History passed on from Abraham to Isaac and then to Jacob, and when Jacob was dying he spoke prophetically about the future of his twelve sons, and when it came to Judah he said, “Judah, you are he whom your brothers shall praise; your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies; your father’s children shall bow down before you. Judah is a lion’s whelp; from the prey, my son, you have gone up. He bows down, he lies down as a lion; and as a lion, who shall rouse him? The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh comes; and to Him shall be the obedience of the people.” (Genesis 49:8-10)
In later days Jeremiah was told, “But go now to My place in Shiloh, where I set My name at the first.” (Jer.7:12) Shiloh was one of the earliest titles of the Coming Seed, the Messiah. And we now learn that the Seed will come through the line of Judah. And in anticipation of the fulfilment of this prophecy we turn to the Book of Revelation (5:5) and read “But one of the elders said to me, ‘Do not weep. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and to loosen its seven seals.’”
The Twelve Tribes go down into Egypt and multiply, but after the death of Joseph a cruel Pharaoh arises who treats the Israel nation savagely. God raises Moses to bring the nation out of Egypt, and they travel towards the Promised Land. Moses sends twelve spies to search the land, one from each tribe. Only two come back with a favourable report, and are in danger of being stoned to death. The anger of the Lord is experienced by Moses. The nation is to be wiped out for its treachery, but Moses pleads with the Lord, and is heard for his cry of mercy.
“Moses said, ‘Pardon the iniquity of this people, I pray, according to the greatness of Your mercy, just as You have forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now.’ Then the LORD said: ‘I have pardoned, according to your word; (but truly, as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD) because all these men who have seen My glory and the signs which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have put Me to the test now these ten times, and have not heeded My voice, they certainly shall not see the land of which I swore to their fathers, nor shall any of those who rejected Me see it. But My servant Caleb, because he has a different spirit in him and has followed Me fully, I will bring into the land where he went, and his descendants shall inherit it.’” (Numbers 14:19-24)
Moses, the man of God, has saved the nation from destruction by his prayers, and Caleb is specifically mentioned because he was of the Tribe of Judah, and together with Joshua, showed true faith in God that He would perform that which He had promised. Once again the Promise is kept alive by the actions of just three men.