Lord, Your mercies are tender and Your patience is astounding. May my life today be a beautiful symphony of praise to You.
Read GENESIS 38:1-30
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
Take time now to give thanks to God for how your life has been transformed by his love and grace.
The spotlight turns unexpectedly from Joseph to Judah. This is not what you would call family-friendly reading, but the events of this chapter are integral to understanding the rest of Genesis. Two themes are especially important: the continuation of Judah’s family line and the transformation of Judah’s character. Binding these together is Tamar, Judah’s daughter-in-law.
Initially, Tamar appears to be a tragic source of misfortune for Judah’s family. First Er and then Onan die after being married to her. While custom dictated that she should become the wife of Shelah, Judah intervened and uncaringly sent her back to her own family. He wanted nothing more to do with her; yet, when he later hears that she has become pregnant through immoral behavior, he swiftly pronounces with self-righteous indignation that she should be burned to death. On discovering that he is responsible for her pregnancy, however, Judah’s hypocrisy is unmasked. He suddenly sees himself as he truly is. Tamar’s righteousness exceeds his own (26). This moment of self-discovery transforms Judah and he becomes a new man, a fact demonstrated later by his willingness to take the place of Benjamin and become a slave in Egypt (44:18-34).
The description of the twin boys being born is bizarre. Zerah, the firstborn, is pushed aside by Perez. In a book that sets special store by younger brothers attaining the privileges of the firstborn, this event is highly significant. The divinely promised royal line will be traced through Perez, a fact confirmed in the book of Ruth (Ruth 4:12,18). With good reason, Tamar is recalled by Matthew in the lineage of Jesus (Matt. 1:3).
Are there occasions when your indignation at other’s behavior is, like Judah’s, hypocrisy? Pray to see any such occasions and be freed of them.
Father God, at times I am not what I appear to be. Forgive me and help me to be more transparent and honest.
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