Day 34…Genesis 38:
Genesis 38: Judah’s mess. His sins.
v.1-5, about the same time Joseph was being sold into slavery Judah (4th born) split from his bros. He moved to Adullam with a man named HIRAH. He met the (Canaanite) daughter of Shua and married her. She got pregnant and had 3 boys: 1. Er, 2. Onan, 3. Shelah.
v.6-10, Judah chose a wife for Er (Tamar) but he offended God and God took his life! So Judah told Onan to sleep with his bros’ widow because it was his duty to keep his brother’s line alive. But Onan was not willing to have a child that wasn’t his own. So whenever they slept together he spilled his semen on the ground so wouldn’t produce an heir for his brother. So God took his life too!
v.11-12, so Judah told Tamar to stay a widow until his youngest son grows up and can marry her. BUT Judah didn’t really intend this to happen because he was afraid Shelah would also end up dead! So Tamar went back home and waited. Time passed and Judah’s wife died. When the time of mourning passed he went with Hirah (his friend) to Timnah to supervise the shearing of his sheep.
v.13-14, as soon as Tamar learned her father-in-law was on his was to Timnah, Tamar took off her widow clothes and disguised herself as a prostitute (covering her face with a veil) and sat beside the road at the entrance to the village of Enaim on the way to Timnah. (Tamar realized by now that even though Shelah was grown up, she wasn’t going to marry him after all — essentially Judah lied to her).
v.15-19, Judah saw her (assuming she was a prostitute) and propositioned her “have sex with me!” He had no idea who she really was. [where are the cops when you need them?]
Tamar: How much will you pay me?
Judah: A young goat
T: What guarantee do I have?
J: What kind of guarantee do you want?
T: Leave me your identification seal and it’s cord and your staff. (He gave them to her, he must have wanted to have sex bad!) They had sex and she got pregnant. Then she took her veil off and put back on her widow’s clothes.
v.20-23, later Judah asked his friend Hirah to take the young goat to the woman (prostitute) and pick up his things he left with her as a guarantee. Hirah couldn’t find her anywhere! So he asked around and the men told him they have never seen a prostitute there. Hirah told Judah what he had learned. So Judah decided to stop looking for her and told Hirah to stop looking for her “I kept my part of the bargain and sent her the young goat” because they would be the laughing stock of the village if they continued to look for her. “She can keep my things.”
v.24-26, three month later… Judah was told his daughter-in-law was acting like a prostitute and because of it she is pregnant! Judah demanded she be burned! But as they were taking her out to kill her, she sent a message to Judah with the things he had given her (as guarantee for sex) and said the man who owns these things made me pregnant. He recognized HIS THINGS right away and said “she’s in the right; I’m in the wrong because I wouldn’t let her marry my youngest, Shelah.” The Bible says “he never slept with her again” or “…made love to her again.”
v.27-30, when she was going to give birth, she found out she was going to have twin boys. When she was giving birth, one of the babies reached out his hand and the midwife tied a red / scarlet string around the child’s wrist saying “this one came first.” But then he pulled back his hand and his brother came out first instead. The midwife said “how did you break out?” and named him Perez (breakout). Then his brother came out with the red / scarlet string on his wrist and she named him Zerah (scarlet).
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN TO ME? The biggest lesson for me is really what Judah did to Tamar. 1st, KEEP YOUR PROMISES, don’t lie. You should be true to your word. Instead of lying to Tamar about marrying Shelah (his final son), he should have levelled with her. Told her the truth that he was afraid of loosing his last and only son after the first 2 where taken by God for their wickedness. 2nd, DON’T SLEEP WITH PROSTITUTES, or more importantly don’t have sex with any on other than you spouse because your sins with find you out. [I know this is a no brainer, but we need the reminder!]
WHAT AM I GOING TO DO ABOUT IT? Not sin! Not because my sins will find me out but because they offend and grieve God. And if I have sins that I need to confess to God that I keep going back to (pet-sins). Confess them (1 John 1:9).
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