Posted by: Pauline | November 26, 2017

Scriptures for Sunday December 3

Genesis 38:6-26

This is not a well-known Bible story. It is not “uplifting,” and there are no good examples to follow. God is mentioned only twice, and both times He is putting a wicked man to death. Moreover, some understanding of certain cultural practices, very different from our own, is necessary in order to make sense of the story.

Yet when it comes to character and motivation, these people are not so different from people today. Onan does not want to contribute to another family member getting a larger portion of the inheritance. Judah does not want his youngest son to marry a woman whose first two husbands have died fairly young. Tamar wants a son, and is willing to go to great lengths to have one.

By itself, the story does not seem to have much purpose, other than to relate the ways that people mess up their own lives and other people’s lives. But many centuries later, it will be seen how God’s purpose was fulfilled even in a messed-up family like Judah’s.

Matthew 1:1-3

Genealogies often seem mind-numbingly boring, except to some historians and to the people whose own family is being traced. But when we read the genealogy of Jesus, we learn of some surprising people in his ancestry. Tamar’s story may not have seemed uplifting, but God used her to keep alive the family line that would eventually lead to Jesus.

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