dust from which he was taken, what seems to be Adam's reaction to this? One that hc could only have hacl by receiving the promise of victory over Satan in faith and trust in the 'CVord of God. What does the next verse tell us? This is probably, next to the merciful words of God, the most tender scene in the chapter. Adam turns to Eve and says: (we beg pardon if this is too human a paraphrase) "Dear heart, we have been against each other. You have been the Devil's handmaid instead of my helpmate and I have said ugly words about you to God. But, through God, this day is a day of salvation and life, and in orcler not to forget it, I an1 going to give you a new name. I'm not calling you 'woman' anymore. You are now to have the name 'Life,' for through you God has promised life ancl salvation in your Seed." To anyone who thinks this interpretation farfetched, we can point to the changes of names solemnly decreed at other points in the story of salvation. Abram becomes Abraham; Jacob becomes Israel; LoAlni becomes Ami; and death becomes life . . . Nor is it exegeticaIly permissible simply to shrug off the literal translation of Evc's words, five verses later. Chapter divisions are not fences but are often misused as such. There is no great gap between what Adam said to Eve and what Eve said when her firstborn son came into the world. The literal translation is still the best one: "I have the man Yahweh" . . . Poor Eve? She is so mistaken in the identity, but so right in her faith that one of her children was to be the Savior. Happy Eve! Adam and Eve, tve see, had much more than a dim star of hope guiding them through life till they finally arrived back in Eden, in the eternal Eden describect in Revelation in so many terms borrowed from Genesis. Adam and Eve had the Worcl, a light unto their feet, the daystar from on high. No dim theology theirs, to grow only gradually into a knowledge of a divinity. No constantly changing or ever evolving religious concepts for them. They had revelation. It is I. Adam. 13 --- - - - - - . - . - - . - - . - - . -- . -- . . - - . .- .. . - - -- - - , , - -- not for us to ask 11o.t~ much inore God told them, how many hours God spent with them during the days following thc expulsion, what all was in~plied in the making of garments for their naIor, is transformed not by his personal feel~ng of disgrace but 11): the lvratll of the Spirit of God into 21 prophet rvhosc vision reaches farther than an!- ~~icw from Mt. Ararat into all the ~vorld ancl to the cncl of the ~-c!orlcl. 'There was a time when interpreters saw jn Ham's curse the prediction of the plight of the bjaclc people and evidence that God has destined the black nlan to sla.crery. The blaclmess of skin is not a curse. The blaclabl!- see the whole human race of his tinic at a filance from his tent) there. I-Ie sees far into history. Bv the Spirit's gift Ilc predicts in a summar!- statement the destiny that divides all men of all times into three classes. These are not the social or the physiological tiescenclants of his three sons. The racial implications of Noah's statements have been over-emphasized, the circles are more cultural than racial. More inlportant, the divisions Noah envisages arc religious. The fanlily of Ham ancl Canaan is a sspirit~~al family. There have always been and there will ahrays be to the end of time the religions that worship fertility and sex. 'They abandon Gocl's order of marriage and family in favor af uninhibited, unre- strictetl sexual relations, ivhicl~ they call free love. The Bachannlia, the Orphic rites, the Ashera-Astarte-Venus cults of ancient times and the contcmporar y freedom without order and love witllou t law. Love and orcler were created by God as Siaimese tivins; onc cannot be scp- aratetl fro111 the other without inortal danger. Love ivi thout order trtrns to loss of life anci personality; order -tvithout love turns to murcler and opl~ression. Any self-chose11 frecdo~~l turns into slavery to scsunl jx~ssion. They who follow the Hamite or Caliaanite model will lose their dignity and an honorable place in the world. By enslaving themselves, they havc 11~; future but are condernncci to slavery, to being sub- hunian. T\71~e~~ immorality becomes a national way of life, the nation as a ir~hole is ~vealtenecl, soinetimes critically. Why, for example, dicl thc glory of Greece decline? \Vhy dicl Iiome fall? What is the do~vn- fall of rnodurn political units today? Servants of servants will they be. 'The tern1 scrvnizt is however too good. Slaves is a better term for the dcpmveetl generation, slaves of sin, slaves of thcir naturally base naturcs, and by an inexorable law of Gocl damned to failure and slavery. 'Therc is another statement with lasting content, a statement ~vhich indicates tlie progress of thc Messianic plan as it is revealed in God's dealings with generation after generation. "Elesscd bc Yahweh, the Gocl of Sheln." After learning of the curse clescendin~ on Canaan < * i1.c cspcct to hear that Shcnz i: contrast, n~ould receive ~vorcls of ~xiisc tint1 bless in^. Ilowever, we note that the Gocl of Shenl. the God Yah~lch, the ~ocl-\vl~o 1ieeps' His promiscs m:ide in His price is here calJed the God of Shew and is blessed, that: is, praised. The great contrast is I~etrveen praising and cursing. There is only one way to speak of' God, the ivay of praise-and this praise is not that of the tc:tchcr telling the student that 1le has done good rvorl<, but thc praise that describes the greatness, holiness, justice, mercy and all the other glories of the heavenly hlajesty. Gocl is never spoken of otherwise; an); other speech or description of God is the o~yositc of 1,raisc; it is blasphenly. Theology means spea1;ing of God in praise. Shern needs no special credit for having Yahweh for his God, for Shenl is elcct. "I shalI be your Gocl and you sl~all bc my peolde," says God to Israel, Shem's descendants. Who are the Shenlites that here arc t.stol1ec'l over the Canaanites? Indeed there is an Israel according to the flesh, hut it is trl~!:; Israel only as it has Yah\veh as -its Gocl and -tr;orsl~ips IIirn alone. Israel ~vititlout Yahweh js LoAmi, that is, "not my people." With God it is the sl>iritual. Israel, that is, simply said, all believers. They have the blessings of God who is blessed by them. Noah sees the spiritual rather than the physical descendants of Shcm as God's people, to ~vhoin in the end all ~lations must boiv, to whom thc L.ort1 will give "the nccks of their enemies," who will have to submit to them in the end, It is via Shenl that Abrahain receives the promise still more concentrated and defined: "In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed!"--in Shem's family, where the II. Noah .~ -,. . .- -- . . . .- .~ 19 -- - . -.. - .~.. .... - attitude Shem has shown toward his father would conti~lue and God's orders would be rcspected. l3lessed is Shem, for his God is the one who gives and nlaintaiils life. 13Icssed is the God of Shem, who is the God of mercy. Now what about that nest sentence? "Blessed by the Lord m) Gocl be Shein; and Izt Canaan be his slave. God enlarge Japheth, and let him dt~lell in the tents of Shem; and let Canaan be his slave." As is often thc case in prophecy, we comc to a climax. Sonlcthing of future history, something of Japheth's history is to bc relatccl to Sheni's future. As the tnw brothers showed a uniteci front against the Han~itc attitude, so God was going to bless them together. Hon- evcr, herc thc name of God is thc general ltantc Elohim, not Yah~vch, the covenant nalnc-as if thc prophet iilantec'i to speak of nations that arc. ilot under the self-same covenant as Shem. All nations have an innate lrophetic eye sees the Gentile nations comlng to the light of Israel's rising? What else could it mean except that the c'le- scendants of Japheth, people that are not given to the Canaanite worship of sex nncl uncleanness, ~vould be the proselytes and would come to the true spiritual heritage of Jesus Christ? After all, we, too, are sharing with the patriarchs, with the Israel after the spirit, all the blessings of the covcnant of grace. Ifre are dwelling in the house of the T,ord; we are the Israel of God. Ours is not to ask how ~IILIC~ did Noah understand of ~vhat Ile was saying, hoiv niuch of the dimensions of God's revelation Isas Ile consciously aivasc of. Ours is the gift to be able to 1001; 1,aclt to this promise an0 scc it in tllc fulfillincnt, for neithcr Noali's gcni~~s nor his anger at Ham nor his joy at the filial faith of the two sons caused him to speak this solenln oracle. It was God's Spirit who had preached through him before the Flood that now preached in and through him after the Flood. Like a panorama of history the general rule for life and success under God is spread before us. A people, individually or collectively, that disobey God's ordinances, especially in the area of natural orders, have no promise of lasting success and superiority, but wherever people Itnow and obey God, there blessings and s~~periority will come to them, indeed, there will come the supreme blessing of the covenant of God, a united humanity in Christ, thc one great Shepherd of souls. Under the covenant of grace nations and people ~vill be blesscd with life, yes with LIFE. Genesis 12 : 1-3 : Xow tlie borcl said to Abram, Go from your countr!, and your kindred and yollr fnthcr's house to the land that I will sho~tr you. Ancl I will makc of you a great nation, and T will bless you, and make your namc great, so tlli~t you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and hiin lvho curses you I will curse; anct in you shall all thc families of the earth be blessed. I\'ith the story of Abraham begins a new period of history. After our review of the nations disl~crsed by Goci's iucigment at Babel, our cyes are focusecl on one man 2nd on Goct's dealings with Abraham as a descendant of Shein. God spcnks as the one who was blessed as the God of Shem. Ilbraham hears the ~vorcl of the covenant Gocl. The story begins .ivhcn He gives both a commancl and a promise. God gives l~roiniscs which are temporal and physical. Hc gives pronliscs which arc also spiritual ancl Messianic. It seems that God asks for much-everything! God's demands reach a climax, as is seen in Genesis 22, when God asks Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. Therc arc three items that :Ire ii~entionecl here. Gocl ~sluild God's lel. There is a great cursc that lies upon mankind, the cursc of enmity of Cain against Abel, the cursc of enmity of man against man. This enmity divides all fnn-rilies of the earth ancl brings a curse upon all the families of the earth. But God does not want the nations to perish: He wants the worlcl to be saved. That is why .cvc have this great promise. I,Llther sai(\: "No\v fo11o~vs the great promise which one should write ill golclen letters and speak into all countries, praise and extol, nanlely, that 'In thee shall the families of the earth bc blessed.' " This is the gfand climax, even greater than the foni:tIl blessing; this is the blessing which the Septuagint correctly translates eztlo- gcthdsolztai. Hengstenberg comments : "Only in the ides of the h4essiah docs the depth of the thought adequately display itself." Hengtenberg does not feel able to say that this prophecy pointed clearly to an inclivid~ial. Our comment is that we cannot disregard or allegorize the fact that the Holy Spirit used the singular so that it lllatcIlecl the f~l1fillmei;t. Yes, we categorically dcny that the final ful- fillnlellt of this pron~ise, the pron~ise of universal blessing, is simply that many people call thcmseli~cs blessed or bless theinselves or feel thc~~zselves blessed by being related to Abral~anl, for the Apostle in his lcttcr to the Galatians proirides in a definitive mannet: the Incan- ing i~~tcnded here. Tllc Holy Spirit's words to Paul in Gaiatians 3: 16 point directly lo Christ. 'The Holy Spirit's interpretation, after all, is the final word in all il~tcvpretation. Scripture interprets Scripture. \T7c read : "He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, ivhich is Christ." Only Gocf can bless a11 the families of the earth. It is n divine r~ct, when :I divine person, when the Messiah is the One who b~.ings 1)lcssings to :dl people (not Abrahanl blesses all ~~eople, but tlie si~~gt~lnr seed of Abraham), not the scccl of ilbraham collec- tively, sl~c;lltil~g as a11 the people of Abrallam, but one individual sccd, one scctl of which the Holy Spirit, conccrning his iclentity, ~~~:ovitlcs tllc information in Paul's letter to the Galr~tiitr-IS. Psalnl 72: 17 tells us: "His name shall enclurc forever; His nanc shall 1)c contiriucd as long as the sun. hilcn s11:ill bc l~lessed in Ilim; all. nations shall call Him blessed." FIow n~nch of this did Abrahain understand? We read in E-Iebrews 1 1 : 9 : "By faith he sojourned i.11 the Lal~d of Promise." We iilso read in the salne chapter in verse 13 : "These all c?;-~d in faith not 11avi11g rcccivecl t11c prolllises but having seer1 then1 afar off and were pcrs~iadcd of them, and embraced them, and confes:;ed that they wcrc strangers and pilgrims on the earth, for they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country." Here ~vvc have the teaching of justification by gracc through fnjth, I)y faith alone. Abraham no doubt unclerstoocl much more than we can realize from this distance. Abraham received not only one revela- lion from God; Abrahanr was in frequent communication with God, God visited hi]??, God talked for hours with Ilim, certainly not just about the weather or cattle or whatever other topics were commonIy discussed by the nonlads anci other people of that \vorlcl. No doubt Abraham got a thorough theological educatioll and revelation from God, as xve call tell by the story of God's visit to Abraham. A1)raharn obediently goes to Canaan where he does not begin to built'i n city to His name. He is waiting for another city, as Hebrews says, whose architect and builder is God. In faith, he begins to take possession of the Holy Land in the Name of God, 2)nilding altars and prenclling the Namc of God. Kate that iibr:thanl is not prcserlted as the impeccable, perfect, ideal patriarch; he is, rather, the father of those 1~110 fall and rise again. Not Abraham is to be glorified, 1)ut rather the J,ord, whose strength is made perfect in .vs;ealtness. IVc are reminclect of the statement in Genesis 9: "Praise bc to thc God of Shem," as 1r7c hear this important statement concerning the future of the people of Abrallanl. After God has repeated His promise, Gocl gives Abraham special revelations. Probably not all of them are reported. In this connection, wc note the blessing given to Abraham b.c. .\4elchizcdek. Next, in chapter 15, we see the covellant indicated bi- il vision with a prophecy of the future. Finally, in Genesis 17: 1-14, rve havc the establishment of the covenant of circulllcision .tvith a repetition nnc't confirmation of the promises of God. I\'. JACOB Genesis 49 : 8- 12 : Judah, your brothers shall praise you; your hancls shall be on the neck of your enemies; your father's sons shall born1 down hefore you. Judah is a lion's whelp; fro111 the prey, my son, goo have gone up. He stooped do~vn, he cooched as n lion, and as a Iloness; who dares rouse him up? The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler's staff from between his feet, until Shiloh comes; and to liim shall be the obedieilce of the peoples. Binding his foal to the vine ancl liis ass's colt to the choice vine, he .ivashcs liis garinents in wine and his .c7esture in the blood of grapcs; his eyes shall bc recl 'ivith wine, anti his teetI1 white with mill;. 'I'hc story of salvation goes on. .Abrahalli saw his Lord's clay and rejoiced, Isaac passed thc lxomisc on to Jacob, at first unl'l~cc~ th:lt scntls out ra!.s illu~liinating thc fi~t~~i:~'. 'T.11c ~'IIILI~C is s;llv;ltioll f~l tur~ ancl this nieans l'~~llill~nent I'LI~ t1re-cscll;l tolog).:-.-- Ii;~\:ilig a goal and iinnl accorn~~lish~ncnt. I?,acll tribe has :I rlial:c in this futurc of' the people of Isriel. and one ol' t11c.s~ tril~os \\-ill h:~\;c 1:Ii~: Jioii's sliarc. It seclns that l.)lind lacol) hinlsclf is \\.;litin? ;~ncl Ilol>ing, for :i sign and ;111s\\.cr to tllc: ql~cstioil: \Llro is tilt: lreir'r rTl~(k l.ieir of iibrahanl's l)lcssing \\.as not Islunnel; 11ic licir of Isaac's bless- ing \\:;is not Esnu, the firstborn: tllc 1.1cir of Toscpl~'s blc::. ~SI~I!: ' \\;IS not [lie olclct- ;\lnnassel~. \\.hoill (lid God cl~oosc-to carr! 011 tll;. lirlc? Of \\.I10111 sllo~11<1 tIi:~t l)lcssi~~~ COII~C ~\.liic,l~ sl~o~ilcl I)? for ;111 il:ltio~ls; So tl~c~l, thc 1)lilitl sc:cr l.)cgilis listills llic nnllics of' 11is soils. l-;issi! Iic~11)cn. L'suall!-. the 1i1-sil)ol-n son is the 1)ritlc ~ind joy of' nl-1) f..I '- ,I[ let.. bor- thc sons of tlic! tin~ of Jncol) it rnc;lilt prol)abIy still mo1.c. 1-lie p..idc of tllc f:lrnily. tllc cligiit!. of d\:llastic succ~cssioli Incant rnuch to tlic pcoplc of tllc :11lcic1111 Ot.ic'~~t: \\'(, c;ili illnlost sr>cj t:hc flll~ll 01.' ]>l.i(lC illl(1 jO!' 011 lilC'(.)l)'~ r;l('~ :lS 11~ tllillli~ IlilCIi [() tl~ilt I~;I]JI)) (la!. I\ I1c'il I:r'ubcn \\.:IS l)or~l. TIIII t1lc niotncnt of I.CI~~~~~II)I~~IIC~ of' jov is \vipul OLIL I)\. anothcl tlntl; 11le111or!:, t.t.agic? tel.i.il)lc. sllamcful. [t's hartl to i>ic.t~rrc sonictl~ing 1il;e this Ilappcniiig to Tacob. Flis first.- I)orii t-c\;c;~ls i111 tinstahlr cli;~t;~ctcr, a11 .i~-'rcsponsibilit! that- lcr l1il1.l l'ol.gct ;III snc,~.ctl t1~rtjc.s. 1lo~1l)cl.l coinmits n(lultc~.\. \\it11 llis o\\;rl t':ltllc:l.'s col)i.~~l~ilic. Tllc la^\. of \loses larcl- irnposc(1 capil;)T ~)~illisli- incllt 011 s11cI: ;I crlrnc. '1-IIC sin is one against :I father ant1 ;~gninst Gotl's ortlcr tllat anotllcl- ~liun's \\-ife is ;IS s;lcl:ctl :IS tlia~ man's lif'c'. -1-licrc can t)c no cluestion. l?cubcl~ cannot: inIi~~.it liis fathcr's l~lcssiiig. rlic l~assil-lg o\.cr of tlic fil.stl~orn is c;~tl but j~~si. 'I'llc oltl r1l;irl LLII-I~S to tlic rest of' lllc fnniil! to csl~laili sinlpl!.: "I-Ic \i.cl~t ul> to 111). coucll." 'Thc. inller cyc of Jacob turns to thc nest two, so silt~ilal- ill clir.~r;~c:tcl-, Sirneon and L.c\,i. 'Tu call then1 I)rothcrs is not a sort of: s~ipc't.fl~o~ts statcmcnt. ?'l.ie); n.cre brothers ill :I sj2ccirll. I scnsc. .- - 111~:). llnil ioi~icd in mass ~nul.der. 111 Tncob's ttstnn.ic~it lli(%) i11:c ~.LII.SC:CI \\it11 ;I gj.e;ltcr c~r~sc;, jr socllis, than l:c~ihc~l. Taco11 ].cli\,cs tl~c :lgony of t11c (lay n.hcn IIC: 1vas told that tl1c.s~ t\vo sons 1)ad sla~ighterrd chc men of' a tribc with wllich a sac)-ed and solclnn covenant ]lad l)ccn rnaclc, ;I covcjiant: sealctl by the s:ic.l:illnent i~ntl sign of thc Lord \:alirvch, cit-curncision. ']This very act of incluclin~ thc tribe of Tiamor ant1 Shei.llcnl into thc fii~i~ily of Jni.oI~ cciulri nlitl s!loultl lln\;c' been :in cvo~lt that. co~~ltl be liltened 1.1nto the first sign of the universal mission of 1sr:lcl. ij gcntilc tril~c is ;~tlclecl to tlic j~coplc of God. Simcon and I_c\!j \:iolatc:cl not onl!- I lic!jl- \vor(I; tllcy ilcsecratcd thc: snc~:an.~ent of the co\fcnant by thc .i:?r\. mcians of: tl~c cot.c,~~alit, so that, as it: has l~ccn tl.ansI:ltcd Ijy sonic, "thc l;ni\/cs of circ~l~~icisjon hecainc cruel s\vortls." Jacol) wants notliing to do nith sucll a dnstnrdl~ bhsphenlous act. I-Ic curses their anger ;~nd promises them c1isin0- heritance and scattering anlong tlic tribes of J:;cob. PYc can i~ilagine the dead silence that follows Jacob's ivrathful prophecy. blight not the one next in line trcnlblc? It is Judah. Eeacl his life story, especially chapter 38-a dark and awful chapter of the son that leavcs the country of his father ant1 malies friends with gentiles, ~vho sliows n stubborn heart cven ~vllcn God strilies at his godless sons :111<1 t:lla\~icl's Son, thc C'l~~.ist, stan(ls bc.Fore lacob as thc great future T~~tlall. 7 > h he 1.1cst scntcnccs <'icscribe the glory of this eon(l~~critig Jud:tli in ternls most vivid ancl familar to the ~>coplc of lacob's time. 'The entixc propl~ecy abounds in nll~~sions to the ciliinlal ~ilorld. Xaturally. OUI- hcro is portrayed as a lion. \Ye sce n pro~rcssion i~nd gro\\t11 in this descril~tion that fits the histor!. of the trrbc of Jucl;111. First thc whelp of thc lion, then growl-h into a maturc liing of beasts. I'zeltiel says: "Anti she brought up one of the .tr~l~clps, ant1 it bccame a !.oung lion and lean~ec'l to catch the prey" (Ezelc. 19 : 3). The \vords of Jacob so~snd like one describing a scene and act-ion to listeners that can~lot see. Jacob, fronl his post as scei. into 1'~lt~lre, ilesctibcs what he sees. Almost excitedly he adclrcsscs his son directly, a~itl immeclintely also tells all of the listening audience nfhat his \!ision is. Hardly is the whelp described when he imi~lecliately sees a young lion take his dragging it up to his lair, feeding ;ind then resting on his haunches, relaxed but ever ready to defend hls domain. MY sees also the nlature lion in his full strength ~vhom no onc dares to rouse. The tribe's leadership, Darirl's defeat of Goliatli, thc Uaviclic ~.uonr.lrcliv establishecl ancl scciii-cd, !*cs in('lcct1 IIILIC~ I~~I:C (1's. 68: 1 8): "Tl3ou has asccnitcd on high, 'Thou Ziast lcti c:~j>ti\~ity cal?- t.i\:c, Thou hast recci\!ed gifts for melt: jrea, for thc rcbcllious also, that the Lord God 111i~ht dwell among them." 1.ooking from the New Testament baclc to this prophecy, \I-c rcalizc the intent of thc vision is to cxtol not so niucl~ the chosen Jutlali. Nor is thc tribe ancl its vic- torics the topic, nor is Da'lricl tl~c final point of wt'crcncc, but lather the gl-cat So11 of' I)a\..ic-1, \T:~o is caIle~7 the 'l'..ioii of' Jutlah. I-Tenceforth, as Balaanl proves, Judnti is the lion, the liluler to Corne, before whoni the other tribes boi.v and I~cforc wltlon~ nations will fall down arlcl worship, indeed, ~ione othcr than the Son of God, before whom all Iinces shall bo~v, \rillingly or i~nwill.ing!y. 'The reason why the brethren of Juclnh will worship Ilin; is that in h~in the glory of the Lord is revcalccl (Phi.!. 2: 9.- 1 1 ) : "'IVhr>~eforc God hat11 ilighl!. esalted him and given hiin il 11an1e which is ahovc every name; that at the x-tame of Jesus ever): ltncc should l)ow, of things j11 heaven, 2nd things in earth, and things under the cnrth; and that ever!; tongue shoultl corlfess tliat Jesus Christ: is Lord, to thc glory of Cod thc Father." Thr~s tllc road of Juclah is fro111 victory to power ant1 glory, .- 3 from ascent to pcn;lancncy. Ehe nest verse shows that this is thc nic.a~~ing of the lion picture.. '!'he scepter is 'the: sign of authority rind pourer. The word trans- lated "la\vgi~~er" is ~>rohnbly a l,a~:al.lel to thc ~vord "sccl)ter," a staff' hcld bctruecn the feet and krlecs of the cnthronetl ruler. A11ioi16 others, t11c stalircs of ?lut;~nlronlised I:edecnlcr! Jacob's vision presents to 11i11l ;I scene representati\.e of the :lor\: of the Iiingdom. tIe sees thc ruler Shiloh, riding thc ro!-a1 animal \i,:l~ich in those days was the spirited ass, not the ctocilc ancl lethargic don1;e)- of our times. Hc sees him tiis~iiount anti tic his beast to a choicc vine. This is an ~lliusunl statement to malc(l thc leil\:cs ilntl tender 11r;lnchcs ant1 tcntlrils fro111 tllc vi11c i11it1 ruii~ctl it. \\That docs this nlcan? It is citl3c1: this, tliat tlic choicest vines arr so plentiful in the not- lii~~gdoni, or t1i;lt ;unilnnls do no1 hurt nor Ilarnl ;lnything. That \~.ould I)e :I'aradisc, wherc cvcrytllirlg is perfect liarn-.loll)* and fruit ant1 foocl is plentiful. Legends of the Golden i\gc found ill the n~vthologics of! many riatiolls c;ln 0111~. l~e dim i-cmcinl)r;i~iccs of the ii111c ~rheii thcrc nns ;I g?rderi of God ~vhcrc tlicre ivas notl~ing Ilarmful ancl all \\.as plentiful. Grimnl's fairytalcs inclildc thc story of such a lnncl of plenty, where one can cspwt the coolsc thc sccr has of Ililil is as 11c sl~nres his victory lvitll his brethren, as Ilc cclcbrates ~vitli \\.ilic i111d lnilli. His eJrcs 11ille rvitl~ tlic lustel. of Iifc 2nd joj.. l'11;it liis eyes arc i.ed \vith ivi11c is not to 11c intcrl3rctcd :IS the bloodsllot qXes of the cIruul