Saturday, November 21, 2020

2020.11.21 Hopewell @Home ▫ Genesis 38

Read Genesis 38

Questions from the Scripture text: With info about whom does Genesis 38:1 interrupt the Joseph story? Whom does he leave? To whom does he go? Whom does he see in Genesis 38:2? What does he do with her? Whom does she bear him in Genesis 38:3-5? Now what happens in Genesis 38:6? What was Judah’s firstborn like (Genesis 38:7)? Who did what to him? What did Judah tell whom to do in Genesis 38:8? Why did Onan make sure not to actually father a child (Genesis 38:9)? What did the Lord think of this (Genesis 38:10)? And what did He do? What does Judah tell Tamar to do now in Genesis 38:11? Why didn’t he want her to marry Shelah? What happens in Genesis 38:12? Where does Judah go? Who was there, doing what? Who finds out (Genesis 38:13)? What does she do, and where does she go (Genesis 38:14)? Why? What does Judah think she is (Genesis 38:15)? Why was he willing to be wicked with her (Genesis 38:16)? What did he promise to her in return for being wicked (Genesis 38:17)? Since this is in the future, what does she demand now (Genesis 38:18)? Once she has become pregnant from Judah, where does Tamar go, and what does she do in Genesis 38:19? Whom does Judah send to get his signet, cord, and staff back (Genesis 38:20)? What happens with the Adullamite’s harlot search in Genesis 38:21-22? Why isn’t Judah willing to let even more people know that he is looking for the harlot (Genesis 38:23)? What does Judah now find out in Genesis 38:24? What does he demand to happen? What does Tamar present in Genesis 38:25? What does Judah admit in Genesis 38:26? What do they find out at the birth in Genesis 38:27? What does the midwife do in Genesis 38:28? But who comes out first (Genesis 38:29)? And who second (Genesis 38:30)?

Wow. What a mess! It’s amazing how often we have to say that about God’s people. Judah leaves the covenant people. He marries a Canaanite. He has wicked boys that Yahweh hates and kills. He gets a Canaanite wife for one of them. She, of course, acts like… surprise… a Canaanite. He, also, acts like a Canaanite. In fact, he’s even worse than she is (Genesis 38:26). Why is this passage even here?

First, Judah in chapter 38 is a comparison to Joseph in chapter 39. Judah has wealth and ease, but he commits scandalous sin. Joseph is sold into slavery, tempted, entrapped, lied about, unjustly imprisoned, forgotten. And despite all of that, he maintains exemplary faithfulness to God. The theme there will be that Yahweh was with Joseph. The theme here is: “there, but for the grace of God go we.”

Second, this is Jesus’s family tree! Judah, Perez, and even Tamar are mentioned in the blessing upon Boaz in Ruth 4:12, leading up to the genealogy of David in Ruth 4:18. Judah, Perez, Zerah, and Tamar are all mentioned in Jesus’s genealogy in Matthew 1:3. Here, by the grace of God, are those through whom the Christ comes into the world to save. What a glorious, gracious God, Who alone is good and glorious to save!

Where are you most needy of grace to keep you faithful? What hope do you have to be useful to God? 

Suggested songs: ARP130 “Lord, from the Depths to You I Cried” or TPH429 “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing”

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