From a mess to the Messiah!
💫Genesis 38 is a chapter I have sometimes glossed over. I have wondered why this tale of Judah and Tamar has found itself in Scriptures with its distasteful undertones. In the middle of the great story of Joseph, why include this sordid tale?
God has a reason for everything, but why include this tragic story? Let’s look at the plot of this tale:
Loss of Loved Ones
This woman Tamar had suffered much. She lost her husband the older son of Judah ( killed by God for his sin) and as per Jewish custom was given to her husband’s younger brother, Onan, so that a child could be borne on behalf of the dead husband. However we see that Judah’s second son was slain by God for his sin in not allowing a child to be perpetuated.
Judah then hurries Tamar off to her parents’ home. Puts her out of sight.
Broken Promises: He promises her that when his youngest son Shelah is of age, Tamar can marry him. However, he is scared that this son too may die and he does nothing about it. He breaks his word.
Years go by. Though nothing is said, we can imagine Tamara’s grief, despair disappointment…as she waits and waits.
Sin and Shame
Judah’s wife dies. The next part is something we cannot quite countenance. Was Tamar so angry that she would resort to what she did? To trick Judah in the way she did. The result being that she was with child? And Judah was the father! What a mess!
We see how she was almost going to be stoned to death for her apparent immorality but is saved when Judah realizes that he is the father.
What a story!
An unusual Twist
Surely, all those involved were great sinners? Judah and Tamar and the fruit of their union, the twins Perez and Zerah, were surely cursed?
Wait a minute. Fast forward hundreds of years…Can it be? The names are the same…yes! We can hardly believe our eyes!!!
The genealogy of our Messiah, Jesus Christ as listed by Matthew shows in Matt 1:3
Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar,
Perez the father of Hezron..,
Incredible, isnt it? Who would have ever imagined that the protagonists of our humble tale are part of the Messiah’s lineage? Tamar, who had been denied a child for so many years, turned out to be the mother of Perez one of the ancestors of Jesus Christ! Her name which was maligned when found to be with child, now has an honoured place in history!
Application 🔨 :God is a God who can take our sorrow, our grief, our suffering, our pain and shame and turn it into gain and blessings and bring glory to His
name! What better example than Tamar , one of a handful of women whose names are recorded in the lineage of the Holy One of Israel! From a dysfunctional family mess came the Messiah!
🙏🏻Lord : Forgive me when I judge others without knowing their story. Help me to be loving and compassionate as You are.To be non-judgmental.
When I go through tough times as I will, help me to know You are there with me and You can change my mess into a message when I submit it to you.
🍁 Binu Jacob