Bloodline: A Broken Woman Pt. 1 | Day Two
By: Kate Downing
The best recess days in elementary school were the days when I got to be captain of the kickball team. I loved being captain not because I got to lead the team, but because I was guaranteed not to be picked last. I’m sure you remember those anxiety filled moments as you awaited some other fifth grader to call your name and thus declare you worthy to be on the team.
There was just nothing worse for me than being the last one picked! The walk of shame to the poor team that got me by default and feeling the pity-filled eyes of the other kids bearing down on me was humiliating. Though it was only an elementary school game of kickball, the feeling of being unwanted hit me at the core of who I was.
Today, we are going to look at the first woman listed in Jesus’ bloodline (Matthew 1:1-16). Tamar understood what it felt like to be unwanted. She understood what it meant to have promises broken, to have the dreams of her future slip through her fingers, and to allow her brokenness to lead her into sin. Tamar was a broken woman, but what is so beautiful about her story is that her brokenness did not keep her from being used by God!
Before we read Tamar’s story, pray over these things:
Thank God for the opportunity to read His Word today.
Ask Him to speak to you through Tamar’s story.
Let’s meet Tamar! Read Genesis 38:1-6.
Judah was one of the twelve sons of Jacob and the grandson of Abraham. We are told in these verses that he married and had three sons.
What were the three sons’ names?
Who did Tamar marry?
All seems well and good in Tamar’s life at this moment. She has just married into this Jewish family, and I bet she had a lot of hopes and dreams of what her future was going to look like as a wife and one day as a mom. But, the reality is those dreams wouldn’t come true. Instead, she is about to face a kind of brokenness many of us could never imagine.
Read Genesis 38:7-10.
It’s important to know that during this time, there was a law called the Law of Levirate Marriage that required the closest male relative of a man who died to marry his widow and provide her with a son to care for her. This law ensured that widows were cared and provided for.
What happened to Er, Tamar’s first husband?
List out some emotions Tamar probably felt after her second husband, Onan, selfishly refused to have a child with her.
Broken. Broken and so many other emotions, but broken seems to be the one that sticks out in my mind. If I were Tamar, I would be so hurt, so disappointed, so angry. In all, I would be so devastated. The Pinterest board dreams of what her life would look like as a wife and mom had been dashed by the selfishness of Er and Onan. Her perspective on relationships had to have been broken by these men.
Have you felt like this? You probably have not had two husbands be so wicked that God killed them, but maybe you’ve felt the pain of selfish people. Maybe you’ve felt the shame of being unwanted. Brokenness can come in a lot of shapes and sizes, but when our future and our relationships are broken there is a deep sense of loss of what could have been.
Read Genesis 38:11-14.
What promise did Judah make to Tamar in verse 11?
He promised that he would give Tamar his youngest son, Shelah, as soon he was old enough to marry. However, Judah blamed Tamar for his sons’ deaths and didn’t want the same awful fate to come upon Shelah. So, when Judah sent Tamar to her father’s house to wait for Shelah, he really had no intention of ever fulfilling his promise.
How must Tamar have felt waiting for months and years holding onto the hope that Judah would keep his promise?
Did Judah ever fulfill his promise to Tamar (vs. 14)?
This girl had faced a broken future, broken relationships, and is now realizing the promise her father-in-law made to her is nothing more than a lie. Tamar was a broken girl living in a broken world. Have you ever felt like this? It can feel like you are trapped in a cycle of sadness and pain. But, let me tell you God offers hope!
Read Isaiah 61:1-3.
List out the things these verses declare God has come to do.
Spend the last few minutes of your time with the Lord being open with Him about the brokenness you are experiencing. Ask Him to heal and redeem those broken areas, to give you beauty for your ashes, joy for your mourning, and a beautiful garment of praise for your feeling of heaviness. He is able; this is why He sent His Son for you!