What Is Amazing About Grace? By Babatunde Olugboji
The story of Judah in Genesis 38 demonstrates that even if your story didn’t start well, God can still make it end well.
Judah, Joseph’s brother made a lot of mistakes: he was complicit in the selling of his brother Joseph to the Ishmaelites, he didn’t raise his sons in the way of the Lord, causing God to put to death his first and second sons, while he slept with Tamar, his daughter in law, admittedly inadvertently.
At the end of the day, the twin sons born to him by Tamar, Perez and Zerah, had a hand in the emergence of our Lord Jesus Christ. “…This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham: Abraham was the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar, Perez the father of Hezron, Hezron the father of Ram. (Matthew 1:1-2)
So, whatever your story is, all is not lost. God has not turned away; his arms are still open. His invitation has not expired, all you need to do is turn to Him. Believe His promise, receive the gift of repentance He offers through Christ.
Judah’s narrative reminds us that God’s grace is always available in spite of our sins. So, what does grace look like? It is God’s benevolence on the undeserving; God’s gift that is free to us not Jesus. Grace is what makes us successful. Apostle Paul testified that the grace of God was with him. (1 Corinthians 15:10) Grace is greater than our sin; grace is more abundant than we expect, grace is too wonderful for words. Grace transforms our mess to a message, changes our troubles to triumphs, and sorrow to songs of joy.
There is an argument to be made that the true definition of grace is aggressive forgiveness God granted us, in other words, how He wiped away our sins. (Romans 5:20)
I am not suggesting that you should confuse grace for yet another opportunity to sin. ‘Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?’ (Romans 6:1) The phrase ‘continue in sin’ is in present active tense, making it clear that Paul was talking about the practice of habitual sin. If you practice habitual sin, do not expect grace to abound. Grace is not about us getting our way, God chooses to bless us to demonstrate the abundance of his grace.
Despite his mistakes, Judah became the most prominent among the 12 Tribes of Israel. Grace always points us towards Christ. The Messiah was not mentioned in this story, but the twisted narrative of Judah points us to Christ. The twisted parts of our lives can point to Jesus.
In Genesis, Jacob referred to Judah and his future tribe as a Lion (Genesis 49:9). In Revelation, the Lion of the tribe of Judah was declared to have triumphed and is worthy to open the scroll and its 7 seals (Revelation 5:5).
Jesus is the one who is worthy to open the scroll, making Jesus the Lion of the tribe of Judah. The same Judah that started in error ended being associated with our Messiah. That’s why grace is so amazing.
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.