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Here are the notes from the sermon yesterday.

The text for this sermon is Genesis 38.


Genesis 38 is a pause in the story of Joseph, an intermission you might say. We are introduced to Joseph and then Genesis picks up the story of Judah.

You may recall that Judah was already jealous and bitter towards Joseph. After Joseph was thrown into the pit, it was Judah’s idea to sell him to slave traders. Judah also went along with his brothers to perpetuate the lie that Joseph had been killed by a wild animal.

Now we pick up his story.

Judah has left his family and becomes friends with Hirah who is a Canaanite. Judah then sees a woman whom he marries and has children with her. A marriage between an Israelite and a Canaanite was never blessed by God.

Judah finds Tamar and she becomes the wife of Er. Er is wicked and God kills him.

Onan is supposed to father a son for Tamar. The son would be attributed to Er and get all of the privileges of being the firstborn son of Er. Onan knew because Tamar was Er’s wife that any child born to Tamar would be more privileged than any child born to him. It is most likely this act of selfishness that makes God kill Onan.

The fact that Judah sends Tamar away is a sign that he thinks something is wrong with her. He treats her as dangerous. Judah fails to see that Tamar is not the reason that both of his sons died. It was their hearts of wickedness that was the reason that God killed them.

Tamar heard that Judah was going to Timnah, she took off her widow’s clothes and put on a veil. The veil was worn by a woman who was betrothed. Judah mistook her for a prostitute. He was very forward with her by asking her for sex.

Judah knows this is wrong. He doesn’t care. He is in sin for touching the body of a woman who is not his wife.

Judah gives up his signet, cord and staff. Judah is almost giving away his life.

Judah gets a report that Tamar is pregnant and immediately calls for her to be burned to death. Tamar presents Judah with his items back and realizes that Tamar is more righteous than he is because he withheld his son from her.

This is the guy whose family line Jesus comes from. Jesus is the Lion of the tribe of Judah.

You look into Judah’s life and see that Judah is a mess.

So are we.

No one has to tell us that our lives are a mess. We already know that. We can hold up the Bible and know that we do not measure up to its standard. No matter what we do, we will never be able to meet the standard that is set for us in the Bible.

But Jesus does.

2 Corinthians 3:4, 12

2 Corinthians 12:9

Judah is not awesome.

We are not awesome.

Jesus IS awesome.

We can be bold because our confidence is in Christ. Our sufficiency does not come from anything that we can do but it only comes from God. We boast in our weakness because when we are weak – Jesus IS strong.