Judah said, 'Bring her out and have her burned to death!'
As she was being brought out, she sent a message to her father-in-law. 'I am pregnant by the man who owns these,' she said. And she added, 'See if you recognize whose seal and cord and staff these are.'
Judah recognized them and said, 'She is more righteous than I, since I wouldn’t give her to my son Shelah.' And he did not sleep with her again."
- Genesis 38:24-26
Recognizing Our Own Faults
Two of Judah's sons (Er and Onan) had married a Canaanite woman named Tamar, but they had died before they had children. Social law at the time would expect Judah's third son, Shelah, to marry Tamar. Judah had refused to let a third son risk marring Tamar and had sent her back home to her father's house in Timnah to live as a widow. One day when Judah was on his way to her town she disguised herself as a prostitute and Judah picked her up on his way to Timnah. Judah left his seal and staff with her until he could send payment, but she never appeared until three months later when she was discovered pregnant.
Judah had tried to protect his third son and the family name, even if it meant violating social code. Tamar was not a prostitute but was simply trying to get what was hers, which was the care, provision and association of her two dead husband's family. If she could not have a child for them through their brother, maybe she thought, she could have a child for them through their father.
Judah's assumption that she had been unfaithful to her dead husbands was obviously met with the demand for the harshest of punishments for dishonoring the family name. But, Tamar revealed the father of her child was Judah when she presented Judah's seal and staff (equivalent to his signature by having his seal and his title of "head of his family" with the staff). With this new evidence it became clear that Tamar was merely seeking what was her own, and Judah was the one who was in the wrong for denying Tamar a place in his family and the opportunity to have children.
The importance of this story is to reveal Judah's heart and judicial skills. Judah did not harden his heart, but repented. And, Judah showed he was worthy of leadership when he rightly judged this case after all the evidence had been presented even though his verdict came against himself. Judah proved a transformation had begun with his repentance and ability to judge justly. Just like man Levi showed the future character of their tribe, Judah showed the leadership and judicial character of his tribe. It will be the tribe of Judah that will be given the prophecy of royalty in Jacob's final blessing:
"Judah, your brothers will praise you; your hand will be on the neck of your enemies; your father's sons will bow down to you. You are a lion's cub, O Judah; you return from the prey, my son. Like a lion he crouches and lies down, like a lioness—who dares to rouse him? The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler's staff from between his feet, until he comes to whom it belongs and the obedience of the nations is his. He will tether his donkey to a vine, his colt to the choicest branch; he will wash his garments in wine, his robes in the blood of grapes. His eyes will be darker than wine, his teeth whiter than milk." – Genesis 49:8-12
- “raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.”
– Ephesians 2:6
- “you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God.” – Colossians 2:12
- “if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.” – Colossians 3:1
Do I correct myself when I see I am in error or have a fault?
I will recognize my mistakes and seek to make corrections in my attitude, speech and behavior.
Someone to Quote
Something to Ponder
Here’s a Fact
A model of Solomon's Colonnade along the west wall of the Temple Mount can be seen here.
- Proverbs 16:2
New International Version (NIV)
8 Then Bildad the Shuhite replied:
“How long will you say such things? Your words are a blustering wind.
Does God pervert justice? Does the Almighty pervert what is right?
When your children sinned against him, he gave them over to the penalty of their sin.
But if you will seek God earnestly and plead with the Almighty,
if you are pure and upright, even now he will rouse himself on your behalf and restore you to your prosperous state.
Your beginnings will seem humble, so prosperous will your future be.
“Ask the former generation and find out what their ancestors learned,
for we were born only yesterday and know nothing, and our days on earth are but a shadow.
Will they not instruct you and tell you? Will they not bring forth words from their understanding?
Can papyrus grow tall where there is no marsh? Can reeds thrive without water?
While still growing and uncut, they wither more quickly than grass.
Such is the destiny of all who forget God; so perishes the hope of the godless.
What they trust in is fragile; what they rely on is a spider’s web.
They lean on the web, but it gives way; they cling to it, but it does not hold.
They are like a well-watered plant in the sunshine, spreading its shoots over the garden;
it entwines its roots around a pile of rocks and looks for a place among the stones.
But when it is torn from its spot, that place disowns it and says, ‘I never saw you.’
Surely its life withers away, and from the soil other plants grow.
“Surely God does not reject one who is blameless or strengthen the hands of evildoers.
He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy.
Your enemies will be clothed in shame, and the tents of the wicked will be no more.”
New International Version (NIV)
Abram Rescues Lot
14 At the time when Amraphel was king of Shinar, Arioch king of Ellasar, Kedorlaomer king of Elam and Tidal king of Goyim, 2 these kings went to war against Bera king of Sodom, Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, Shemeber king of Zeboyim, and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar). 3 All these latter kings joined forces in the Valley of Siddim (that is, the Dead Sea Valley). 4 For twelve years they had been subject to Kedorlaomer, but in the thirteenth year they rebelled.
5 In the fourteenth year, Kedorlaomer and the kings allied with him went out and defeated the Rephaites in Ashteroth Karnaim, the Zuzites in Ham, the Emites in Shaveh Kiriathaim 6 and the Horites in the hill country of Seir, as far as El Paran near the desert. 7 Then they turned back and went to En Mishpat (that is, Kadesh), and they conquered the whole territory of the Amalekites, as well as the Amorites who were living in Hazezon Tamar.
8 Then the king of Sodom, the king of Gomorrah, the king of Admah, the king of Zeboyim and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar) marched out and drew up their battle lines in the Valley of Siddim 9 against Kedorlaomer king of Elam, Tidal king of Goyim, Amraphel king of Shinar and Arioch king of Ellasar—four kings against five. 10 Now the Valley of Siddim was full of tar pits, and when the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, some of the men fell into them and the rest fled to the hills. 11 The four kings seized all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah and all their food; then they went away. 12 They also carried off Abram’s nephew Lot and his possessions, since he was living in Sodom.
13 A man who had escaped came and reported this to Abram the Hebrew. Now Abram was living near the great trees of Mamre the Amorite, a brother of Eshkol and Aner, all of whom were allied with Abram. 14 When Abram heard that his relative had been taken captive, he called out the 318 trained men born in his household and went in pursuit as far as Dan. 15 During the night Abram divided his men to attack them and he routed them, pursuing them as far as Hobah, north of Damascus. 16 He recovered all the goods and brought back his relative Lot and his possessions, together with the women and the other people.
17 After Abram returned from defeating Kedorlaomer and the kings allied with him, the king of Sodom came out to meet him in the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley).
18 Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High, 19 and he blessed Abram, saying,
“Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth.
And praise be to God Most High, who delivered your enemies into your hand.”
Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything.
21 The king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give me the people and keep the goods for yourself.”
22 But Abram said to the king of Sodom, “With raised hand I have sworn an oath to the Lord, God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth, 23 that I will accept nothing belonging to you, not even a thread or the strap of a sandal, so that you will never be able to say, ‘I made Abram rich.’ 24 I will accept nothing but what my men have eaten and the share that belongs to the men who went with me—to Aner, Eshkol and Mamre. Let them have their share.”
The Lord’s Covenant With Abram
15 After this, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision:
“Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.”
2 But Abram said, “Sovereign Lord, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?” 3 And Abram said, “You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir.”
4 Then the word of the Lord came to him: “This man will not be your heir, but a son who is your own flesh and blood will be your heir.” 5 He took him outside and said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars—if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”
6 Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.
7 He also said to him, “I am the Lord, who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to take possession of it.”
8 But Abram said, “Sovereign Lord, how can I know that I will gain possession of it?”
9 So the Lord said to him, “Bring me a heifer, a goat and a ram, each three years old, along with a dove and a young pigeon.”
10 Abram brought all these to him, cut them in two and arranged the halves opposite each other; the birds, however, he did not cut in half. 11 Then birds of prey came down on the carcasses, but Abram drove them away.
12 As the sun was setting, Abram fell into a deep sleep, and a thick and dreadful darkness came over him. 13 Then the Lord said to him, “Know for certain that for four hundred years your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own and that they will be enslaved and mistreated there. 14 But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will come out with great possessions. 15 You, however, will go to your ancestors in peace and be buried at a good old age. 16 In the fourth generation your descendants will come back here, for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure.”
17 When the sun had set and darkness had fallen, a smoking firepot with a blazing torch appeared and passed between the pieces. 18 On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram and said, “To your descendants I give this land, from the Wadi of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates— 19 the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, 20 Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites, 21 Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites and Jebusites.”