What's the big deal?
Is a name important or does it simply fill a space because we're supposed to have one.
Is the main prerequisite for naming something how marketable it is, or how catchy; how it sticks in our collective heads? Or must a name be an expression of the entity it is linked to. In ancient times and in certain cultures children were not named until up to three years. The child's parents would observe the actions and traits of the infant and formulate their name from who they were seen to be...
The Risen Scepter
The scepter will not pass away from Judah or a ruler from between his feet till SHILOH [Man of Rest] comes whom the nations will obey.
A Short History of Names
In the Egyptian system of writing the scepter was the key symbol in the word to rule, and in the ancient eastern world a scepter was used as a symbol of royal authority and power.
Consequently, in the Bible the scepter was an emblem of a king's rule and his right to exclusively govern; the reign and ruling control exercised by a head of state. Therefore, the scepter was recognition of complete sovereignty, and absolute power.
In the Old Testament we find scepters made of both gold (divine nature) and iron (judgment).
Moreover, the Hebrew word group can be found used for a rod of correction or conversely, a shepherd's staff.
The Ruler must summon you
In the ancient world no one was allowed to approach a ruling sovereign unless they had been summoned. To do this was to place one's life in one's hands. The penalty for this breach of protocol would be certain death; the means being up to that particular sovereign's good pleasure (or bad mood).
The only escape for the enactment of the consequence of this breach would be if king were to extend (raise) his scepter. This very custom can be seen displayed in the book of Esther.
11 "If anyone, man or woman, goes to the inner courtyard and sees the king without being summoned, that person must die. That is the law; everyone, from the king's advisers to the people in the provinces, knows that. There is only one way to get around this law: if the king holds out his gold scepter to someone, then that person's life is spared.
It was the same for the ruler of the universe
Although God is not man and therefore not subject to the passions that humankind falls prey to, He is still a passionate God. He passionately loves us and He passionately hates sin.
The difference between His passion and ours is simply that His passion is holy, righteous, and perfect, while ours is distorted by sin, for it destroys the correct functioning on the image of God within us; whether it is the sin that emanates from that which lies resident in an individual, or the sin that has been foisted upon someone by another's misdeeds, leaving them fractured and hopeless.
You see, God never brings judgment because of a bad mood; He is so perfectly pure that sin cannot approach Him without being destroyed, and also with it the bearer of the sin. This is why under God's economy whether Old Covenant or New, He may only be approached as He has prescribed. This was the fatal lesson learned by Nadab and Abihu the sons of Aaron
10:1 Aaron's sons Nadab and Abihu took their censers, put fire in them and added incense; and they offered unauthorized fire before the LORD, contrary to his command. 2 So fire came out from the presence of the LORD and consumed them, and they died before the LORD. 3 Moses then said to Aaron, "This is what the LORD spoke of when he said:"' Among those who approach me I will show myself holy; in the sight of all the people I will be honored.' "Aaron remained silent.
'All who serve me must respect my holiness;
To Whom the Scepter Belongs
The coming of the "man (ruler) of rest" had been promised in Genesis 49:10.
This man of rest would rule the nations. We see in this a suggestion of the extension of a sovereignty that reaches much further than any particular, specific, or individual kingdom.
In the following passage (Mic 5:2) it is stated the He shall rule over Israel , yet in the subsequent verses it is said that this Coming One's greatness will reach to the ends of the earth.
If we are to see Israel as only intending to mean that of the natural nation, certainly it would not seem to follow that this is the same as the one promised in Genesis 49:10. Yet if Israel is intended to represent more than a natural nation, unquestionably then, we could hold that the expression is much more far reaching.
2 "But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times."
4 He will stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the LORD,
in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God. And they will live securely, for then his greatness will reach to the ends of the earth. 5 And he will be their peace.
This man of rest would be the emissary of peace to those of God's good will. Further, this promised peace (rest) was then announced at the coming of the Messiah in the Gospel of Luke. This pronouncement would herald forth a means of reconciliation and approach that would far surpass the tutorship of the law.
8 In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. 10 But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; 11 for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." 13 And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, 14 "Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased."
The Promised Ruler was Rejected
Yet this Promised One would experience the rejection of those He loved.
Along with the rejection of the Man of Rest, would issue forth the prophetic pronouncement to declare that the old economy was about to end and a new one would commence. The sacrificial system would be brought to an end and the temple would no longer be made of stone, but of flesh. This would be the initiation of a new age - the sacrifice would be cut off (cf. Dan 9:26) and the law completed in Christ (Dan 9:24; Rom 10:4).
41 When He approached Jerusalem, He saw the city and wept over it, 42 saying, "If you had known in this day, even you, the things which make for peace! But now they have been hidden from your eyes. 43 "For the days will come upon you when your enemies will throw up a barricade against you, and surround you and hem you in on every side, 44 and they will level you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation."
The promised king was even mocked by the Roman invaders, the pagan usurpers of the authority of Judah. Pryor to the crucifixion He was beaten and mocked. As part of the mockery our Lord was given a reed to represent a false Scepter.
Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole Roman cohort around Him. 28 They stripped Him and put a scarlet robe on Him. 29 And after twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed (a scepter) in His right hand; and they knelt down before Him and mocked Him, saying, " Hail, King of the Jews!" 30 They spat on Him, and took the reed and began to beat Him on the head. 31 After they had mocked Him, they took the scarlet robe off Him and put His own garments back on Him, and led Him away to crucify Him.
As we learned above the Hebrew word group for scepter can be used to represent either a shepherd's staff (an instrument of guidance) or a rod of correction (an instrument of judgment). The one that came to shepherd and guide His people would also ultimately destroy the power of all that stood against the authority of God's Anointed One.
Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain? 2 The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the LORD and against his Anointed One. 3 "Let us break their chains," they say, "and throw off their fetters." 4 The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them. 5 Then he rebukes them in his anger and terrifies them in his wrath, saying, 6 "I have installed my King on Zion , my holy hill." 7 I will proclaim the decree of the LORD: He said to me, "You are my Son; today I have become your Father. 8 Ask of me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession. 9 You will rule them with an iron (iron and brass represent judgment) scepter; you will dash them to pieces like pottery."
11 I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. 12 His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. 13 He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. 14 The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. 15 Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. "He will rule them with an iron scepter." He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. 16 On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.
Until His coming He is to rule through a people called by His name who in due course will rule the nations with Him
Those that followed Him when He trod the soil He created thought that surely if He were the Promised One He would then take the throne of David and extend His power throughout the face of the known world.
In their darkened interpretation of passages in the Scriptures they had missed the Promised One portrayed as the "Suffering Servant". They thought that the kingdom of God was going to "appear immediately" (Lk 19:11). The Lord broadcast light on their understanding by use of a parable (Lk 19:12-27). This parable has many times been termed as a teaching on the use of money, and yet there is far more in view here. In verse 13 in the KJV we find the phrase, "occupy until I come". In other versions it is translated in such ways as "do business with this until I come back (NASBU)", or "operate with this until I return (the Message)", or "engage in business until I come (ESV)".
The word translated occupy in the KJV is the Greek word pragmateuomai. Pragma means to "to be occupied with anything - to carry on a business". Therefore the word translated "occupy" means, "to be occupied with...", and is sometimes used in conjunction with being occupied with the "affairs of state" or "business".
On first glance it would seen natural that the parable in question is referring to business and trade, yet why would the "Promised One" tell His followers to simply establish businesses.
The word occupy can also mean "dwell or reside in something" or to "seize possession and retain control". This also could be reinterpreted as a natural rule, as it was many times by the reformers, however the "Promised One" said to Herod, "My kingdom is not of this earth", meaning the authority of His kingdom dwelt in the heavenly realm.
It is better to see the intent of the parable was to instruct them to continue in His absence using the resources that had been imparted to them and that is was not yet the time for the establishing of His kingdom in the natural realm.
Those that were to carry on what He implemented were to use the capital He had given during the time of His absence, that they might hear "well done faithful servant" at His return. However there would be an age forthcoming when they were to rule with Him when His kingdom was truly established, not only in their hearts, but in the earth as well.
8 Gilead is mine, Manasseh is mine;
Ephraim is my helmet,
Judah my scepter.
26 To him who overcomes and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations- 27 'He will rule them with an iron scepter; he will dash them to pieces like pottery'
These overcoming under-rulers are to be a "people of praise (Judah)"
1 Pe 2:9-10
9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
These overcoming under-rulers are to be a "people of proclamation"...
Ambassadors and representatives of reconciliation (2 Cor 5:17-20). It is to be these that bare the authority of the scepter and the seal of promised redemption, the Holy Spirit (Eph 1:12-14).
Finally this company is to be a "people of peace".
As Scripture emphatically states in Mt 5:9 "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God". They are those who announce the peace that was declared by the angel to the shepherds who tended their flocks on the hills outside the city, peace between the Father of creation and men and women of His "good will".
As the Christ, the promised King/Messiah hung on the cross and yielded up His spirit, the veil in the temple was rent from top to bottom (Mt 27:51). The King had raised the scepter and entrance into the Holy of Holies was accomplished for those who He had summoned.
5:1 Then I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides and sealed with seven seals. 2 And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, "Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?" 3 But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it. 4 I wept and wept because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside. 5 Then one of the elders said to me, "Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals."
6 Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing in the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. He had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. 7 He came and took the scroll from the right hand of him who sat on the throne. 8 And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. 9 And they sang a new song: "You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.
10 You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth."
We are to loudly and unflinchingly proclaim "The scepter is risen and the King bids you come" which is a declaration of the Gospel.
As a people of Praise, Proclamation, and Peace, as the body of Christ we are to boldly state…
6 Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom.