Praise causes us to be positioned favorably!
“Judah, your brothers will praise you… All your relatives will bow before you.” Gen 49:8
Listening to these words spoken as blessing by Jacob to his son, one would imagine that Judah, whose name means thankfulness, was the eldest child, leader within the family structure, a perfect praiseworthy son. That was not the case: the man named Judah was the fourth born of twelve boys and a trickster who convinced his brothers to avoid murder and sell their younger brother Joseph instead. He interceded with his brothers. He lied to his father for years, allowing him to think Joseph had been killed by an animal.
Judah became the father of three sons himself, each with significant character flaws that cost them heavily. This set the cultural situation to reveal Judah’s own moral transgressions. He was just a human being like any other. Looking at Judah’s life shows his humanity
Yet, as he grew older, God allowed Judah to be positioned favorably before his father Jacob (43:3) and his brother Joseph (44:18,33). By that time, Joseph’s prophecies had become reality. Although Judah continued the lie even when describing his family years later saying, “we are twelve brothers, the youngest with our father and one is no more.” (42:13), God allowed the situation to bring the family together in grief and repentance. It was then that the words of Judah’s father also became reality: “your brothers will praise you…all your relatives will bow before you”.
As are confronted with our sinful nature, repentance leading to God’s forgiveness can bring a song of praise within our own hearts. This song of joyful repentance can lead us to be positioned favorably.