Summary: Tamar is an amazing and brilliant woman. She waited a long time for Judah to do the right thing, she lived the life of a grieving widow for years without getting her due, she was still hoping that Judah would do the right thing. But Tamar realizes that she is going to have to make something happen.
Looks Like I'm Going To Have To Make Something Happen
Genesis 38: 1- 30 Text: v. 8-10
And Judah said unto Onan, Go in unto thy brother's wife, and marry her, and raise up seed to thy brother. And Onan knew that the seed should not be his; and it came to pass, when he went in unto his brother's wife, that he spilled it on the ground, lest that he should give seed to his brother. And the thing which he did displeased the Lord: wherefore he slew him also. The next statement in the Bible says that Onan did evil and that God slew him. Genesis 38:8-10
As we look at our text today one could not help but recognize that although this chapter is in Genesis one would overlook it because from Genesis 37-50 it deals with the life of the last Patriarch Joseph. Some would even say that this story is actually an intrusion on the story of Joseph. It is here that Judah (you know the one who suggested that his brothers sell Joseph to the Ishmaelites) anyways Judah leaves and goes about 15 miles N.W. of Hebron to a town called Adullam. It is there that he meets and marries a Canaanite woman named Shua .
During this union they have 3 sons: Er, Onan and Shelah.
Judah's 1st son, Er who died because he was wicked in the sight of the Lord, leaves a widow named Tamar who also was a Canaanite woman.
During those times there was a custom that required the brother of the dead man to marry his brothers widow and father a son who would assume the dead man's name. This law which was called the law of marriage or the Levirate. Lever which means "husbands brother" pointed to the next son who would be Onan. Now Onan was to marry Tamar, the widow of his brother and raise up an offspring for his dead brother, again this child would carry on the dead brothers name in stead of the real father since any child born would not legally be considered his heir. (Deut 25:6-10) That son would be called his dead brother's, and inherit his estate; and this is the sin, which from Onan is called Onania,according to the Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary it was also called "Onanism" - which described it as Self-gratification; Masturbation or Coitus Interruptus.
Coitus interruptus, also known as the rejected sexual intercourse, withdrawal or pull-out method, is a method of birth control in which a man, during sexual intercourse, withdraws his penis from a woman's vagina prior to orgasm (and ejaculation) and then directs his ejaculate (semen) away from the vagina in an effort to avoid insemination.
The Bible says that when Onan had sex with his Sister-In-Law Tamar, he withdrew before his orgasm and "spilled his seed [or semen] on the ground" he used that opportunity for a time of self - sexual gratification i.e. he took advantage of the situation, but he refused the responsibility that went with it. So God took his life.
Like many males today Onan would never accept his responsibility to father a child. Onan in a sense "got his rocks off" he wasn't a player but he sure did play some "hit and run." As a result of this He was judged for his continued, planned rebellion against the purpose of the marriage.
There are times when we want to do things our way and not God's way. Onan didn't want to give his brother a name because he wanted something that he could call his own.
You've heard me say this before and today I'll say it again. "Your dream will never come true until you make somebody else's dream come true."
That seed had life in it but on the ground it was dead. See God needs something to work with. If God can use anything its the very thing that nobody else wants.
Tamar isn't innocent from this story as well for from the first eight verses, the reader is made clear that Tamar is not seeking to have a relationship with Onan, she is only getting her due. (She wants a Baby)
Now remember remember Er is killed, Onan prevented conception and Shelah was too young. Tamar doesnt have a lot of time. ( Her biological clock is ticking) she reminds me of a person who wanted something so bad that she didnt care who got in her way all she cared about was getting what she wanted. She was a thinker and planner. Some of you here this morning are going over things in your mind. You're planning, scheming, thinking things over imagining, trying to envision a conclusion to what you must do in order to make that thing happen. And then all of a sudden "BAM" your answer comes to you because God doesn't want you to be limited and restricted in what he would have you to do.