Thursday, July 24, 2008

Tamar - The Reality

Genesis 38 11-12a Judah then said to his daughter-in-law Tamar, "Live as a widow in your father's house until my son Shelah grows up." For he thought, "He may die too, just like his brothers." So Tamar went to live in her father's house. After a long time Judah's wife, the daughter of Shua, died.

So Judah is sending Tamar away - telling her to go back to her own house -' you know, just until my youngest son gets older to fulfill his duty.' And then the truth is told to us when the scripture says "he thought he may die too, just like his brothers". Judah had no intention of letting Shelah give Tamar a child. Here's where our foreshadowing from before comes in - He was lying about Shelah.

Tamar, who has been trusting this whole time - doing what she was told by these wicked men who were supposed to be raised by a man of God - went home to wait.

This would not have been a joy to her family. When she walked in the door - used and childless and widowed - surely her family must have been disappointed. "But wait", Tamar must've said, "It's only temporary until the youngest son is old enough". That false hope we put in people instead of trusting in God.

Then in verse 12 - the truth is told. Judah's wife dies 'after a long time' - long enough for Shelah to have grown up. I think this might be where Tamar gets the realization that Judah has no intention of fulfilling his promise. That Tamar would be childless and live in her father's house. This must have weighed on poor Tamar. What was she going to do? It had been years and now, there was not even a woman left in the house to care for the household - what was Judah waiting for??

What a feeling in the pit of our stomachs when we realize we have put our trust in the wrong thing. We have wasted time in stress and agony when we could've given it to God. But God is always watching and working . . . Even in Tamar's situation.

3 wonderful insights:

Angela @ Refresh My Soul Blog said...

Great posts girl. I am enjoying these. You are a great writer.
Much love,

Kay Martin said...

Newly widowed I read the Bible and shudder to think of the culture in Tamar's day. When the Bible commands the church to look after the welfare of widows we could miss the significance. You have painted the picture well. In that day, a woman without a spouse had no legal rights on her own. She and her children could die without someone to stand for them. Since my husband died this year my life has changed forever, but I thank God for a country that gives me rights to manage my affairs even though I am a widow.

Yes, you're right in those places where I need to trust; I will focus on God. He is always trustworthy....all is His.

Provident 360 said...

Dear Friend,

Keep up the good work.