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And The Last Became The First By Babatunde Olugboji


And The Last Became The First By Babatunde Olugboji

The story of Judah, the brother of Joseph the dreamer was a very good illustration of God’s grace. The fourth son of Jacob, Judah made all sorts of mistakes, did some really bad things, including sleeping with his daughter in law Tamar, who disguised as a prostitute. But the God of grace was gracious unto him. 

One of the lessons of Judah’s somewhat strange narrative in Genesis 28 is that winning is not about how much you try, but how tightly you hold on to God. Tamar’s labour was marked by considerable drama. The Bible asks us to run with perseverance the race marked out for us. (Hebrew 12: 1b) This means that we shouldn’t see our race as competition, but one of Tamar’s twins saw things differently by, at the point of delivery, displaying his competitive nature. Even at 0-year-old, this unborn baby was eager to prove to the world that he was number one. 

During labour, this baby did a strange thing. He put out his hand, appearing to shove his brother down the birth canal, giving the impression that he had an early and clear advantage.

Many of your peers started out with a clear advantage, but by God’s grace, you will not only catch up with them, but you shall also overtake them. At this point, the startled midwife must have thought I’ve got to do something about this unusual situation. So, she did 2 things: 1) tied a scarlet thread to his wrist to distinguish him from his brother, taking into consideration the attendant blessings of a first born. 2) she made the determination that he was the first born.  

However, in reality, this was an assumption. The baby was still in the womb, only his hand was out. In a way, she had written off the other boy as not as smart as his ultra-competitive brother. How many times have people written you off, not knowing that you will bounce back? Be reminded this week that success comes not by what you know, but who you know. And because you know Jesus, you will not be put to shame. 

For some reason, the baby with the scarlet thread retracted his hand and retreated into the birth canal–generally a physiological impossibility. But God specialises in making the impossible possible.

Remember what Jesus said? For those who believe all things are possible. (Mark 9:23) Who thought it was possible for ravens to feed Elijah (1 Kings 17), or that  Naaman would be restored to good health by dipping in the waters of River Jordan? (2 Kings 5)

As the baby with the scarlet thread retreated, the other boy came out unexpectedly. You will unexpectedly come out of any strange situation you find yourself in. The question is why did this boy eventually named Zerah pause and retract his hand? Perhaps he was overconfident? Or assured in his own abilities? Perhaps it was a situation of let him that thinks he stands, take heed lest he fall (1 Cor 10:12) So, Zerah moved back, and Perez moved up and came out first. Suddenly the order was reversed. The last became the first.

This week, as those ahead of you pause, believing that they’ve attained, you will overtake swiftly as lines would fall unto you in pleasant places. Because you are a kingdom citizen, because you are walking in God’s grace, you shall not be disgraced, you will come out on top.

Have a great week.

Kingdom Dynamics, a weekly column  written by Dr. Babatunde Olugboji, the President, Kingdom House, a non-profit organization in New Jersey, USA.