Monday, November 23, 2020

2020.11.23 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)?

Oh how dreadful is Judah’s fall! He leaves the covenant community that has been limited by the grief of his father (Genesis 38:1a), and proceeds to repeat the intermarriage error of Genesis 6:1–7, with similarly dreadful effects. His sons are so wicked that the Lord keeps striking them down in judgment, as if to say from heaven about each of them what Judah says about himself in Genesis 38:26: they’re even more wicked than this Canaanite woman Tamar.

And we know she’s wicked. Wicked enough that the proper response to her actions is that she be executed (cf. Leviticus 21:9; Deuteronomy 22:21). But in this case, she’s the least wicked one in the lot. We’ve seen his fathers commit sins like the lie in Genesis 38:11 (cf. Genesis 38:14) and self-righteousness in Genesis 38:24. But Judah is not even following even in the good footsteps of his deeply flawed fathers. There’s no mention of him building altars or worshiping. To their adulterous marriages, he now adds joining himself to a prostitute, and even worse in his ignorance.

Here is great wickedness! But against this backdrop, we marvel to see God’s even greater grace. God’s grace gives the repentance in Genesis 38:26. God’s grace gives children when there would be no other opportunity (Genesis 38:26-27, cf. 1 Chronicles 2:5). God’s grace that is free, according to His pleasure (chooses Perez, not Er or Zerah).

But ultimately, God’s grace gives Jesus Christ. This is the line of Jesus Christ! And He is the reason that God forgives even sinners like Judah and Tamar through faith in Him, and is with sinners such as Joseph (cf. chapter 39) to keep them from sins like Judah’s and sustain them in righteousness. 

What kind of people does Jesus save? About whom do you need reminding that God can save?

Suggested songs: ARP130 “Lord, from the Depths to You I Cried” or TPH340 “There Is a Fountain Filled with Blood” 

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