#8: January 25, 2008

Ah. Today’s post is a bit late. That’s because I had a busy morning. But here it is. Reading taken from Genesis 38-40.
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Joseph’s such an interesting character, really. Again I feel so spoiled for choice when reading these 3 chapters. But there’s always next year!

So I’ll buck the trend. Today’s insight does not concern Joseph. Chapter 39 is an interesting tale of Joseph’s righteousness before God, and so is Chapter 40, and they’re also amazing testaments to God’s faithfulness and sovereignty, but Chapter 38 is the focus of this insight.

You might wonder why there’s a sudden pause in the story of Joseph, as the focus shifts to Judah. Well, simply because Jesus is descended from the lineage of Judah. (That’s why He’s called the Lion of Judah. And logically David and Solomon as well are descended from Judah – but Jesus is the important descendant.) And the genealogy (family tree) is actually pretty messed up. Jump forward to Matthew and we can trace the genealogy of Jesus from this point:

…Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers,
Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar,
Perez the father of Hezron…
And so on so forth. If you read the story, Tamar was actually the wife of Judah’s first son, but he was wicked in God’s sight and was struck down. The second son was asked to help bear offspring for his brother, but he intentionally avoided his responsibilities and God saw this as wicked and he was struck down too. Then Judah asked Tamar to stay as a widow in his house until his third son was old enough to fulfill that responsibility of fathering her children. But when his third son was old enough, Judah didn’t stick to his promise, and so Tamar resorted to a bit of deception, and to cut a long story short, tricked Judah into sleeping with her, and gave birth to the twins Perez and Zerah.

Sounds like such a soap opera. But the fact was Judah slept with his daughter-in-law, and Jesus descended from the firstborn Perez. And that’s the beauty of it. It was not Jesus’ human lineage that made Him righteous, the perfect propitiation (payment by blood) for our sin, but it was His divine identity. And because we’re humans, as Romans phrases it – descendants of Adam, we are sinful by nature and cannot be righteous by our own effort. The only hope for righteousness comes from God, through Jesus Christ. That’s something to be thankful for, because if we were not righteous before God, our ultimate destination is hell.

But God so loved the world that He sent His one and only son, that whosoever believes in Him, will not perish but have eternal life. And if we believe in Jesus, we will follow Jesus. Not just pay Him lip service, but walk His ways, obey His truths and live His life, in obedience to God.

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