Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and one of Jacob’s twelve sons would be the progenitor of the Messiah.
Before Jacob’s death in Egypt he pronounced prophecies for his twelve sons. He gave a wonderful blessing to his son Joseph; however, his prophecy for his son Judah is perhaps the most significant.
Jacob said that Judah’s brothers would bow down to him. He also said that Judah would provide the seed for Israel’s future Messiah through David and Solomon.
In addition to those pronouncements Jacob declared that Judah would be like a lion.
“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 (appoint) him?” Genesis 49:9
The Scripture is rich with examples of the Lion exercising His power. The Father Himself tells of the Lion’s prowess.
“Ask of Me, and I will give You the nations for Your inheritance…You shall break them with a rod of iron…” Psalm 2:8
Keep in mind the wording ‘You shall break them with a rod of iron.’ We’ll see those words several times.
The Father also warned the nations to honor the Lion.
“Now therefore, be wise, O kings…Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and you perish in the way, when His wrath is kindled but a little.”
Psalm 2:10a, 12
‘Kiss’ in this context means to submit to, or attach to.
King David also spoke of the power of the future Messiah Lion.
“He shall execute kings in the day of His wrath. He shall judge among the nations, He shall fill the places with dead bodies, He shall execute the heads of many countries.” Psalm 110:5-6
What a difference between the Lamb and the Lion!
The prophet Isaiah also spoke of the future Lion’s judgment and power.
“I have trodden the winepress alone…and trampled them in My fury…for the day of vengeance is in My heart…I have trodden down the peoples in My anger, made them drunk in My fury…” Isaiah 63:3-4, 6
The phrases ‘day of His wrath’ and ‘day of vengeance’ are the same as the ‘Day of the LORD.’
Isaiah uses the past tense to describe the Lion’s actions, when in fact they will occur in the future. When God speaks in the past tense, His words are as good as done.
Let’s now turn to the final book in the Bible and see the prophet’s words fulfilled.
Recall when the apostle John wept because there didn’t appear to be anyone worthy to open the scroll in the right hand of the One on the throne?
“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 loose its seven seals.” Revelation 5:5
That’s when John looked and saw in the midst of the throne one appearing as ‘a Lamb as though it had been slain.’
Of course, the Lamb and the Lion depict the dual roles of Jesus Christ, the Messiah and King of Kings!
During this age the old devil tries to imitate the power of Christ.
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” 1 Peter 5:8
The devil tried to destroy Jesus when He was born, but to no avail.
“And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to give birth, to devour her Child as soon as it was born. She bore a male Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron.” Revelation 12:4b-5
Everyone on earth will see the Lion return to earth at the end of Daniel’s 70th week.
John describes the scene.
“Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.” Revelation 19:15
Yes, Jesus is both the Lamb and the Lion, but we must first bow down to the Lamb in order for the Lion to fight for us.
For more, see my latest book “Looking Backward from the Future: …Until Messiah the Prince”