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Summary: Even in Judah’s horrendous sin the benevolent grace of our God was at work.

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Genesis 38

March 14, 2004

As we have been going through the book of Genesis these past number of months, I have come to a disturbing realization. Jacob and his family would have been the perfect recruits for the Jerry Springer show. For those of you who have never seen that show, or who want to pretend that you don’t know what it is like - it is a show which gathers the most depraved people together and puts them together on a stage to fight out their personal problems.

Boy would Jacob’s family have been perfect candidates.

Jacob and Esau.

Rachel and Leah

Simeon and Levi

Reuben and his father’s concubine.

And today’s upstanding couple - Judah and Tamar.

1. Judahs’ folly step one Genesis 38:1-5

He marries a Canaanite woman

2. Judah’s folly step two Genesis 38:6-11

Judah’s boys are wicked

3. Judah’s folly step three Genesis 38:12-23

lying with the daughter-in-law as prostitute

key verse23

4. Judah’s folly revealed Genesis 38:24-30

You are the man

Perez and Zerah are born

The Point:

1. Foil to the Joseph story - Judah’s unrighteousnes v. Joseph’s righteousness

2.this event underscores the necessity of a sojourn in Egypt.

Purity -- if they had stayed in Canaan they would have assimilated into the Canaanites

3. No Israelite could take this record seriously without a deep sense of humility. Israel’s "roots," if you will pardon me for saying so, were rotten. They could not look back upon their ancestry with any feelings of smugness and pride. There were too many skeletons in the closet for that. Instead, they must acknowledge that whatever good had come to Israel was the result of grace alone.

The LORD did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any of the peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples, but because the LORD loved you and kept the oath which He swore to your forefathers, the LORD brought you out by a might hand, and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt (Deuteronomy 7:7-8).

4. God’s providence and grace

NIV Matthew 1:1 A record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ the son of David, the son of Abraham:

2 Abraham was the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers,

3 Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar,


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