Judah became the leader of the family of Israel against the patriarchal order. He was not the oldest son and none had anointed him. He just grew into that position as a result of the quality of his heart.

Please read the whole history of the sons of Jacob. Joseph had taken Simeon as a hostage requiring that he should see also Benjamin in Egypt. Jacob had taken Benjamin as a substitute after having lost Joseph. The whole family was facing death by starvation unless the sons of Jacob would show up again before Joseph with Benjamin.

The oldest brother Reuben promised his two sons as a ransom, but this had no effect on Jacob's bitter and distressed heart. Then Judah made a proposal that totally changed the situation:

Genesis 43:8-10: So Judah said to his father Israel, “Send the boy with me and we will arise and go, so that we may live and not die, we as well as you and our little ones. I myself will take responsibility for him! You may demand him back from me. If I do not bring him back to you and present him to you, then you can let me take the blame forever. For if we had not delayed, surely by now we could have returned twice.”

We can discern also other occasions, which prove that Judah had different kind of heart than his brothers. He did not commit to the idea of murdering Joseph. Instead, he made a wise proposal and prepared Joseph a way to survive. Judah was not with some of the brothers who destroyed Shechem. After falling in the sin with Tamar he confessed his sin and bore his responsibility of the act. Please note that in spite of his earlier weaknesses and failures Judah grew up in strength.

The commitment of Judah was painfully tested by Joseph. Judah had to tell Joseph the whole truth how he had given himself as a ransom for Benjamin. As a result of his commitment, he offered himself as a slave instead of Benjamin:

Genesis 44:32-34: For your servant accepted responsibility for the boy from my father, saying, ‘If I do not bring him back to you, then my father can let me take the blame forever.’ So now, please let your servant remain as a slave to my lord instead of the boy, and let the boy go up with his brothers. For how shall I go up to my father if the boy is not with me? I fear that I may see the evil that would overtake my father.”

The words of Judah touched Joseph's heart deeply. He found that among his brothers there were now a man who was ready to offer his life for the benefit of the other! This was not the case when Joseph was thrown into the well to die. The unselfish love of Judah delivered Joseph's heart and Joseph was not anymore able to control himself and keep his secret!

Genesis 45:1: Then Joseph could not control himself in front of everyone standing before him, and he shouted, “Have everyone leave me!” So there was no one with him when Joseph made himself known to his brothers.

Dear friend, this is the key of revival. When the heart of Judah is born in the church, then Jesus will be revealed. The enemy cannot anymore bind the hearts but the love of the Father starts flowing and healing people! When leaders of the church let their heart be transformed and start to give themselves as a ransom for the weaker ones then Jesus will manifest Himself in His power and glory. This change must come and it will come!

From this moment on Judah was the self-evident leader in the family. Please note how great a blessing Jacob released upon Judah. In his prophetic blessing Jacob foresees the coming of Jesus, the Lion of Judah!

Genesis 49:8-12: “As for you, Judah, your brothers shall praise you; your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies; Your father’s sons shall bow down to you. Judah is a lion’s cub; From the prey, my son, you have gone up. He crouches, he lies down as a lion, And as a lion, who dares to stir him up? The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until Shiloh comes, And to him shall be the obedience of the peoples. He ties his foal to the vine, And his donkey’s colt to the choice vine; he washes his garments in wine, And his robes in the blood of grapes. His eyes are dull from wine, And his teeth white from milk.

When your heart is like Judah's heart, you will have true leadership in the Kingdom God. The anointing shall be your scepter and it shall not depart from you!