Scandalous Women of the Bible | Day Seven
By: Brittany Green | Tamar
I love Tamar’s story. It’s one of my favorite parts of the story of God’s people. We talked about Joseph earlier this year with Minted Truth. What we skimmed over was the redemption story of Judah. If you remember, Judah was the fourth son of Jacob and Leah. His name means “I will praise the Lord” or simply “praise.” I believe he forgot to live this out all his days, because we find him in Genesis 38 with a bitter heart. He had sold his brother, Joseph, and then must live with the guilt of his actions. He goes on to have a family and that’s where Tamar comes in.
Life didn't go quite as planned for Tamar. She was a young bride with hopes and dreams, probably plans for a family and yet life didn't turn out like she probably thought.
Read her story in Genesis 38.
Life gave Tamar a bad deal. She had married into this family that would become the twelve tribes--a pretty good family to be part of! But her husband was evil in the sight of God. Her husband dies, leaving her a widow. The culture said that since she had not had any sons by her husband, his next brother was to help produce heirs to gain his inheritance. However, after the second brother also dies, she is treated badly by Judah. He sends her off until the third son is "old enough" (even though he already is.)
So she's treated unfairly, neglected and probably pretty lonely. What's incredible about Tamar is that she clung to the promise that was rightfully hers. She was to take part in raising heirs to this family. Tamar made some bold, scandalous moves, and ended up bringing about Judah's redemption.
Sometimes life doesn't go out way and we're dealt a bad hand. People treat us unfairly, unfortunate circumstances happen, or we have to live with sin's consequences. When this happens we must cling to the promise that God is faithful. He is always faithful.
God wants His best for you. He wants that friendship - the one where hurtful things were said - restored. He wants to mend your relationship with your parents. God wants to comfort you in loneliness and sorrow. He wants to rejoice with you.
Ultimately, He wants redemption for you.
It is never too late for God to redeem your life and your past. I can't tell you how sweet it is to live in that redemption.
In Genesis 38:26, after Tamar had revealed that it was she who played the role of the prostitute, Judah exclaims, "She is more righteous than I." The Message puts it this way: "She’s in the right; I’m in the wrong."
For the first time in Judah's life, he admits that he's wrong and repents. From all of his shortcomings that we see in Genesis, this is the first time he acknowledges them. And then he turns away from them. From this point forward we see Judah living a righteous life.
As a result, Judah, the fourth son, receives what the firstborn son should. Tamar goes on to be listed in the genealogy of Jesus. What an honor!
Just as Tamar's scandalous faithfulness led to Judah's repentance, despite the scandal, God is going to use your life, redeem you, and lead you to grace if you let Him.
So, how can you learn from Tamar's life?
What stood out to you from her story or from Judah's?
What in your life seems unfair or hard?
How can you trust God to be faithful in that situation?
Take some time to tell God that you trust Him. Give your hard situations over to Him today and be amazed at His faithfulness.