Saturday, April 23, 2016

Tamar


If you've been keeping track of the sons of Jacob you are probably wondering what happened to Judah.  When I mapped out my A to Z and filled in my potential subjects for each letter, I was in a quandary as to who would take the J spot and where I would put the other J son.  So Joseph got J and Judah got delegated T Day.

For those of you who have some knowledge of Jesus' line you know that the Savior came from the line of Judah.  So let's start with the basics of Judah and then we'll meet Tamar.

So Judah was the fourth born son of Jacob and Leah.  When Judah was born, Leah said, "Now I will praise the LORD."  Somewhere between when Misery, One Who Hears, and Feel Affection For were born, Leah made some peace between herself and her LORD.  

Judah may have been a peace making child for Jacob and Leah and Jacob and God, because Jacob said of his fourth son, "Judah, your brothers will praise you; your hand will be on the neck of your enemies, your father's sons will bow down to you.  You are a lion's cub, O Judah; you return from the prey my son.  Like a lion he crouches and lies down, like a lioness - who dares to rouse him?  The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler's staff from between his feet, until he comes to whom it belongs and the obedience of the nations is his.  He will tether his donkey to a vine, his colt to the choicest branch; he will wash his garments in wine, his robes in the blood of grapes.  His eyes will be darker than wine, his teeth whiter than milk."

Whoa.

We, looking in the rearview mirror, knowing the fulfillment of so many of these prophecies being fulfilled by Jesus, can simply say, "Whoa."

Judah could not have realized those words his father were speaking were about a future grandson.  Could he?

Let's say he did.

Did he grasp in the moment his father was dying that his descendants would carry the Messiah's blood?  I don't know, so once again, I will add this to my list of questions to ask when I stand in Judah's line in heaven.

It had to have been a punch in the gut to go from hearing that blessing to the mess he eventually made of his life, Joseph's life, and the life of a woman named Tamar.

First Joseph.

When the brothers all wanted to get rid of him out of jealousy, Judah did not want Joseph to be killed.  But he did not mind offering the suggestion of selling his little brother to some Ishmaelites would be a better plan than murder.  He did not want to kill his own flesh and blood but he didn't have a problem selling him.

The guilt must have consumed him too, though.  Being around his brothers after what they had done to Joseph must have been more than he could bear because the Bible says that when the lie was finally told to Jacob, along with Joseph's bloody robe, "At that time, Judah left his brothers and went down to stay with a man of Adullam named Hirah."  He married a Canaanite woman and had three sons with her.  

But Judah's firstborn son, Er was "wicked in the LORD's sight; so the LORD put him to death."

(I wonder if Judah had thoughts like "I deserve this, after all I've done to my brother.)

His second son, Onan was put to death by the LORD also, for reasons I'll leave you to find out on your own.

In enters Tamar, Er's widow, Judah's daughter-in-law.  Judah had promised her his youngest son when the boy was old enough.  While Tamar was waiting for the boy to grow up (I know, right?), she went back and lived in her father's house.  

Shelah, Judah's son, grew up but Judah did not keep his promise, so Tamar took matters into her own hands.  She dressed up as a prostitute when Judah came to town, slept with him and became pregnant with twin boys named Perez and Zerah.  

Through all the shenanigans - and really you need to read Genesis 38 to get the full story, it's a good one - Judah, nor his descendants, did not lose their place of being the royal line to Jesus, the King of Kings.

What kind of God uses such messed up, wicked, manipulative, deceiving, corrupted people to bring his perfect son into the world?

My God.

The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

My God.

The Bible is not filled with stories of perfect faith or even perfect people.  Judah and Tamar are prime examples.

But the names of Judah and Tamar are not only in the Old Testament but also the new.  They are actually part of the first chapter of the first book of the New Testament.

A record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ the son of David, the son of Abraham:

Abraham was the father of Isaac,
Isaac the father of Jacob (yes, our Jacob)
Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers (how interesting none of the other brothers made the list)
Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar.......
.....

....

All the way down to where it says, and Jacob (a grandson of our Jacob) the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called the Christ.


Do you really think you are too bad to be loved by God?  

Really?

After all these folks have done to do everything they can to get God to shut them down, you still think your sins are so unforgivable?  

Open up to Genesis and Matthew Chapter one.  Get yourself a concordance and look up a few more of those names Matthew listed in the line of Jesus and get back to me with the reason why your sins are too big to be forgiven.  Tell me why God can't use someone like you for any of his purposes.

I dare you.

God certainly didn't honor Judah with the lineage of the Messiah because of anything good he did.  And he certainly didn't discredit Judah and take away the bloodline because of the bad Judah did.  God did it so you and I can see that we're all nothing without him. 

God has no problem using nothing and making it into something special.  

Judah and his descendants went from fourth in birth order to first in desert order.  Judah and his descendants led the Israelites in the desert and paved the way for the King of Glory to come down and live among us.

 Judah, a jealous brother hater and deceiver of women.....


Peace,

Ronda






4 comments:


  1. Blog hopping from North Carolina during the #Challenge. I started WAY down the participant list figuring they wouldn't get as much traffic. In trying to read as many as possible, this is a very long post for most readers. I loved learning from you, and love your theme decision....but! I have been writing about hotels and inns, come and have TEA on the letter T day if you have time or interest.

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    1. Thank you for stopping by and thank you for the insight. Mine posts tend to be lengthy, I know. One can always come back. Have a blessed day!

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  2. Awesomely true! Look who wrote over half of the New Testament! Our God can use anything and anybody to accomplish His good plan in His own good time.
    Revisit the Tender Years with me during the #AtoZChallenge at Life & Faith in Caneyhead!

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    1. I'm enjoying your posts and all the old pictures!

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