Thursday 25th June, 2015
''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!” Genesis 38:24
The sordid tale continues. Tamar exchanged her widow's clothes for those of a prostitute and sat at the roadside where she knew Judah would pass by. But one wonders whether she thought his youngest son Shelah would be with him and whether it was Shelah she wished to trap into marrying her, suggests Simon Patrick, 17th century Bishop of Ely.
However, the fact is that it was Hirah, his Adullamite friend, who accompanied Judah and not his son. Now had Hirah been a good friend, he would have intervened and tried to stop Judah from sinning. We are foolish to have friends who fail to speak up and correct us when we are tempted to sin. Judah didn't recognise his daughter-in-law under her veil and thought her to be a prostitute. Seeing her he wanted her. We must deal with ourselves and our eyes in particular, ever so severely. The eyes can be a means of infecting the heart. They are so often where sin begins. Wanting her Judah took her. What his friend Hirah did with himself while all this took place we are not told. Subsequently, Tamar was found to be pregnant. Maybe she thought, 'If Judah isn't going to have Shelah provide me with an heir for his eldest son, I will procure one from him.'
When Judah discovered that his daughter-in-law was pregnant he was furious and wanted her put to death as a result of her prostitution and adultery. Being part of his family, doing what she had done brought great shame on it. Only when she proved that it was he who fathered her child did he relent. Some people who like to claim the moral high ground would do better to look at themselves before they do so. That is what Jesus had those who wanted to stone a women caught in adultery do,(see John 8:7). So often, the sin people condemn in others is the sin they condone in themselves, (see Romans 2:1).
Tamar gave birth to twins. God never ceases to surprise and amaze me. He chose to have his Son, Jesus Christ, descend from Perez, an offspring of this sordid affair. But then again there are many even less worthy in his human lineage. It just goes to show how willing God is to be related to even the worst of us.
God bless you all.