Summary: Judah made two really bad choices with his brother and his daughter-in-law.

I allowed my sons and grandson to convince me to play golf this past Wednesday. I have only played once in my entire life and did not enjoy it at all. But I couldn’t say “No” to a chance of spending time with my boys. I knew I had made a mistake when it took us one hour to play the first hole, a par 5. I might not be the smartest man in the world but I know that one hour times 18 holes equals 18 hours. We managed to finish in about 5 hours with me not playing the last six holes. At 65, my knees couldn’t handle it anymore. This reminded me of a story I heard about a preacher who decided to skip church one Sunday morning to play a round of golf.

Every Sunday on his way to the church building he’d drive by a golf course----and during warm weather he’d often see church members playing golf. It wouldn’t have bothered him so much if they’d both play golf and come to church. But that’s not what happened. No, they’d go golfing and skip worship. One Saturday evening he decided he’d show those church skipping golfers....if they could do it, so could he.

So he called in sick and said they’d have to find a fill in person for the morning service. Then the next morning before dawn he threw his golf clubs in his car and he headed for a remote golf course more than an hour away. He figured no one there would know him. By the time he arrived, the sun was up and it looked as if it was going to be a beautiful morning. He paid to play and alone he went to the first tee.

Now an angel had been watching this preacher and was asking God what he was going to do with this man who had lied about being sick and was now preparing to hit his first shot. God said just watch. The angel was thinking "Oh man this guy’s gonna get it. I can just picture God zapping him with a bolt of lightning at the peak of his backswing."

But there was no bolt of lightning, no earthquake, no rain---just a perfect shot---a hole in one in fact! In fact all 18 holes were a hole in one.

The angel couldn’t believe it---what? How? “But, but God” the angel blurted out, “How could you let him have a perfect game? I thought you were going to punish this man?”

God said “I am---who’s he gonna tell?”

Today we will study the next ancestor of Jesus. He is the fourth born son of Jacob. His name is Judah. Although Jacob is still alive and most of the rest of Genesis is centered on Joseph, his 11th born son, Judah is the blood line that Jesus will come through.

Little brother Joseph had started having prophetic dreams that one day his brothers and even his father would bow before him. Their feelings toward Joseph were already strong.

Genesis 37:3-4 “Jacob loved Joseph more than any of his other children because Joseph had been born to him in his old age. So one day Jacob had a special gift made for Joseph—a beautiful robe. But his brothers hated Joseph because their father loved him more than the rest of them. They couldn’t say a kind word to him.”

If you remember from last week, Jacob had placed his family in stages to be slaughtered if Esau chose to do so. All of these brothers were placed in front of Joseph, sending them a clear message to them which one dad favored.

The day came when Joseph was sent into the fields wearing his brightly colored coat to deliver lunch to his brothers. When they saw approaching a plot was launched to kill him and blame it on a wild animal. The eldest son, Rueben, intervened and suggested that they simply throw him into a dried up well. Rueben had planned to return for him. But Rueben left and the scheming side of Judah was revealed.

There was a caravan of traitors headed for Egypt.

Genesis 37:26-27 “Judah said to his brothers, ‘What will we gain by killing our brother? We’d have to cover up the crime. Instead of hurting him, let’s sell him to those Ishmaelite traders. After all, he is our brother—our own flesh and blood!’ And his brothers agreed.” Judah was essentially choosing the lesser of two evils. He never expected to Joseph to survive as a slave.

When Reuben returned he discovered what had taken place. He went into great mourning over what taken place. They dipped Joseph’s robe into goat’s blood to make it appear that Joseph had been attacked and killed by a wild animal. They presented this evidence to Jacob.

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