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 September 27, 2018

Please read today’s Scriptures and use the comment section on this page to share your insights from today’s reading. You can also just mention a verse that impacted you or post a question!

Read (and Hear) the Bible in One Year

Text: Habakkuk-Zephaniah
Audio: Habakkuk-Zephaniah

You can use the audio Bible as a guide to help “set the pace” as you read along.

Memory Verse of the Week

“And as they journeyed, a terror from God fell upon the cities that were around them, so that they did not pursue the sons of Jacob.”
(Genesis 35:5 ESV)

Genesis 38 (ESV)

It happened at that time that Judah went down from his brothers and turned aside to a certain Adullamite, whose name was Hirah. There Judah saw the daughter of a certain Canaanite whose name was Shua. He took her and went in to her, and she conceived and bore a son, and he called his name Er. She conceived again and bore a son, and she called his name Onan. Yet again she bore a son, and she called his name Shelah. Judah was in Chezib when she bore him.

And Judah took a wife for Er his firstborn, and her name was Tamar. But Er, Judah’s firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the Lord, and the Lord put him to death. Then Judah said to Onan, “Go in to your brother’s wife and perform the duty of a brother-in-law to her, and raise up offspring for your brother.” But Onan knew that the offspring would not be his. So whenever he went in to his brother’s wife he would waste the semen on the ground, so as not to give offspring to his brother. 10 And what he did was wicked in the sight of the Lord, and he put him to death also. 11 Then Judah said to Tamar his daughter-in-law, “Remain a widow in your father’s house, till Shelah my son grows up”—for he feared that he would die, like his brothers. So Tamar went and remained in her father’s house.

12 In the course of time the wife of Judah, Shua’s daughter, died. When Judah was comforted, he went up to Timnah to his sheepshearers, he and his friend Hirah the Adullamite. 13 And when Tamar was told, “Your father-in-law is going up to Timnah to shear his sheep,” 14 she took off her widow’s garments and covered herself with a veil, wrapping herself up, and sat at the entrance to Enaim, which is on the road to Timnah. For she saw that Shelah was grown up, and she had not been given to him in marriage. 15 When Judah saw her, he thought she was a prostitute, for she had covered her face. 16 He turned to her at the roadside and said, “Come, let me come in to you,” for he did not know that she was his daughter-in-law. She said, “What will you give me, that you may come in to me?” 17 He answered, “I will send you a young goat from the flock.” And she said, “If you give me a pledge, until you send it—” 18 He said, “What pledge shall I give you?” She replied, “Your signet and your cord and your staff that is in your hand.” So he gave them to her and went in to her, and she conceived by him. 19 Then she arose and went away, and taking off her veil she put on the garments of her widowhood.

20 When Judah sent the young goat by his friend the Adullamite to take back the pledge from the woman’s hand, he did not find her. 21 And he asked the men of the place, “Where is the cult prostitute who was at Enaim at the roadside?” And they said, “No cult prostitute has been here.” 22 So he returned to Judah and said, “I have not found her. Also, the men of the place said, ‘No cult prostitute has been here.’” 23 And Judah replied, “Let her keep the things as her own, or we shall be laughed at. You see, I sent this young goat, and you did not find her.”

24 About three months later Judah was told, “Tamar your daughter-in-law has been immoral. Moreover, she is pregnant by immorality.” And Judah said, “Bring her out, and let her be burned.” 25 As she was being brought out, she sent word to her father-in-law, “By the man to whom these belong, I am pregnant.” And she said, “Please identify whose these are, the signet and the cord and the staff.” 26 Then Judah identified them and said, “She is more righteous than I, since I did not give her to my son Shelah.” And he did not know her again.

27 When the time of her labor came, there were twins in her womb. 28 And when she was in labor, one put out a hand, and the midwife took and tied a scarlet thread on his hand, saying, “This one came out first.” 29 But as he drew back his hand, behold, his brother came out. And she said, “What a breach you have made for yourself!” Therefore his name was called Perez. 30 Afterward his brother came out with the scarlet thread on his hand, and his name was called Zerah.

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Next: Genesis 39

Back: Genesis 37

This Post Has 2 Comments
  1. About three months later Judah was told, 'Tamar your daughter-in-law has been immoral. Moreover, she is pregnant by immorality.' And Judah said, 'Bring her out, and let her be burned.' Genesis 38:24

    The Deeds of the Flesh

    The drama played out in Genesis 38 is the stuff of Hollywood movies or a soap opera (minus the young goat for payment). More than that, this is the kind of drama that exists all around us. It has a familiar "ring" to it, doesn't it? Deception, manipulation, sexual immorality are all part of the corruption of the sinful nature (the flesh).

    We must not overlook the fact that this behavior is not only seen by God but twice in this chapter it says that the LORD put people to death (Er and Onan). 

    It's statements like this that cause people to either disregard the Old Testament or convince themselves that this was a different time and that God is not like that anymore. When I hear statements like that, I wonder if they've ever read Jesus' words or other books of the New Testament?

    In All the Books and Chapters of the Bible, Herbert Lockyer writes, "It has been asked why this parenthetical chapter, taken up with the shameful sin of Judah, is introduced at this point. While the chapter gives us a glimpse of the character of the heathenism under whose influence Judah came, there must be a reason for this interruption of the story of Jacob and Joseph. The unsavory account occurs in the book where the first step, that led Jacob's family to Egypt, is found. Joseph had been sold as a slave, who finally became the instrument of the transfer of his people into Egypt. This chapter reveals the need of such a removal. To stay in Canaan meant terrible contamination for the chosen family. Yet here is a chapter magnifying the grace of God. In spite of Judah's fearful story, God permitted Christ to come, not only from Judah, but Tamar (Matthew 1:3; Hebrews 7:14). How blessed are the transforming influences of God's love and grace!

    Do you struggle reading the Old Testament?

    Does it change your view of God when you read that He put people to death for being wicked?

    Does it bother you that other people in this chapter (including Judah) were also doing wicked things and yet did not put them to death?

    It's important to remember that God would be justified in putting everyone to death because of sin. But because God is a merciful and gracious God, He doesn't. 

    Does that make God unfair in our eyes?

    Doesn't that make us God's judge?

  2. I definitely do struggle reading the Old Testament. The names, places, and their pronunciations are difficult to read & remember. I want to understand the story as we go along, but I often find myself asking why people are doing what they're doing in the first place. 

    I try to remind myself that this was definitely a different time. I do know, however, that God is the same as He has always been. I feel that putting people to death like that back then, may have been, for one purpose, anyway, so that these things would be on record for future generations, so we are aware of God's power. Even though we may not always understand why God does what He does, it's important to remember that He always has His reasons, and although to us it may seem unfair, He knows what He's doing. 

    Roman's 8:28 "And we know that for those who love God, all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose."

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