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And He Shall Be Called Shiloh
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The seventh in a series on the Names of Christ
“The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be” —Genesis 49:10 (KJV)
“The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until he comes to whom it belongs and the obedience of the nations is his.” —Genesis 49:10 (NIV)
THINK ABOUT IT
The name “Shiloh” appears many times in the Old Testament. It was the name of the place when the Tabernacle was set up for the worship of the Lord when the Israelites took possession of the Promised Land (Joshua 18:1) and it remained a center of worship for many years. Psalm 78:60 tells us that God abandoned the tabernacle at Shiloh and Jeremiah speaks several times of its destruction (Jeremiah 7:12, 14; 26:6, 9).
You probably didn’t know that one of the names given to Jesus Christ is that of “Shiloh”. If you didn’t, don’t feel too badly — you are probably one of many. The reference only occurs once in the Scriptures and unfortunately the word is lost in many of the modern translations.
Why would Christ be referred to as “Shiloh”? The root word for “Shiloh” appears in Job 3:26 in reference to something that has little, if nothing, to do with the place called Shiloh. Job writes: “I was not in safety, neither had I rest, neither was I quiet; yet trouble came” (KJV). Shiloh as a primary root means “to be tranquil, i.e. secure....be in safety.”
For the children of Israel the tabernacle, and later the Temple in Jerusalem, was a symbol of the God who dwelt with them, protected them and provided for them. This confidence in the place became a stumbling block for the Jews to the point where they trusted more in the physical presence of the Temple than in the God of the Temple. And this idolatry would come to an end when God later permitted the destruction of the Temple. In the prophecy of Genesis 49:10, “Shiloh” or the Messiah, would come and in Him would be found security, safety and peace that neither time nor the armies of the world could destroy.
The reign of a good king brings safety, security and peace to his subjects and this is the reason behind Paul’s instructions in 1 Timothy 2:2: “I urge then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives...”
But even if we should be blessed with a good earthly “king”, he is still human and he is still subject to the actions of those around him who might not be so good. However when Christ our King of kings comes to reign, he will bring with Him that “Shiloh” experience—complete peace, safety and security.
In what ways can Christ be our “Shiloh” today even though there is not much peace, safety and security in our world?
What can we look forward to when our “Shiloh” reigns as King of kings?
PRAY ABOUT IT
We live in a world that is guaranteed, at some point, to steal our sense of peace, safety and security. Make a list of the things, circumstances and people that rob you of those particular blessings. Claim Christ as your “Shiloh” for each one of those things, circumstances and people.
ACT ON IT
Your prayer for today is something that must be continually acted upon because there will always be something that will arise to menace your feeling of security, safety and peace. And each time one of them threatens to rob you again, reclaim the promise of Christ, your “Shiloh”.
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Reader Count & Comments
31 May 2005
Good insight! Thank you. Indeed, Christ Jesus is our Shiloh.
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