Today’s devotional was too good not to share!
“Judah then said to his daughter-in-law Tamar, “Live as a widow in your father’s household until my son Shelah grows up.” For he thought, “He may die too, just like his brothers.” So Tamar went to live in her father’s household. After a long time Judah’s wife, the daughter of Shua, died. When Judah had recovered from his grief, he went up to Timnah, to the men who were shearing his sheep, and his friend Hirah the Adullamite went with him. When Tamar was told, “Your father-in-law is on his way to Timnah to shear his sheep,” she took off her widow’s clothes, covered herself with a veil to disguise herself, and then sat down at the entrance to Enaim, which is on the road to Timnah. For she saw that, though Shelah had now grown up, she had not been given to him as his wife. When Judah saw her, he thought she was a prostitute, for she had covered her face. Not realizing that she was his daughter-in-law, he went over to her by the roadside and said, “Come now, let me sleep with you.” “And what will you give me to sleep with you?” she asked. “I’ll send you a young goat from my flock,” he said. “Will you give me something as a pledge until you send it?” she asked. He said, “What pledge should I give you?” “Your seal and its cord, and the staff in your hand,” she answered. So he gave them to her and slept with her, and she became pregnant by him. After she left, she took off her veil and put on her widow’s clothes again. Meanwhile Judah sent the young goat by his friend the Adullamite in order to get his pledge back from the woman, but he did not find her. He asked the men who lived there, “Where is the shrine prostitute who was beside the road at Enaim?” “There hasn’t been any shrine prostitute here,” they said. So he went back to Judah and said, “I didn’t find her. Besides, the men who lived there said, ‘There hasn’t been any shrine prostitute here.’ ” Then Judah said, “Let her keep what she has, or we will become a laughingstock. After all, I did send her this young goat, but you didn’t find her.” About three months later Judah was told, “Your daughter-in-law Tamar is guilty of prostitution, and as a result she is now pregnant.” Judah said, “Bring her out and have her burned to death!” As she was being brought out, she sent a message to her father-in-law. “I am pregnant by the man who owns these,” she said. And she added, “See if you recognize whose seal and cord and staff these are.” Judah recognized them and said, “She is more righteous than I, since I wouldn’t give her to my son Shelah.” And he did not sleep with her again.” ~ Genesis 38:11-26 NIV
“When Judah’s third son, Shelah, was of age, he did not offer him to Tamar, the wife and widow of Judah’s eldest son, Er, to legitimize her, after Judah’s second son, Onan, refused to comply. Judah deceived her but thought it was for a good reason. He was afraid to lose another son. Like most people who have been broken, they avoid anything that might put them in a vulnerable position again. The problem with closing out the pain is you also close out the power. Closing out the burden inevitably closes out the blessing.
Tamar took the future into her own hands. She was destined to birth someone who would be in the lineage of the Messiah himself. Her one decision changed everything. She replaces her widow’s garments with clothing that suggest prostitution, veiling herself so that she is not recognizable. When Judah sees Tamar on the side of the road, he thinks she is a shrine (temple) prostitute and propositions her, and she became pregnant with twins.
Word gets to Judah about Tamar’s pregnancy, and he sentences her to death by burning. However, Tamar had prepared for what could have changed Christ’s story for all time. When she presented the artifacts Judah gave her in exchange for her services, they proved Judah’s guilt, and her sentence was retracted. In Judah’s defense and to his credit, he immediately admitted to committing the act when he realizes the children belong to him.
Tamar is pregnant with what Judah lost – two sons. Sometimes God will use strange situations to restore what you have lost. Had Judah burned the baby, he would have burned the answer to his prayers. God will find a way to give it back to you! At times, it is so unconventional that you do not recognize it to be God! God will turn your test into a testimony and make your mistake miraculous!”