God is Setting All Things Right. So I am Blogging Through the Bible in a Year.

Friday, January 25, 2013

January 25 - Genesis 38-40: Tamar and Joseph Prove Their Faith

Today’s Reading: Genesis 38-40

The Message

English Standard Version

Thought to Guide Your Reading

God continues to bless Joseph even though he is brought lower and lower in Egyptian society and higher and higher in their hearts.

Summary in 100 Words or Less

Judah married Shua, a Canaanite. They had three sons. The oldest married Tamar. God killed him. God also killed the middle son when he refused to honor his brother through conceiving a child with Tamar. Years later Judah would not give his third son to her. She deceived Judah dressed as a prostitute and conceived through him.
Joseph, a slave in Egypt, was thrown in jail by his master's jealous wife. God blessed him and he became the head prisoner.
Pharaoh threw two servants in jail. God gave Joseph the interpretations of their dreams. Neither remembered Joseph later.

How Today’s Reading Contributes to the Gospel: God is Setting All Things Right

Onan (Judah's second son) is killed because he would not honor his family by siring a son with Tamar.

No matter our thoughts on this practice, he was obligated to give Tamar and Er (Judah's oldest son) a son. Because he would not give Tamar a son God killed Onan. This story is not about sex or whether a couple should plan a family or not. It is about someone agreeing to honor his family and then reneging on that promise.

Tamar deceives Judah for righteousness' sake.

Judah agreed to help Tamar have a child. She waited for his youngest son, Shelah, to come of age. Yet Judah would not honor his promise. So she had to deceive him to have it fulfilled. Judah said, "She is in the right; I'm in the wrong" (38:26, The Message). The only way Tamar could get Judah to do what was right was through deception.

God's definition of righteousness is not limited to the set, black-and-white guidelines we normally understand.

This passage is full of what could be called "moral gray areas." Tamar uses deception to get Judah to give her a son. Judah thinks he is with a prostitute. Judah is married, not to Tamar. However, there is right and wrong. This right and wrong is not the same as what I would expect. Being right with God depends on each individual person's life within that person's community, not a set of global rules legislated and enforced by a distant group.

God continues to bless Joseph when he suffers persecution.

Joseph's attitude never changes toward God. Because of this faith, everyone could see how God blessed Joseph. Joseph is made a leader of criminals and even they follow him. Even when things do not go how we expect God will make all things in our life right if we continue to submit to His will for our lives.

What did you see reading this passage? Questions? Comments? Leave a comment in the section below or on the Sonoma Mountain Parkway Church of Christ Facebook page.

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