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Genesis 38

Recently, I did a study with a friend on the women in the lineage of Jesus. Here is an overview of what happened: Tamar was meant to marry Judah’s oldest son Er, but the Lord saw how corrupt Er was and put him to death. Then, Judah’s next son Onan was going to take Tamar as his wife. Onan did something that was wicked, and the Lord put him to death as well.

Judah then told Tamar he would have her marry his youngest son Shelah when he was older. He ended up lying to Tamar about this. She then tricked Judah by letting him believe she was a prostitute and she slept with him. Tamar got pregnant with twins, with the story ending by one twin reaching his fist out first, but going back in, and the other twin becoming the firstborn.

Honestly, Tamar’s story frustrated me when I read through it because there was no glorious moment or inspiring conclusion. I’m a fan of Hallmark movies because you know they provide that happy, clear conclusion. The adorable singles meet, chemistry builds, there is a huge problem that arises, and then they realize they love each other, make up, and live happily ever after. Tamar’s story is one with sinful human after sinful human doing wicked things, and no victorious ending.

Without the clarity, I didn’t even understand the purpose of this being included in the Bible. However, God is extremely intentional, so I knew there is a reason. The more we discussed the story, the more I realized it is a story of redemption on larger level. A perfect God redeems a messy situation through sinful people. It’s a story that has been lived out time and time again: God transformed destructed ruins into something purposeful. Through this situation, the Savior of the whole world came. 

Do you ever look at your situation and ask, “Lord, how could you redeem this?” or maybe even, “how can you make their story whole?” Though we may long to trust the Lord, we often act as though He wasn’t aware of our flaws and faults. We believe God is surprised by the fact that we are imperfect, usually because we believe we are better than we truly are. The truth?

We are flawed and messy and dysfunctional, and God sees all of it. 

Not only that, but he truly is more than capable of overcoming it all. He redeems us with a forgiveness so all-encompassing we can’t even see or comprehend how full it truly is. Rest in this today. Plead with your heart and mind to trust in this truth through whatever huge or tiny moments your doubt and disbelief trickle in. God restores chaos, and redeems sinful people. He’s been doing this for much longer than you and I have been around, and Tamar’s story is an incredible example of this. 

Romans 5:8-10:

God shows his great love for us in this way: Christ died for us while we were still sinners. So through Christ we will surely be saved from God's anger, because we have been made right with God by the blood of Christ's death. While we were God's enemies, he made friends with us through the death of his Son. Surely, now that we are his friends, he will save us through his Son's life.


Peyton is a college student attaining a Bachelors of Science in Organizational Leadership, and is the youngest of five children. She currently lives in Cape Girardeau, MO with her two roommates and is an aspiring entrepreneur, currently working as a freelance photographer. She enjoys days at coffee shops, road trips, and getting to know others. 


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