I have been spending a lot of time in Genesis 38. Have you?
In my last post I wrote about Tamar and something that I wanted to share. As I have been studying I have realized that the post was going to be far too long. So I am going to break it down and tear it apart to learn all that we can about my friend Tamar.
That sounds strange doesn’t it? My friend Tamar- as I spend time with women in the Bible they become like friends to me. They are women and they have choices to make just like me.
When I study scripture I like to get right into it, to understand the beginning and the end. When I look at Tamar, I can’t merely start with Tamar, I have to start with Judah.
Who is Judah? He is the son of Jacob and Leah, which is an interesting story that you can read in Genesis 29. Judah is a brother to Joseph, (the guy with the coat of many colours.) Judah was the brother that suggested selling Joseph as a slave rather than killing him. Way to negotiate Judah!
It was after this event that Judah separated himself from his brothers by moving away and marrying a Canaanite. Israelites considered Canaanite women “wicked” and were afraid that they would take their husbands away from worshiping the Lord.
Judah and his Canaanite wife had three sons: Er, Onan and Shelah. It was Judah that arranged the marriage of his oldest son Er, to Tamar. It is believed that Tamar is also a Canaanite. (remember that fact)
I think that is enough for the first post. That is a lot to digest.
If you are familiar with the stories in Genesis you will know how much Judah went through growing up. His Dad was tricked into marrying his Mom, so he was offspring of a marriage that his Dad wished never happened. Rachel the one that he wanted to marry (who became Jacobs second wife, yet still his first choice) was not able to have children for many years and then when she gave birth to two sons they became the chosen children. Judah’s Dad, Jacob, was never the same after Rachel died giving birth to their second son, Benjamin.
Some days my daughters have a difficult time getting along, but that is nothing compared to what was experienced in Jacobs home. There was enough anger and jealousy for the brothers to want to kill each other. I have to admire Judah for standing up to his brothers when they were ready and willing to kill Joseph.
I can understand why Judah left his family and started new in a different land. His father was grief stricken because he thought is son was dead and the guilt of that secret that the rest of brothers carried would be a very heavy burden.
How many of us choose to run away from our issues thinking that we can start again somewhere new, but the burden of our past choices is like a heavy suitcase that you have to take with you wherever you go.
Judah moves away, marries and is given three sons. Then enters Tamar, picked by Judah for his oldest son Er. Judah did not leave his problems behind with his family, they are still with him and they are steadily building. Life does not get any easier Judah, only more complicated and beyond anything that you would see in an afternoon soap opera. Stay tuned!
If you haven’t already please study Genesis 38, we will get to know Tamar better in my next post.