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. (Gen. 38:24)
Imagine that we are watching these events unfold in a movie. This would be quite the dramatic moment! Even in that time and culture, it was not every day that someone was sentenced to death, much less by fire. Clearly, Judah held a lot of authority. No sooner does he pronounce judgment than we are told Tamar is being led to her fate.
Whether it happened immediately, a few hours later, or a date was set, someone would be preparing for the execution. Wood would be gathered. A stake would be set in place. The procession begins to form as Tamar is led through the crowd. But Tamar is ready. She spent the past three months preparing for this very day. As she is taken away, she clings tightly onto a long narrow object wrapped securely in a cloth along with a smaller object clutched in her other hand. With all the courage she can muster, she surrenders the objects into the hand of a messenger who quickly brings them to Judah.
“As she was being brought out, she sent word to her father-in-law, ‘By the man to whom these belong, I am pregnant.’”
Surrendered to Her Fate
Talk about the ninth hour! If we were watching this scene play out on a movie screen, we would be gripping the edges of our seats right about now. After all, Tamar has placed her only hope of redemption squarely in her executioner’s hands. Talk about faith! Talk about courage! She does not even remind Judah of his betrayal, and she allows the community to believe she was the betrayer.
If your fate were held in the hands of the person who betrayed you, what would it take for you to choose to surrender your only hope of vindication?
I sometimes have to remind myself that these are real events experienced by real people. At the same time, I am deeply encouraged in knowing that above it all is a sovereign God watching over the children of man. Aren’t you?
Weaved Into the Lineage of Christ
Tamar was just a teenaged girl. A Canaanite no less. But God saw past all of that and chose to weave her into the lineage of Christ. You see, it is not the ancestry that Tamar was born into that is relevant. Rather, it is the ancestry that would be born out from her. What an amazing, loving God!
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