“And it came to pass at that time, that Judah went down from his brethren, and turned in to a certain Adullamite, whose name was Hirah. And Judah saw there a daughter of a certain Canaanite, whose name was Shuah; and he took her and went in unto (had relations with) her. And she conceived, and bare a son; and he called his name Er .” Genesis 38:1,3
I want to stop right there for a moment before we get into the rest of this story because I need to point out a few things about it to kinda set the stage, if you will.
Notice this is what happened after Judah and his brothers had decided to do away with Joseph.
But Judah was the brother who decided to just sell Joseph rather than let him rot in the pit, which ruined Reuben’s cowardly plan of sneaking back later and freeing Joseph.
There are so many things going on in this story it would take years to point out every little detail.
So for us, we’re just going to look at how bad ideas lead to worse ideas and what we compromise in that process.
So here’s Judah, whose name literally means “praise”, he has gone away from his brothers and went to his friend, who lives in a place that my spellcheck even tried to change to adulterate and once there he ends up with a Canaanite wife, whose name means “crying” and remember the Canaanite’s were the people who the children of Israel were supposed to overcome so that they could possess the land that God had given them.
So now not only is he going places he should never be but the “praise” of Israel has now mingled with the “crying” of the pagans and that which was produced was anything but good.
“And she conceived again, and bare a son and called his name Onan.
And she yet conceived again, and bare a son; and called his name, Shelah: and he was at Chezib when she bare him.” Genesis 38:3,4
This union had now produced three children, Er, whose name meant “watcher”, Onan, whose name meant “wealthy”, and finally Shelah, whose name meant “blind” who was born while Judah was in Chezib, the land whose name is derived from the words, “disappointment”, “delusion”, “failing”, and “lying”.
So it is pretty easy to see the prophetic going on here.
We can see just how easy it can be to be led wrong.
Led into that land due to our disappoints and failings and the tears of those lands mingling with our praise until we also can be completely delusional to the fact that no matter what we call our “accomplishments” in those lands, and no matter how we may feel that we are growing or being enriched, if we have “left” our “promised land” for a “foreign field” that God never sent us to, then we are failing because we are “blinded” in that land.
It is really reminiscent of the spiritual state spoken of by Jesus.
Revelation 3:17,18: “Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.
I counsel thee to buy of me Gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.”
Now we know how Judah got there and what was “produced” there, now let’s see just how far he had to go before he finally saw how “blind” he had become.
“And Judah took a wife for Er his firstborn, whose name was Tamar. And Er, Judah’s firstborn was wicked in the sight of the Lord; and the Lord slew (killed) him.
And Judah said unto Onan, Go in unto thy brother’s wife, and marry her, and raise up seed to thy brother.
And Onan knew that the seed should not be his; and it came to pass, when he went in unto his brother’s wife, that he spilled it on the ground, lest that he should give seed to his brother.
And the thing which he did displeased the Lord (was evil in the sight of the Lord) whereby he slew (killed) him also.
Then said Judah to Tamar his daughter in law, Remain a widow at thy father’s house, till Shelah my son be grown: for he said, Lest peradventure he die also, as his brethren did. And Tamar went and dwelt in her father’s house.
And in the process of time the daughter of Shuah Judah’s wife died; and Judah was comforted, and went up unto his sheepshearers to Timnath, he and his friend Hirah, the Adullamite.
And it was told Tamar, saying, Behold, thy father in law goeth up to Timnath to shear his sheep.
And she put her widow’s garments off from her, and covered her with a vail, and wrapped herself, and sat in an open place, which is by the way to Timnath; for she saw that Shelah was grown, and she will still not given unto him to wife.
When Judah saw her, he thought her to be a harlot; because she had covered her face. And he turned in unto her by the way, and said, Go to I pray thee, let me come in unto thee (for he knew not that she was his daughter in law.) And she said, What wilt thou give me, that thou mayest come in unto me?
And he said, I will send thee a kid from my flock. And she said, Wilt thou give me a pledge, till thou send it (something she could keep as a guarantee)?
And he said, What pledge shall I give thee? And she said, Thy signet, and thy bracelets (cord), and thy staff that is in thine hand. And he gave it to her, and came in unto her, and she conceived by him.
And she arose, and went away, and laid by her vail from her, and put on her garments of widowhood.
And Judah sent the kid by the hand of his friend the Adullamite, to receive his pledge from the woman’s hand (to get his staff, etc back): but he found her not.
Then he asked the men of that place, Where is the harlot, that was openly by the way side? And they said, There was no harlot in this place.
And he returned to Judah, and said, I cannot find her; and also the men of the place said, there was no harlot in this place.
And Judah said, let her take it unto her (let her keep it), lest we be shamed: behold, I sent this kid, and thou hast not found her.
And it came to pass about three months after; that it was told Judah, saying, Tamar thy daughter in law hath played the harlot; and also, she is with child by whoredom (harlotry), and Judah said, Bring her forth, and let her be burnt.” Genesis 38:5-24
Interjection time… WOW that is a lot going on and I can’t help think that I probably should have used Judah’s good old buddy Hirah in WITH FRIENDS LIKE THAT.. further proof that when we are headed down the wrong road the enemy always sends someone to make sure we go barreling down it!
So now we are up to Tamar, Judah smuggling blaming her somehow for the fact that his sons died, not once every considering what we know to be true, they died because they did evil in the sight of the Lord, not because of any thing related to Tamar, another one of his misconceptions, just as he thought she was a “harlot” and in the process he ended up throwing everything her way except what was rightfully hers.
And now she is supposed to be the one that gets “burnt” by the fallout..
The almost comedic irony in this is that when his buddy couldn’t get his possessions back, he decided to just leave it alone so that they would not be shamed in not having kept his end of the bargain in her payment… and yet he is so spiritually blind that it is okay to manipulate and deceive his daughter in law out of her rightful heir and when she is found to be questionably pregnant, he is going to have her killed.
And the truly scariest aspect of the story is just what Judah was willing to sacrifice, without any thought, worry, or fear that he may not get his signet and especially his staff back, which were his very identity and worse that he could so easily state that it could just be kept… kept as payment for “harlotry”.
That can be taken symbolically as a very spiritual “adultery”, when we choose to trade-off or just give away the callings, positions, and gifts that God has given us, either for something we want more or just simply through willful disobedience.
But by being in that land and mingling with those of that land he would indeed find himself in the spiritual place of Chezib, where “blindness” had been born and all would lead to the repentant “crying” as his wife’s namesake. Let’s check out his wake-up call with the ending of our story for Genesis 38:25-30:
“And when she was brought forth, she sent to her father in law, saying, By the man, whose these are, am I with child: Discern, I pray thee, (Please tell me) whose are these, the signet, and bracelets (cord), and staff.
And Judah acknowledged them, and said, She hath been more righteous than I; because I gave her not Shelah my son. And he knew her again no more (did not have any further relations with her).
And it came to pass in the time of her travail (when she gave birth), that, behold, twins were in her womb.
And it came to pass, when she travailed, that the one put out his hand; and the midwife took and bound upon his hand a scarlet thread, saying, This came out first. And it came to pass, as he drew back his hand, that behold, his brother came out; and she said How hath thou broken forth? this breach be upon thee, therefore his name was called Pharez. (Breach OR Breakthrough).
And afterward came out his brother, that had the scarlet thread upon his hand; and his name was called Zarah (Zerah, meaning “dawning” and “light”).” It is impossible not see another scriptural truth that would mirror this birth.
1st Corinthians 15:45,46: “And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul, the last was made a quickening (life-giving) spirit.
Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.”
It comes down to this, we have all maybe been Tamar, and we have all probably acted like Judah in one way or another but we can choose to let mistakes and failures hold us back and destroy our relationship with God and others OR we can use those very “breaches” to propel us forward to a breakthrough, the choice is ours.
Thank you for reading and allowing me to share in a little of your day!
Love & peace till next time!
Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω NBJ2018
And as I looked at the date, I realized today is the anniversary of receiving my calling, 10/16/06 and I am forever blessed and honored that He has allowed me to be…HIS!