Judah then said to his daughter-in-law Tamar, “Live as a widow in your father’s household until my son Shelah grows up.” For he thought, “He may die too, just like his brothers.” So Tamar went to live in her father’s household. – Gen. 38:11 NIV
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Joseph’s brothers, excluding Reuben, who was the eldest son of Jacob (later named Israel), in agreement with a suggestion from Judah, who was the fourth son of Jacob, had just implemented their decision to sell him to the Ishmaelite traders from Gilead, going on a business trip to Egypt – Gen. 37:25-28. This was a decision they eventually settled for, after they were discouraged from implementing their initial plan to kill him, by Reuben. He had managed to convince them at that time, that there was nothing for them to gain from the shedding of the blood of their brother – Gen. 37:18-24. He will surely have not sanctioned the sale, had he being aware, since his hidden intention, as revealed in the scriptures was to ensure the safe return of the boy to his father – Gen. 37:22. It was after this wicked suggestion of his, which unknown to him was in line with divine plans for a people that will eventually be known as the Israelites, that Judah decided to relocate away from his brothers to Adullam, where he stayed with a man named Hirah – Gen. 38:1.
It was at Adullam that he met and married the daughter of a Canaanite man called Shua, who gave birth to three sons for him, namely Er, Onan and Shelah, though Shelah was born in Kezib – Gen. 38:2-5. Judah later got Tamar for his first son as wife, and for reasons which the bible did not disclose, but which was sufficient for Jehovah to consider Er as wicked, the Almighty God himself, killed Er – Gen. 38:6-7. Judah, without taking the extra step to find what the possible cause of death of Er was, encouraged his second son, Onan to fulfil his duty to Tamar. He did not decline having sexual relationship with Tamar, but deliberately ensured that the reason for his having to play such a role would not be achieved, by pouring his semen on the floor. This again was an act that Jehovah viewed as wickedness and so decided to also kill him – Gen. 38:8-10.
Both sons, according to the bible were killed by Jehovah for acts that Jehovah considered as wickedness, but Judah, in an act that seemed he had concluded that their death resulted from their relationship with Tamar, as revealed in the foundation scripture for today’s Devotional, tricked her to go back to her parents, and await the growing into maturity of Shelah, his third son, when indeed, he never had the intention to have him relate with her in any marital role. He was not going to allow his son to marry Tamar and was still not going to release her to move on – Deut. 25:5-10.
The act of wickedness which seemed to persist in Judah, seems to have flowed from father to sons. This is the same Judah who was the arrowhead, and in fact, was the one that suggested that Joseph be sold to Egypt, now doing all he could, still in a wicked manner, to save his own son, from death. He would not mind suggesting evil and inflicting pain on another, but was not ready to experience such himself.
It is equally not surprising what, at least, two of his sons turned out to be. Though, he may not have considered their actions, which may not be known to him, as wicked, it meant little to Jehovah, whose opinion about the conduct of his sons, was the one that mattered. The same Jehovah was quick to execute judgement by killing both sons, and rather than carry out due diligence, in finding out what could have gone wrong, he conveniently chose to stigmatise an innocent woman, who was already a victim of a wicked lineage. Yes! A victim, because her only obvious crime was to be married into that family. The misfortune and emotional pain of being a widow on two occasions would have been huge, including the social stigma on her due to the death of two men, successively, whilst she was still married to them.
It is obvious, going by this event that it will be difficult if not impossible for a wicked parent to train a child not to be wicked, and also that such parents will always want to avoid the implementation of wickedness on their children. Everyone, including Christians, must realise that it will be practically impossible for anyone who is wicked to avoid the consequences of such acts as Jehovah will always execute judgement.
It is not impossible that friends and family members of Judah, would have added their voices to those accusing Tamar of one evil or the other, even if they are aware of the wickedness associated with Judah and his sons. That seems to be the way of men, as they seek the easiest target to blame for all their misfortunes. If only Judah had been fortunate to have honest friends, who will be sufficiently bold to highlight the wickedness in him and his children, especially after the loss of Er, he probably would have cut short his losses.
Similar events in modern times will be conveniently blamed on enemies, witches, wizards and similar forces, who like in this case will be very innocent of all the charges been framed on them. The true Christian that is still experiencing negative events should commence the inquest into all those negative events, from self, rather than seeking external forces that may be innocent or indeed be responsible, but would have been successful only because such is complicit in some way or the other, in the view of Jehovah.
There is no denying the possibility of those earlier mentioned forces being involved in all those negative events, but, with regards to the true Christian, such forces will still require the permission of Jehovah to be successful, else, they will not have been successful – Isa. 54:15-17. If indeed, you are doing your honest best to be in good stead with Him, then rest, assured that He has a genuine reason for their actions to manifest in your life, even if those reasons are not obvious to you. The one who strives to do the Will of Jehovah will not be associated with wicked acts and such should have nothing to blame such forces for, as Jehovah is more than able to curtail all their threats, either directly or through activities that He would have instructed such a person to do.
Save yourself from further pain and anguish today, by identifying the reason why Jehovah chose to allow the negative acts of all those identified forces to manifest in your life, and take necessary steps to effect corrections. May God grant you the boldness and sincerity to accept these shortcomings and effect necessary changes in Jesus name. Amen.