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Genesis 38

Judah and Tamar

At that time, Judah left his brothers and went down to stay with a man of Adullam named Hirah. There Judah met the daughter of a Canaanite man named Shua. He married her and made love to her; she became pregnant and gave birth to a son, who was named Er. She conceived again and gave birth to a son and named him Onan. She gave birth to still another son and named him Shelah. It was at Kezib that she gave birth to him.

Judah got a wife for Er, his firstborn, and her name was Tamar. But Er, Judah’s firstborn, was wicked in the Lord’s sight; so the Lord put him to death.

Then Judah said to Onan, “Sleep with your brother’s wife and fulfill your duty to her as a brother-in-law to raise up offspring for your brother.” But Onan knew that the child would not be his; so whenever he slept with his brother’s wife, he spilled his semen on the ground to keep from providing offspring for his brother. 10 What he did was wicked in the Lord’s sight; so the Lord put him to death also.

11 Judah then said to his daughter-in-law Tamar, “Live as a widow in your father’s household until my son Shelah grows up.” For he thought, “He may die too, just like his brothers.” So Tamar went to live in her father’s household.

12 After a long time Judah’s wife, the daughter of Shua, died. When Judah had recovered from his grief, he went up to Timnah, to the men who were shearing his sheep, and his friend Hirah the Adullamite went with him.

13 When Tamar was told, “Your father-in-law is on his way to Timnah to shear his sheep,” 14 she took off her widow’s clothes, covered herself with a veil to disguise herself, and then sat down at the entrance to Enaim, which is on the road to Timnah. For she saw that, though Shelah had now grown up, she had not been given to him as his wife.

15 When Judah saw her, he thought she was a prostitute, for she had covered her face. 16 Not realizing that she was his daughter-in-law, he went over to her by the roadside and said, “Come now, let me sleep with you.”

“And what will you give me to sleep with you?” she asked.

17 “I’ll send you a young goat from my flock,” he said.

“Will you give me something as a pledge until you send it?” she asked.

18 He said, “What pledge should I give you?”

“Your seal and its cord, and the staff in your hand,” she answered. So he gave them to her and slept with her, and she became pregnant by him.19 After she left, she took off her veil and put on her widow’s clothes again.

20 Meanwhile Judah sent the young goat by his friend the Adullamite in order to get his pledge back from the woman, but he did not find her. 21 He asked the men who lived there, “Where is the shrine prostitute who was beside the road at Enaim?”

“There hasn’t been any shrine prostitute here,” they said.

22 So he went back to Judah and said, “I didn’t find her. Besides, the men who lived there said, ‘There hasn’t been any shrine prostitute here.’”

23 Then Judah said, “Let her keep what she has, or we will become a laughingstock. After all, I did send her this young goat, but you didn’t find her.”

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!”

25 As she was being brought out, she sent a message to her father-in-law. “I am pregnant by the man who owns these,” she said. And she added, “See if you recognize whose seal and cord and staff these are.”

26 Judah recognized them and said, “She is more righteous than I, since I wouldn’t give her to my son Shelah.” And he did not sleep with her again.

27 When the time came for her to give birth, there were twin boys in her womb. 28 As she was giving birth, one of them put out his hand; so the midwife took a scarlet thread and tied it on his wrist and said, “This one came out first.” 29 But when he drew back his hand, his brother came out,and she said, “So this is how you have broken out!” And he was named Perez.[a] 30 Then his brother, who had the scarlet thread on his wrist, came out. And he was named Zerah.[b]



Genesis 38

Nick mentioned this morning that this chapter is like a typical Jerry Springer show! I think you will   Get ready for some drama. This chapter takes a look at Judah, the brother who suggested they sell Jacob into slavery instead of leaving him in the pit. He was Jacob‘s fourth son through Leah. Time and time again we have seen this bloodline of men being told not to marry Canaanite woman yet Judah did just that. Shortly after the incident with Jacob it seems that he took his money and ran and went to stay in the town of Adullam. He married a Canaanite woman that gave him three sons. It’s no surprise when he chooses Tamar to marry his oldest son Er, another Canaanite woman.
Apparently Er was so wicked that God killed him. Now back in that time when this happened and a widow was left with no children the brother was supposed to step up and bear children with her to carry on the bloodline. So Onan was next. Although she was fun to be with he did not honestly want to be her baby daddy so he never completes the job if you know what I mean. God gets mad at him and kills him too. 😳 Now Judah promises his third son, Shelah, to her when he is old enough, but he’s not real anxious to give him up when that time comes. After all his first two sons died while being with her and he’s blaming Tamar for that. 
Even though she is a Canaanite woman we have to remember that Judah is the one in whom the lineage of Abraham passes through… The bloodline… The birthright we’ve been talking about.
God‘s not thrilled but he still has a plan that will be completed. Tamar is not happy about this either. She hears about her father-in-law coming into town and disguises herself like a prostitute making herself available to Judah. The drama continues. She bargains with him what will you give me? He says he will send a young goat back to her, but shrewdly she wants a deposit and asks for his seal and cord and his walking stick. This was like ID to them. Judah gave up these items, has sex with her and she gets pregnant.
In the meantime he sends the goat back to her so he can get his ID back and she’s nowhere to be found, of course. 😉 She did not need that goat, he was already taking care of her unbeknownst to him. What she needed was proof of who the baby daddy was and she knew that time was going to come. She was smart, conniving and pretending to be someone else to get what she wanted. We do that sometimes in life don’t we? When we’re trying to move ahead in the workplace… In life. We do things that might be shady or wrong to get ahead and we get what we want and try to go back to being who we really are.  Hiding in plain sight.
She knew eventually there was going to be a time when she could not hide her pregnancy and what she did. That’s what happens when we sin eventually it catches up to us. So at the end of the chapter when Judah finds out she’s pregnant he says bring her to me I will burn her to death. But she sends a message to Her father-in-law look at verses 25-26.
Of course Judah recognizes the items. He could’ve concealed that fact and killed her but he owns up to it and assumes the responsibility. He did the right thing. Nicole said this morning, “ Isn’t it crazy how we sometimes see somebody else’s sin and think it’s OK to condemn them yet it’s OK that we do the same thing.” Exactly. My sin is less than theirs somehow. God says sin is sin it will catch up to you.
Accountability. Owning up to our sins. Building our character by stopping whatever it is that pulling you away from the Lord. God is gracious, merciful and the God of salvation. Our God is sovereign and he’s got a plan and yes he will do anything to see his plans fulfilled. A line to King David and Jesus will happen. Through all the lies and deceit God sees the good in each and everyone of us. He takes what the enemy means for evil and he turns it around for good every single time we let him.
What do you need to own up to today?
God sees everything there’s
that you can hide from him.
… and oh yeah the drama at the end of the chapter. Tamar gives birth to twins Perez and Zerah. Yes they come out fighting for the birthright.
🙌 🙏🏻 ❤️
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