Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Friday, 17 January 20:
Genesis 38:26 — “She is more righteous than I, since I did not give her to my son Shelah.”
Genesis 38 is a shocking story. You may need to read it twice, slowly. Likely, you have never heard a sermon preached about Judah and Tamar.
Judah commits unthinkable sin after unthinkable sin (it is hard to keep track of them all) and at the end of it all, he is ready to burn to death his daughter-in-law for getting pregnant from prostitution (idol worship prostitution) without condemning himself for being the one who got her pregnant in the first place.
Then, after being caught in his hypocrisy, Judah says, “She is more righteous than I, since I did not give her to my son Shelah,” — Wow – as if either of them is righteous at all, and as if his big sin was not giving her his son Shelah!
What are we to make of this shocking story? What is most incredible about the story of Judah and Tamar is found in Matthew 1 – “The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, and Judah the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, and Perez the father of Hezron….” (Matthew 1:1-3) Both Judah and Tamar are in the genealogy of Jesus!
Like so many Old Testament stories, I think this story and then how God still used these sinners for His purposes reveals our total depravity and total dependence on the mercy and grace of God for our salvation. There is no one so righteous they can stand on merit before the judgment seat of God, and there is no sinner too wicked for God to redeem if that person accepts the gift of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.
– Psalm 8:4 — What is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?
– Romans 3:10 — None is righteous, no, not one….
– Romans 3:23 — …for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God….
– Romans 5:8 — …but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
– John 3:16 — For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
– Romans 6:23 — For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
– Ephesians 2:8, 9 — For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
– 2 Corinthians 10:17 — Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.
– Romans 8:31 — What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
– Romans 8:38-39 — For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
– 1 John 1:9 — If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 17 Jan 20: As you meditate on your total reliance on God’s mercy and grace, let the mercy and grace you show to others be your act of gratitude, worship and praise.