Meditate on Genesis 38:24 “About three months later Judah was told, ‘Your daughter-in-law Tamar is guilty of prostitution, and as a result she is now pregnant.’ Judah said “Bring her out and have her burned to death.'”
Judah was the fourth son belonging to Jacob born through his first, less favorable wife Leah. In this chapter we get a glimpse into his life. Against God and his ancestors warning he finds a wife among the Canaanite women. God warned the patriarchs against intermarrying with the women of Canaan because they were slowly corrupting the Israelites with their pagan beliefs.
We see the reason for God’s warning through Judah’s first two sons. The first one is described as so wicked in the Lord’s sight that God immediately put him to death leaving his Canaanite wife widowed. As was custom his father gave her as a wife to his second son who took advantage of her sexually, but refused to give her children. So again God’s judgement puts him to death.
Judah deceptively keeps Tamar, the widow from his final son for fear that he will lose him too. However, the deception doesn’t stop there, Tamar tricks Judah and he sleeps with her. She conceived and when Judah finds out he is quick to cast judgement on her forgetting his sin so easily. Her life is spared when he realizes that the twin boys she is pregnant with actually belong to him.
It’s hard to wrap our minds around the fact that Jesus would spring forth from one of the sons born of Tamar and Judah. We must be careful how we cast judgement, never thinking of anyone as too far from the grace of Jesus. We are all wicked sinners and far from Him, but He still was born and died so that we could be reunited to Him. And not only was Jesus brought into the world to save us, but He still desires to use us in sharing His glory to the world in spite of our wickedness just like He did with Judah and this messy family.
Prayer:God, I stand amazed after reading this chapter. You really do use the least of these. My sin has made me so far from you, but you still saved me. Thank you Lord. Thank you that you still desire to save me and use me to show your glory to a lost and hurting world. Forgive me for how I fail you and fall short, and teach me how to point them to you in my weakness Lord. In Jesus’ name, amen.
What can we learn about the grace of God from this family’s story?
What does this teach us about how we may be tempted to judge another person’s sin too strongly while not taking ours seriously enough?
Memorize Matthew 7:3 “And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own?”