Wednesday, November 19, 2008

What A Strange Tree You Have


Genesis 37:26 And Judah said to his brothers, What profit is there in putting our brother to death and covering up his blood?

Genesis 38:14 She took off her widow's clothing, and covering herself with her veil, she took her seat near Enaim on the road to Timnah; for she saw that Shelah was now a man, but she had not been made his wife. 15 When Judah saw her he took her to be a loose woman of the town, because her face was covered. 16 And turning to her by the roadside, he said to her, Let me come in to you; for he had no idea that she was his daughter-in-law. And she said, What will you give me as my price?

Genesis 38:24 Now about three months after this, word came to Judah that Tamar, his daughter-in-law, had been acting like a loose woman and was with child. And Judah said, Take her out and let her be burned. 25 And while she was being taken out, she sent word to her father-in-law, saying, The man whose property these things are, is the father of my child: say then, whose are this ring and this cord and this stick? 26 Then Judah said openly that they were his, and said, She is more upright than I am, for I did not give her to Shelah my son. And he had no more connection with her.


Do you sometimes think that your family is such a strange bunch, “how did I come from that bunch” you may say "I am the normal one."

Every family tree has some branches that you may be tempted to cut off the trunk but God can still use the branches that we don’t always like and he doesn’t care how twisted and damaged the branches are.

Look at Jacob and his family, yesterday I saw that he created a mess with his favoritism problem, first with his wives and then with his sons. Now Jacob’s son Judah, he is an unsightly branch. It was Judah’s idea to sell Joseph into slavery to get rid of him (Gen 37:26-27).

Judah left home and married a Canaanite woman (Gen 38:1-2), that was probably not a good start, she gave him three sons and at least two of them were very evil in God’s eyes, bad to the point of God killing them (Genesis 38:7-10).

Judah’s wife passes away and he is out of town on a business trip (Genesis 38:12) when he sees a lovely lady that appears to be making money off her good looks, not knowing that she is his daughter –in-law he buys her services (Genesis 38:13-16). Then when he finds out she is pregnant he wants her to be carried away and burned until he finds out that he is the father (Genesis 38:24-26).

What a messy family tree, but then I have to remember that this is the family tree that Jesus came from.

It seems to me that Judah’s brother Joseph would be a great choice for the lineage of Jesus, after all he is one of our Bible heroes, why not Joe? And of all of Judah’s sons the lineage of Jesus runs through the relation of Judah sleeping with his daughter-in-law.

Our perfect and holy God came down to earth right in the midst of everything that is wrong with the human race. He didn’t look for a pretty family tree because there aren’t any. Despite everything that is wrong with us he still loved us enough to leave heaven, be tempted, suffer and die so that we can live for eternity with him.

The worthiness of Christ is of himself, and not from his ancestors. How little
reason had the Jews, who were so called from this Judah, to boast as they did? –Matthew Henry commentary


I will guard my heart so that I don’t mess up my family tree any more than it is.


Thank you Lord, that you love us in spite of our rebellious sinful condition. Thank you for coming into the chaos of our world to prove your love to us.