Genesis 38:12–19 (ESV)
Judah and Tamar
12 In the course of time the wife
of Judah, Shua’s daughter, died. When Judah was comforted, he went up to Timnah to his sheepshearers, he and his friend Hirah the Adullamite. 13 And when Tamar was told, “Your father-in-law is
going up to Timnah to shear his sheep,” 14 she took off her widow’s garments and covered herself with a veil, wrapping herself up, and sat at the entrance to Enaim, which is on the road to Timnah.
For she saw that Shelah was grown up, and she had not been given to him in marriage. 15 When Judah saw her, he thought she was a prostitute, for she had covered her face. 16 He
turned to her at the roadside and said, “Come, let me come in to you,” for he did not know that she was his daughter-in-law. She said, “What will you give me, that you may come in to me?” 17 He
answered, “I will send you a young goat from the flock.” And she said, “If you give me a pledge, until you send it—” 18 He said, “What pledge shall I give you?” She
replied, “Your signet and your cord and your staff that is in your hand.” So he gave them to her and went in to her, and she conceived by him. 19 Then she arose and went away, and taking off her
veil she put on the garments of her widowhood.
What a twisted world with twisted events. Tamar was promised Shelah in yesterday’s reading: “Judah said to Tamar his daughter-in-law, “Remain a widow in your father’s house, till Shelah my son grows up”—for
he feared that he would die, like his brothers. So Tamar went and remained in her father’s house.” We the time has come and gone and Judah did Shelah to take Tamar has his wife. So now, Tamar takes matters into her own hand and sets
out to get it… in a very unconventional way. She dresses as a prostitute and waits for Judah to show up. He does and wants to have sex with her. She is willing, but she needs proof of what is going on, so she ask for his signet, his
cord, and staff to hold as collateral until he can honor his pledge of the goat. She could care less about the goat… she wants the signet for later. She changes outfits and returns home like nothing has happened. The Lord works in
I pray: O Lord, even when I turn from your ways,
your hand is still at work. Help me to keep my eyes on your ways so that I may serve you honorably. Amen.