Genesis 38 – A Breakthrough In My Relationship With God

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Hey, I’m going to invite you on this Mother’s Day to an interesting chapter. I’m just I know if you’ve been reading ahead at all, you you know what’s in store in Genesis 38. I’m going to invite you to Genesis 38. Uh, and I think it’s important, as we dive into this chapter, to start off with a few questions here. Um, we could ask the question, why in the world is Genesis 38 in your Bible? And we could also ask, how in the world is it supposed to encourage you in your walk with God? Because if you’ve read this chapter, you have found that this is a very interesting chapter. But but it’s definitely a chapter that relates to the value of women and the importance of motherhood, which we’re going to talk about within the context of this story as it unfolds. But, but it’s important to start off with those those big idea questions, right? Why why is this here, in this in the Bible at all? And why specifically in Genesis 38, do we find this here? Because when you when you read through the book of Genesis, you see a very systematic approach to how this story is unfolding for us, right? The first 11 chapters, God creates us in his image, which gives us incredible worth as human beings purpose, value, meaning. And we discover that as we connect to God. But we also find that while we’re created for our purposes, rooted in the Lord, that we as human beings, we rebel against, that we live for our glory rather than his glory.

And because of that, other people suffer the world’s in sin. We sin and we don’t walk with God, for which we’re created to have a relationship with him. And so because of that, we need rescue. We need redemption, and God doesn’t give up on us. We discover in Genesis that he pursues us, and he ultimately tells us where that redemption is going to come from through a man named Abraham and through his lineage. Ultimately, Jesus would be born. And so we’ve been tracing the family of Abraham, right? Went from Abraham to Isaac to Jacob. And then last week we started to see the story of Joseph unfolding. And now now we get this like narrative whiplash where you’re reading about Joseph, and now all of a sudden they tell us the story about Judah and Tamar, and then they’re going to bounce right back to the story of Joseph. And it leaves you asking the question, why did they insert this story in in this passage of the Bible? And I want you to know, I’m not going to give you the answer right away. We’re going to see that answer unfold as we look at this chapter. But this is very much a a story that tells a grander theme of what God is doing while he’s working in the life of Joseph, God is also telling a greater story of redemption for your soul and mine.

And we see that play out in in Judah and Tamar in the midst of a messy situation. Which leads us to the question, why is this here? Right? If you read this story, this is a very difficult story, and it gets messier and messier as you go along. And so how in the world is this an encouraging story for us? Why does God want us to know this? And what you’re going to discover is in the midst of our brokenness, how God does not give up on us, right? God? God still can take the the terrible things of life, and he can orchestrate a far more beautiful picture than we can even begin to comprehend. And in Genesis 38 is one of those stories that that helps us, helps us understand how to step in, in the midst of a mess, how to continue to step in the goodness of God, knowing that God doesn’t give up on us. Right? Sometimes as Christians, I think we might feel like, you know, there’s the professionals. And then I’m like the minor league team, right? I’m I’m team B, you only call me in if you have to. Like I am the last resort. And and I want you to know that that is exactly where God’s hand of redemption desires to be made known. That that’s exactly the situation where God loves to work.

Because in that type of situation, you can’t take the credit. It truly demonstrates the grace of God in your life. And because of that, he gets the glory and we get the blessing and seeing God’s hand. And so Genesis 38, we we titled today, we all need a breakthrough in our relationship with God. And and I know, uh, in reading a title like that, that sounds a little bit cheesy. We all need a breakthrough in our relationship with God. That sounds that’s really cheesy, right? That’s probably one of the cheesiest titles I’ve ever picked. But but I want you to know, it’s very relevant to the story of what happens here. I didn’t just pull this out of thin air as just try to, you know, some superficial, encouraging word for you on Mother’s Day because I want you all encouraged. I do want you encouraged. But but this is very relevant to what chapter 38 is talking about. And I want you to see this as it unfolds. Um, I’m going to give you just a summary of the first ten verses to get the story moving along here, because I know I got limited time here, and I’m not going to be able to read through every verse but the first ten verses. Here’s what takes place Judah, who is a son of Jacob, one of the 12 tribes of Israel. He has three sons. And you start to see in verse, in verse 1 to 5, as he has these three boys, they start to get married in verse six, uh, the first son to get married is a son named er.

He gets married to a young lady named Tamar, and it doesn’t tell us the details of everything that unfolds here, but it gives you this little summary idea that er did something wicked before the Lord and the Lord took his life. We don’t know what it was, but whatever it was, it was an offense to the Lord, and his life ended. And so therefore you find in the next verses, verse 8 to 10, that that Judah’s next son, Onan then marries Tamar. And what’s being practiced here is something in Jewish culture referred to as the levirate marriage. It’s a it’s a levirate marriage. It’s found in Deuteronomy chapter 25, verses 5 to 10, if you want to read about it later. But levirate marriage carried this idea that when, when you had a child that passed away, when you had a son that passed away, but you wanted his lineage to continue in order for his lineage to continue, the next son would marry the the widow or the the woman. And then the first child that was born was to honor the son that passed away, that his lineage would continue. Not only that, levirate marriage was one to honor the deceased, that the lineage would continue. It was also used for the preservation of women, for the protection and preservation of women.

And we’ve talked about it during this time period. This particular culture, they’re not in a free market society where women can just go out and get jobs. It was a very traditional in that mindset where the men were the breadwinners, the women stayed at home, took care of the family. And and in this particular society, the woman’s well-being was wrapped up in the success of her husband and her posterity, her children. So her husband would take care of the day to day needs. And as she had children then, the children were expected to take care of the parents as they aged. And if a woman couldn’t have children, it was considered a a shame to her. And I’m not saying it’s right or good, but that’s that’s the way the culture treated it. We’ve looked at that in the life of Sarah and Abraham. If you remember, Sarah couldn’t have a child. And and that’s where they decide to take a concubine into the family, which God did not want to have happen with Hagar. But it was that pressure on Sarah to have children that led her to the idea to tell her husband to take Hagar as a concubine, right? It’s not what the Lord wants, but it at least speaks to the culture. And and the concern was, if you can’t have children, you don’t have safety, you don’t have protection, right? The size of your family.

During this day, there was no police force to call if you had trouble. And so your family worked for your protection. As you age, your your family again worked for your protection. So if you didn’t have children as you age, you would become more vulnerable. If you became a widow, you would become more vulnerable. But what happens we see in this story, in verse 6 to 10, is that Onan also does something wicked before the Lord, and the Lord takes his life. And so now Tamar is not just vulnerable, having been a widow once, she’s been a widow twice, and now she’s extremely vulnerable. And the question that we should ask is under levirate marriage, according to Jewish customs, what’s Judah going to do? How is how is Judah going to respond to this situation? Because it’s his responsibility now that Tamar has become a part of his family to to minister and care to her needs. And so here’s what we discover in point number one. And the reason we all need a breakthrough with God is this we’re often blind to the hardness of our hearts. We’re often blind to the hardness of our hearts. We like to think that we’re not. But but truth be told that we we all struggle with, um, the hardness of our own hearts. And it’s really seen in our self righteousness and, and justification that we become blind to just how desperate we are for for needing God in our lives.

And we often justify how we choose to respond in our behavior, our attitude and actions based on our circumstances, not necessarily what what God desires. And one indicator of a hardened heart is seen in how we treat those around us. Right? We might feel justified in what we do, but we can very easily see in Scripture if, if, if your actions are leading to the belittlement, the degradation, the anger, frustration towards other people, you’re wrestling with something in your hearts, an indicator of some brokenness in your life. We can justify it, but what are the people have done or do? But it’s ultimately helping us recognize there’s something deeper going on here. And this is what happens in the life of Judah. And this is where we pick up in verse 11. It shows us in Genesis 38, verse 11 it says, Then Judah said to Tamar, his daughter in law, remain a widow in your father’s house, till Sheila, my son grows up. So when you read this verse, it sounds like it sounds like that Judah is going to continue with the Levite law of marriage, right? He’s going to he’s going to honor Tamar by allowing his next son to marry her. This is very much like if you ever read the Book of Ruth. The Book of Ruth is a beautiful book that really describes the greatness of God’s hand in her life, but also the struggle of Ruth in needing this levirate marriage.

Right? So if you’ve ever read the book of Ruth, you know, Ruth goes on to marry Boaz, who is a kinsman redeemer. He’s someone in the family. It takes on the responsibility of caring for her, that the lineage would continue and she would be protected and preserved. So. So you see that modeled throughout the the Old Testament. And here Judas seems to indicate that that is the interest of his heart. Right? Or at least he’s pretending to do so. He tells her, okay, I’ve got another son. That’s my obligation. Responsibility. We care about you, but I want you to go to your father’s house until the time has come. Now, the way of describing this father’s house, it’s not giving you the specifics of of saying, look, he literally wants her to live in her father’s house, right? Because this text doesn’t even tell us if her father’s truly alive. Right? We can assume it by this text. But what it’s what it’s basically saying is go back to where you’re from and let your people take care of you till we’re ready for for your marriage. And at this point in Tamar’s life, she’s she’s somewhere in her mid to late teens, maybe as old as her early 20s. And this time period, uh, young people got married in their early, early teenage years. And so she would still be a quite a young lady, but she’s told to go back where she’s from, that her people might take care of her.

And in the temporal, in the temporal that could take place. That is a possibility that the her family around her could step up and take care of her. But what we learn, however, is that Judah’s intent is not for the long term care of Tamar. In fact, the second half of verse 11 says this, for he feared that he would die like his brothers. So Tamar went and remained in her father’s house. So here’s what it’s saying. Judah knows that his obligation, and if he cares about this young lady, is to allow her to marry his next son. But Judah is afraid, and the reason he’s afraid is because he’s unaware of of what’s happened to to his other two sons. He sees Tamar as the problem. All he knows is I had two boys. Both boys, married this girl. There is something wrong with this girl. I don’t know if she’s poisoning my boys or what, but I am not sending her another boy. That’s the. That is why he says one thing to her. His intentions are completely different. And really, what it’s telling you is Judah is somewhat of an unengaged father because whatever these young men have done has have been so wicked before the Lord that the Lord has taken their life. They walked disobedient before God, and that sinfulness led to their demise. And so Judah is unaware of the character of his own sons.

And rather than take a few minutes to examine what was really happening in the home, he chooses to to put the blame on this young woman. And so when he says to her, I want to send you to your father’s house, what he’s saying is, I want you to stay there forever, and I don’t want to see you again. And so, Judah, he’s blind to the the brokenness in his own family, the the problem with his own sons. And all of this has caused him to blame the wrong person and led to him being being blind and really hardened in his own heart. And because of that, Judah puts Tamar’s future in jeopardy. You think as time unfolds. She’s extremely vulnerable to the circumstances of her life, and in the immediate, she may have her needs taken care of, but in the long run she’s going to to struggle. We are often blind to the hardness of our heart, and Judah certainly is in the story. But point number two is this we need a radical awakening. We need a radical awakening. All of us are capable of of justifying any behavior that we take simply because of our circumstances, or maybe what other people do. But God calls us more than to more than that in life. And in order to to understand that we we need a radical awakening. And in this story, it goes from, from one callous, broken situation to the next, you start to see the ripple effect of, of this brokenness leading into other areas of life.

As this narrative progresses. And in verse 12, it goes this way. It says, in the course of time the wife of Judah Shua’s daughter died. So now Judah finds himself as a widower. And when Judah was comforted, he went up to Timnah to his sheep shearers. And he, his and his friends Hera and Adullamite. And when Tamara. Uh, Tamar, excuse me, was told your father in law was going to up to Timnah to share his shear his sheep. She took off her widow’s garment and covered herself with a veil, wrapping herself up, and sat at the entrance to Anum, which is on the road to Timnah. And I’m saying all these names, right? So you know. Okay. Um, for she she saw that Sheila was grown up and she had not been given to her to him in marriage. So he she knows he’s come of age and and Judah is not reached out to her for her wedding. And so she realizes what’s happening. She has this concern now for her future. And it says in verse 15, when Judah saw her, he thought she was a prostitute, for she had covered her face. 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.

And she said, what will you give me that you may come into me? And 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, he he said, what pledge shall I give you? And she replied, your signet, and your cord, and your staff that is in your hand. So he gave them to her and went into her, and she conceived by him. Then he arose and went away, and taking off her veil, she put on the garments of her widowhood. Now how would you like on Mother’s Day to have to teach on this? Right. This is you see how messy this gets? It was messy, and now it’s more messy. And now I get the privilege of I don’t know if it’s a privilege or not, but walking you through this text. Right. This is this is a sketchy, isn’t it. But but here’s here’s what happens. This it’s starting to to to grip your heart and the reality of the problem. Right. You Tamar you can understand where she’s going to be if something radically doesn’t change, if Judah doesn’t stand up and do something for the well-being of this lady, it’s his responsibility. Right? But in in verse 12 and 13, after losing his wife is telling us, Judah goes on this trip to meet his sheep shearers, and Tamar comes up with this plan where she’s going to pose as a prostitute, and she has to have some sort of indication that she thinks or she knows this plan is going to work, meaning she knows something about the nature of Judah’s character enough to recognize that if she executes this plan, it’s likely going to be successful.

So this speaks to the type of person that gives you a little bit of understanding of who Judah might be. And so she comes up with this plan and she poses as this prostitute. And then after Judah comes into her, there’s this question of what kind of payment will you take? And he comes. He shows up with really nothing to pay her. But she says, give me your signet, right. Give me your staff and your signet, which during this time period, it would be like saying, I’ll take your driver’s license and your passport. Right? Or or you just give me your wallet. Right. This is a way of or birth certificate or something, right? This is a way of acknowledging who he is to other people. It may not have been that valuable, but to him it was particularly important because this is the way he would have done business. If he would have made any sort of transaction, he would have used his signet ring for that transaction to identify. It was under his authority that this took place. And so by giving her the giving her this possession, it’s really his authority.

It’s his identity. It’s it’s his wallet. And so this would have been a valuable for him. And so we look at this passage and it’s just I think the, the big question to ask is why would Hagar choose to take this type of action? Why would Hagar take the path of a, of a prostitute? And we’re going to see. This is honestly a step that she’s she’s contemplated for her own well-being in order to awaken her father in law to the the plight that she has in her life and and the need that she faces and the responsibility that he has to carry out. And so in Genesis 38, the story goes on. This is not going to be on your screen, but in verse 20 to 23 you’ll read Judah goes and he goes to look for this prostitute to finally pay. Pay her what, what he owed. And so he sends someone out to do that. They can’t find her. This is going to be embarrassing to him. He can’t get his signet back. And so he just tells the people, stop looking. It’s going to make us look foolish and come back. And so you start to see the this, this brokenness just develop further in this story. But in verse 24, then you find the pinnacle of what’s taking place here, all of this building to these moments, verse 24 and on in this passage and it says this, it says 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. Well, Judah is really doing is digging his own grave in this story. But let me tell you how this works. Um, remember she was told to go back to her father’s home and take care of your immediate needs. But Judah ultimately knows she’s now a part of his family and his responsibility. But rather than take care of her, what you see in this story is Judah wants to persecute her, bring justice against her. And the reason we know that Judah is ultimately responsible for her is that when when this immorality is found out, rather than go to her father to say, your daughter did this, the townspeople come, come to Judah, and they share with Judah what’s taken place. And because it’s seen in this culture that Judah has the ultimate authority over her life. And so rather than carry out his obligation for for her needs and her life, Judah’s expressing authority without taking responsibility. And I think it’s important that we also point out in this verse the double standard that’s taking place here. And if you remember what’s taken, what’s happened in the story, it took two to tango, right? Judah is just as guilty as Tamar in this behavior. But but rather than identify his own problems, his own sins, the things that he has done and taken advantage of a vulnerable lady, which is far worse.

Judah is highlighting what Tamar has done, and his response towards her is not just stone her, which was considered by their law in this day what the appropriate measure of action would be. Judah orders to have a more painful death, to take her out and humiliate her and burn her. So you’re seeing in this story, this, this double standard that, that Judah is living by, because the hardness in his own heart. Guys. Can I say the same for us? That were often as equally guilty. When we mess up. What we want is grace. But when someone wrongs me. What we expect is justice. How dare you! You’ve brought shame to the family, right? You’ve hurt me. Don’t you know what you’ve done? And so while we cry out for grace in our own life, here, you see in in the story of, of Judah and Tamar that Judah is wanting to execute this, this justice against Tamar and and not just what he would look at as justice, but he’s going above and beyond. This is this is to the point of hate because he’s he’s he’s expecting more than what the law even requires. And so it’s, it’s speaking to his to, to, to the place of his heart towards, towards Tamar and the flight of plight of her life and, and the lack of compassion that she’s had.

You know, when it comes to all of us, we cannot minister to those around us when there’s hate in our heart towards them and sometimes not not even hate we we can’t minister to the hearts around us when we’re calloused towards them, or even something as simple as indifferent towards them. We need a radical awakening in our life in order to care for the people around us and one of the ways that it takes that takes place is exactly what’s happening here in the life of Judah, because it tells you in verse 25 that when when Tamar is being taken out, verse 25, as she’s 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 who’s these are the signet and the cord and the staff. And that’s incredible, isn’t it? You think on your way to death, people are coming in to grab you, and you’re just trying to reach back on the coffee table to grab somebody, you know, so important as you’re going out, you’re like, uh, before you do this, there’s just one thing. There’s just one thing I want you to do. Run this to Judah real quick and just ask him, whose is this? And for Judah, this became a moment of of awakening. This was the moment that Tamar held a mirror up to his own soul, and just helped him recognize the double standard in his own life.

You’re angry and you hate me for this, but you’re guilty of the same thing. And it’s in this moment that the Lord uses this, that rather than point fingers to to blame others. It’s what the Lord used to help Judah face his his own demons and his own sinfulness. And in verse 26 it says, this goes on and says, Then Judah identified them and said, she is more righteous than I, since I did not give her to my son Shayla, and he did not know her again. Judah recognizes the issues that he’s wrestling with. And notice he doesn’t say in this passage that she’s perfect, but rather what he says in this passage is that she’s more righteous than I. She’s not a sinless human being, right? What she does is still not right. But but she she uses this in order to help him identify his own brokenness. If you think about her situation, had she chosen in her life to pursue someone else or to have a child, her obligation was to this family and Judah didn’t care about her well-being. It’s almost the point that Judah wanted her demise, and so was intentionally leaving her in a place in life where she would be vulnerable forever. And so she she chose to be with anyone else. It could bring judgment on her. There was only one way that she was going to escape judgment, and she contemplated through this.

I’m not saying it’s right. I’m just saying that the plight of her circumstances and her her desire to want to awaken her eyes to or awaken his eyes to to the brokenness that she was facing, she was being oppressed and and walked a road for her own survival. And Judah was using his position and power to take advantage of her by allowing her to be vulnerable. Because it’s the same for us when our hearts are hardened. When we’re calloused, when we’re indifferent. That that we’re ours are not awakened to the place that God has for us in order to to to be a light in a world of brokenness, to to help see things mended and hearts restored and lives transformed. And so because of that, Judas, Judas life was working towards the demise of others and not to the blessing. In fact, it’s not until our eyes are awakened to our own brokenness that the Lord can truly use us for the reasons for which he created, created you, and created me. I think one of the greatest Christians to ever live is the Apostle Paul. But can I tell you the the magic to the Apostle Paul’s life was to truly realize and plainly in a mirror who he was before his Lord. I mean, Romans chapter seven, verse 24. Paul says it like this oh, wretched man that I am. Who will rescue me from this body of sin and death? Or Paul and first Timothy, chapter one, verse 15.

He refers to himself as the chief of sinners. He think Paul is the greatest Christian to ever live. And yet. And yet Paul refers to himself as the chief of sinners. Right. And what Paul is saying is like when it comes to other people’s hearts, I don’t know what other people struggle with, but I know what I struggle with. That’s what Paul is saying. And because I know what I struggle with, man, I am the chief of sinners when it comes to other people. So I am going to be the last to throw stones. And so Paul and and the brokenness of his own life saw his need for God to minister to him, and through that sees transformation. And now because of that, he’s able to minister to the hearts of other people, even to his enemies. And you see Tamar being used of God to put that mirror in, in the life of of Judah, that she isn’t perfect. And what she’s doing is not necessarily right. But but it is more righteous than where Judah is. Jesus warned in the in the New Testament, even in the same thing in the New Testament. In Jesus’s day, it became popular just to divorce a woman because, well, you didn’t like her anymore, or you didn’t like something that she did, and therefore you could just toss her aside. And even in Jesus’s day, the identity of a woman was wrapped up in, in, in her husband and provision and having children.

And Jesus says it like this. He said to the men, he said, but I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the grounds of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery. And Jesus is saying, you’re forcing her into a position. Not that either of them are making decisions that are right or good, but you’re forcing her for her own well-being. You’re taking advantage. You’re using your power, your position, your authority to diminish the value of someone else. And that’s not what God calls you to do. We can particularly say this guy’s verse related to us, but, but but also really for all of us as human beings, that when God created us, male and female, he he created our genders for for a purpose, he created the uniqueness to your identity in order to be a compliment and a blessing to one another and how you leverage your abilities, your giftedness in the Lord in order to care for one another has, as God has designed you, giving you different talents and abilities and and opportunities to do that, to leverage it for, for the benefit of others. That’s that’s why we have days like today, holidays like today to to to just honor that, to remind us of that. But at the same time, we shouldn’t just need a holiday to do that. Like if today is the only day you honor your wife or your mother, like, shame on you.

That is not what God wants. That’s not what God wants for you. I’ve never said shame on you as a pastor, but there you go. Um, that’s not what God wants for you and from you. But. But when? When your heart is awakened to how much you’ve needed the grace of God in your life, then you’re more mindful of the opportunity you have to minister on behalf of others. Could you imagine what Tamar’s life would have been if she hadn’t responded this way? And Judah learns that he’s no better than the person he despises, but it’s the grace of God that opens his eyes. And and then point number three in your notes is this in God’s grace brings healing to the soul. God’s grace brings healing to the soul. And this is what’s important. We’re not trying to say, you know, Judah is a saint. We’re not even trying to say Tamar is the saint. What we’re trying to see is the goodness of God in the midst of this brokenness. And this was a broken situation to start. And it got even more messy along the way. And it’s God’s grace that changes it all. And this is so important for all of us to see, because this is the theme of God throughout Scripture, because no matter how dark we may feel, and no matter how messed up our situation might be, to know that God still cares and will meet us in that, in fact, what he’s going to do is far greater than anything you’re going to do in your strength anyway to to to learn that and to see that narrative told over and over again, that we would learn to walk in that in our own life.

And so verse 27, when the time of her labor came, there were twins in her womb. 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. But as he drew back his his hand, behold, his brother came out and she said, what a breech you have made for yourself. Therefore his name was was called Perez, which means a breakout. So happy Mother’s Day. So we literally are looking at the what makes Mother’s Day. Um, but but his name became breakout and or a breakthrough and it it’s it’s a symbol of of God’s divine hand in, in their lives in the midst of of the brokenness that God would break through. And the question is how, you know, or maybe we could ask, why is this kid’s name Perez? And how how does this breakthrough, like, relate to all of us? And and let me just say it like this. The most simplistic sense. Every child is a gift from the Lord. Psalm 127, verse three.

Every child is a gift from the Lord, and all of us might have come from a different background. The way we entered into this world may not have been the perfect scenario, but in the eyes of the Lord, everyone is made in his image, and therefore every child is a gift from the Lord. In addition to that, for, for, for Tamar, this became a way of seeing God securing her future, that she has a child and her shame is lifted that she in this type of society. Now she has a lineage. And so for her there is some security in this. But then for all of us, this child represents a bigger picture of hope and grace. And despite the the mess of the people and the decisions that they make and the way that we know that is because how the way the Bible unfolds, what I mean is, you know, you can look at these stories in the Old Testament and you can see God’s doing something, but we don’t get the full picture until you get to the New Testament. When you get to the New Testament, you see how this overarching narrative is declaring the divine hand of God over and above anything that we can conceive in and of herself just left to the story of ourselves. We kind of scratch our head a little bit. But when you take a step back and you look at the grand theme of all of the Bible, you see how how God can work in the midst of a mess, and not only for the purpose of this family, but really all families throughout history.

And when you turn to, for example, the book of Luke chapter three, it says, the son of Amminadab, the son of Admon, the son of Ani, the son of Hezron, the son of Perez, the son of Judah, that Perez became the direct descendant of Jesus. This is this is the lineage of Jesus being told in the book of Luke. And Scripture wants you to know the reason. The story is here in the book of of Genesis. This is 38 is while God is. God is working through the life of Joseph to preserve the children of Israel. God’s going to work through the life of Judah to bring about the Messiah. And so this is a prequel to the grander story that God wants to tell for you. And God wants you to see the divine hand of the Lord working in the midst of this complicated situation. God’s not done with this family, no matter how messy you think it might be. And in Matthew chapter one, verse three, it says this. And Judah, the father of Peres, and look at this, and Zerah by Tamar, and Perez, the father of Hezron, and Hezron, the father of Ram, and Ram, the father of Aminedab, Aminedab, the father of Nahshon, and Nahshon, the father of salmon, and salmon, the father of Boaz by Rahab, and Boaz the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse.

I love this. It’s not typical when you read lineage, uh, to to note the females. That’s not what culture typically did. But this is something the Lord certainly wanted to do. Not only is he highlighting the genealogy through through the woman, but but he’s recognizing the brokenness that was there. I mean Jesus, as if he’s just highlighting Tamar to say, and my divine hand was there. And not only that, when you when you read the stories of some of the other ladies that’s included in the lineage of Jesus, like Rahab, anybody know what Rahab’s last name is? Rahab the. Harlot, right? She’s Rahab the harlot. I mean, could you imagine? You go to heaven. You’re like, I’m looking for Rahab. I’m like, what’s we got so many rahab’s, right? And you’re like, oh, you know, the harlot like that is that is not a great name to be remembered. But but but it’s the name of God’s grace all over her life. And even Ruth. You know, Ruth was a foreign lady, an outsider. God’s grace. All over her life, we would look at those situations from the outside and be like, okay, this is really messed up. God, how about you just sweep that aside and you start over with something? You can do that your God, that’s not what he does at all.

In fact, this becomes the very place of his goodness made known. And the reason for that is if God just simply works in perfect situations, perfect people can take credit for that. And God did it because I’m so good, right? But because God’s working in the brokenness, it’s only the hand of God that receives the glory. And through that, we find our lives blessed and loved and incredible worth and value. And it doesn’t just stop there. If I just take think about the the story of Genesis where we are, if we take a even a bigger step back, and how God’s telling this grander narrative to to the hope that he brings in Genesis 37. Uh, in the story of Joseph, if you remember this, this, this story of Joseph was just before this. And Joseph was hated by his brothers. And Joseph got a dream from the Lord. And he told his brothers the dream. And it says his brothers hated him even more. And then and then Joseph got another dream, and he told it to his brothers and his father. And his father got upset and told him to stop telling these dreams. Right. And his family hated him even more. But but it tells us, after Joseph says his second dream in verse 11, it says this. And his brothers were jealous of him, but his fathers kept the saying in mind. And what it’s saying is his dad could could recognize that God was doing something, but he didn’t quite know the full picture of what God was orchestrating.

But because he knew God’s hand was there, his father was just reflecting on what? What in the world could God be doing? And do you know that that that idea in the life of Joseph was reflected again at the birth of Jesus in Luke chapter two, when Mary gave birth to Jesus, another Mother’s Day verse, right, Mary gave birth to to Jesus. Her mind could not even begin to fathom what Christ was going to do for us, right? She knew there were going to be some things that took place there because of how special the birth of Jesus was, but her mind couldn’t fully conceive just how glorious of a victory Jesus would give us. And so it says in Luke chapter two, verse 19, But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart. Guys, can I tell you, in the midst of brokenness, that he still works that same way, that we cannot fully comprehend how God’s going to work everything out? But we know that he does because we’ve seen him do it. And that’s the declaration of the Bible. He’s done it over and over again. So on a on a day like Mother’s Day or any day especially, maybe just let me just use Mother’s Day as an example. And for some people, this is a day that we can celebrate.

And for some of us, there’s also hardship that comes on a day like this the loss of a child or struggle in your own relationship or marriage, maybe the loss of a parent that you wish you had a little bit more time with hard things. Not perfect things. Maybe even some of those things you’ve been responsible for. But also God is still good. And he can take the mess of any situation and let the greatness of his hand be made known. In fact, he promises you that he will all things work together for good to those who love God. You may not know what every step holds, but you know who holds those steps. I know as a pastor, seeing many people maybe in transition in their own relationship with the Lord, maybe you’ve known what you’ve come from, didn’t work for you, and now you’ve starting to see how God’s hand is working in your life. And you’re a little bit, um, a little bit reluctant to want to take those steps forward. But can I can I encourage you as you walk and trust with him, the themes of these stories are to speak over and in your soul the goodness of who God is. He is not finished with you and his greatest work is still to come.