Blogging the Bible Day 65: Genesis 36-39

Much has been written about all the various aspects of Joseph’s life so I will allow you to read many of those other accounts gain lessons from his life. Of course those lessons caught my attention as they always do, but beyond that what caught my attention in this reading is the various portraits of Judah.

Judah one of Joseph’s older brothers. It was he that recommended and convinced his brothers to sell their little brother Joseph into slavery,

Judah said to his brothers, “What profit is it for us to kill our brother and cover up his blood? 27 Come and let us sell him to the Ishmaelites and not lay our hands on him, for he is our brother, our own flesh.” And his brothers listened to him. 28 Then some Midianite traders passed by, so they pulled him up and lifted Joseph out of the pit, and sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty shekels of silver. Thus they brought Joseph into Egypt.” Genesis 37:26-28

Then all of chapter 38 is a sordid tale of Judah’s misdeeds. I will list the ones I observe:

  • He married a Canaanite (unequally yoked)
  • He might not have done a great job raising his sons. I don’t want to put all this on his parenting though it says two sons died because they did evil. That might have something to do with parenting.
  • He didn’t fulfill his duties as a father-in-law duties on behalf of his daughter-in-law by not giving his third son to her. Rather than recognizing his sons as the problem he saw Tamar as the potential problem.
  • He turned aside to sleep with a prostitute. Forget that she was his daughter-in-law for a moment. Just the fact he slept with a prostitute.
  • He didn’t seem to see an issue that he slept with a prostitute as he sent another to pay her and to inquire of her.
  • He was going to burn his daughter-in-law for thinking she had played the role of a harlot, even though he had received the “benefits” of a harlot himself.

I point all this out because of this very simple point. Jesus inspired Matthew in his gospel to reference not only Judah but to remind the people of the sin of Judah by referencing Tamar and the sons born to her in His genealogical record,

“The record of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham: Abraham was the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers. Judah was the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar,” Matthew 1:1-3a

Jesus didn’t choose Reuben who tried to protect Joseph. He didn’t choose Benjamin who it seems didn’t ever really do anything personally wrong. He didn’t choose Joseph with all his integrity.

He chose to come through the line of Judah and Jesus didn’t reference the part of Judah’s life when he actually stood before Joseph showing a new level of integrity in Egypt. No Jesus chose to reference the lowest part of his life.

Folk if Jesus can work through Judah and his line He can work through you and me!

Praise Jesus for grace!

Tomorrow’s Reading: The book of Ruth (don’t worry it is a quick read)


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