2024_05_01 Insight Post- Rusty Coram


This week’s reading- Genesis 38:6-30Ruth 4:12, 1 Chronicles 2:4, Matthew 1:3

Tamar’s story is infuriating, heartbreaking, and mesmerizing. It sounds like a new Netflix series! No one really comes out looking all that spectacular character-wise, yet through the mess, we see that God is still at work. I’m sure that throughout history, some have wished that chapter 38 of Genesis had been redacted. It is not the kind of Bible story you would read to your kids or give a flannel-board presentation about for summer camp. Yet, this is real history, and it shows both human brokenness and God’s purposeful action despite it.

Tamar was married to two men who were seriously lacking in character, so much so that God ended their lives, leaving her a double widow. She is then abandoned against the law and custom of the day by her father-in-law, Judah. Tamar devises a plan to force Judah to take responsibility, and while she is very creative, she is morally out of line… and Judah is even more out of line. What a huge mess! No one is putting God’s interests in first place. Yet, God chooses to work in spite of the human selfishness and weakness and continues the lineage from which Jesus the Messiah will come. God’s patience and grace are on full display here. It might be tempting to conclude that since things “worked out,” it’s no big deal whether we choose moral or relational integrity. That would be a huge mistake. Tamar, Judah, and further generations carried the scars of their choices. The dysfunction in their families is one of the results similar to a future relative, King David, who, though forgiven of his grievous sin against Uriah, was promised, “From this time on, your family will live by the sword because you have despised me by taking Uriah’s wife to be your own. 11“This is what the Lord says: Because of what you have done, I will cause your own household to rebel against you. I will give your wives to another man before your very eyes, and he will go to bed with them in public view. 12 You did it secretly, but I will make this happen to you openly in the sight of all Israel.”   2 Samuel 12:10–12 (NLT)

The Biblical principle we need to remember is this, “Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit. So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.”  Galatians 6:7–9 (NLT)

Praise God that He doesn’t give up on us when we blow it, and as a good parent, He doesn’t ignore it when we do. As we will see next week, there is a distinct contrast between how Tamar and Judah dealt with their problems and how Judah’s younger brother Joseph lived.

Rusty Coram
Senior Pastor