“Judah recognized them and said, ‘She is more righteous than I, since I wouldn’t give her to my son Shelah.’”Genesis 38:26 (NIV)
It’s been said that our sins always look worse when someone else wears them. This was certainly the case with Judah and Tamar. After two of his sons had married Tamar and died (through the cultural practice of levirate marriage), Judah promised to give his third son to Tamar as her husband. But he never kept his word. After Judah’s own wife died, Tamar disguised herself, put on the clothing of a prostitute, and seduced Judah to lay with her. Later, when Tamar was obviously pregnant, Judah planned to execute her, not knowing that he was the father. He excused himself but dealt harshly with Tamar. But when Tamar proved to Judah that he was the father, he said, “She is more righteous than me, because I did not give her my youngest son.”
Now the amazing part of this story is that Tamar gives birth to twins, and one of them becomes the ancestor of Jesus Christ. God uses imperfect people and brings them into His kingdom. In this case, He even brings Judah and Tamar into the lineage of Christ. Amazing grace!
We may have a bad reputation with some people. We may have judged others for sins we’ve committed ourselves. The beautiful thing about Judah was that he was quick to admit when he was wrong, and he repented from the harm he intended to do.
Whatever we have done…whatever sins we have committed…let us not allow them to keep us from following Jesus. Rather, let us confess our sins to God and to others and seek His forgiveness and perfect will for our lives. Grace changes everything!
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