JUDAH AND TAMAR
While Joseph was trying to get settled in Egypt, the next person that was focused on was Judah.. We were told he moved away from his brothers and turned in to a certain Adullamite, whose name was Hirah. There he met a Canaanite woman that has a daughter. Judah took her and went into her, She became pregnant and had a son for him and called his name Er. Then she conceived again and bare another son, and he called his name Onan, And she conceived again, and bare a son and named his name Shelah. When the boys grew, the bible says “ Then Judah took a wife for Er his firstborn, and her name was Tamar. But Er, Judah’s firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the Lord, and the Lord killed him. And Judah said to Onan, “Go in to your brother’s wife and marry her, and raise up an heir to your brother.” But Onan knew that the heir would not be his; and it came to pass, when he went in to his brother’s wife, that he emitted on the ground, lest he should give an heir to his brother. And the thing which he did displeased the Lord; therefore He killed him also. Then Judah said to Tamar his daughter-in-law, “Remain a widow in your father’s house till my son Shelah is grown.” For he said, “Lest he also die like his brothers.” And Tamar went and dwelt in her father’s house.(Genesis 38: 1-5).
Now in the process of time the daughter of Shua, Judah’s wife, died; and Judah was comforted, and went up to his sheepshearers at Timnah, he and his friend Hirah the Adullamite. And it was told Tamar, saying, “Look, your father-in-law is going up to Timnah to shear his sheep.” So she took off her widow’s garments, covered herself with a veil and wrapped herself, and sat in an open place which was on the way to Timnah; for she saw that Shelah was grown, and she was not given to him as a wife. When Judah saw her, he thought she was a harlot, because she had covered her face. Then he turned to her by the way, and said, “Please let me come in to you”; for he did not know that she was his daughter-in-law. So she said, “What will you give me, that you may come in to me?” And he said, “I will send a young goat from the flock.” So she said, “Will you give me a pledge till you send it?” Then he said, “What pledge shall I give you?” So she said, “Your signet and cord, and your staff that is in your hand.” Then he gave them to her, and went in to her, and she conceived by him. So she arose and went away, and laid aside her veil and put on the garments of her widowhood. And Judah sent the young goat by the hand of his friend the Adullamite, to receive his pledge from the woman’s hand, but he did not find her. Then he asked the men of that place, saying, “Where is the harlot who was openly by the roadside?” And they said, “There was no harlot in this place.” So he returned to Judah and said, “I cannot find her. Also, the men of the place said there was no harlot in this place.” Then Judah said, “Let her take them for herself, lest we be shamed; for I sent this young goat and you have not found her.” And it came to pass, about three months after, that Judah was told, saying, “Tamar your daughter-in-law has played the harlot; furthermore she is with child by harlotry.” So Judah said, “Bring her out and let her be burned!” When she was brought out, she sent to her father-in-law, saying, “By the man to whom these belong, I am with child.” And she said, “Please determine whose these are—the signet and cord, and staff.” So Judah acknowledged them and said, “She has been more righteous than I, because I did not give her to Shelah my son.” And he never knew her again. Now it came to pass, at the time for giving birth, that behold, twins were in her womb, they were named Perez and Zerah. (Genesis 38:6-27).
Why was a whole chapter devoted to Judah? This was the man from whom important personalities came. He again moved away from his brothers and had three sons by daughter of a Canaanite woman. The LORD killed two of the sons because of their wickedness. Tamar who was the wife would have to remain a widow till her death because Judah was not ready to give her the third son. She also cannot marry another man outside the family of Judah. What a culture at that time. Imagine what the consequences of being found with a child would have been if it had not belonged to Judah himself. Tamar would have been burned alive because of this. Now that it was Judah’s, all he could say was, “She has been more righteous than I.” God blessed the union that day with twin boys. One of these boys (Perez) continued the lineage of the tribe of Judah as listed in Matthew. I am sure you will agree with me that the hand of the Lord was in the life of Judah all the way. Interestingly, apart from Tamar who was a Canaanite, there were two other women that were not original Jews that were part of the lineage of Christ, and they were Rahab the harlot who was form Jericho and Ruth who was a Moabite.
From all these stories, we can see further that God uses whoever He wills to achieve His purpose. Psalm 24:1 says “The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness. The world and those who dwell therein.” We are all His people and He chose Abraham for the purpose of revealing Himself to the world through Him. Each time we read through these inspiring stories, we are made to understand that God uses whoever is available. Tamar made herself available. She was faithful to being a widow and she knew she had to do something to preserve the lineage of Judah, and she applied the wisdom of God to meet Judah himself, and then collected evidence that would exonerate her. Are you available for God to use you in a spectacular way that makes you a witness for Him? When God performs His great work, His wonderful work in your life, He is making your life a testimony to His power, so that other people can place their trust and hope in Him. It doesn’t matter what your past is, the God of the universe that created you knew everything about you-your past, present and your future, and is always ready to by pass all protocols to perform wonders in your life. Can you imagine twins for Tamar, while she did not have any issue for the sons of Judah?. The LORD will surprise you too by performing a wonderful work in your life in Jesus Name, Amen. It is well with you.