Friday, 19 July 2013

Long Range Prophecy

As you read the Old Testament a good practice is to keep an eye out for clues that link up with the New, or for concepts/thoughts/commands that New Testament writers (or commonly Jesus himself) then pick up on. It keeps you on your toes, and shows you that there is a trajectory, a greater deal going on all the time.

One such example is Jacob's blessing to his children, who will form the twelve tribal heads of Israel. Genesis 49 has this discourse, and much of it appears pretty random.

Yet look at the deal for Judah (verses 8-13). Out of Judah will be a ruler, extending across the family and outwards to nations. The whole 'lion of Judah' thing is here, coupled with an everlasting reign (v10).

And more! A sense of an ultimate one - King of the nations.

All sounds glorious ... yet washing garments in wine, robes in blood of grapes. Symbolic language here, but with hindsight we can see the connection: his own blood, then to be recalled through communion wine ... new wine of the Kingdom of God.

Jacob is giving a long range prophecy - pointing to King David, David's line, even to an ultimate King who's sanctification involves an extraordinary event and ritual.

Long range prophecy at its best!