Daily Devotional: Genesis 38:1-30

Judah creates much drama and trouble for himself by pursuing his sexual lusts. His sons turn out to be evil before God, and his daughter-in-law is a prostitute like his mistress. As we will see in Chapter 49, Judah is the tribe of promise. Yet, Scripture is careful to point out his sinfulness and impurity. Tamar is even listed as a matron in Jesus’s family tree (cf. Matthew 1:3).

So, we know that God uses sinners to accomplish His good purpose. But, why would God kill Er and Onan for being or doing evil and yet use Judah and Tamar in their indiscretion? Why does God condemn some sinners and forgive and use others for His good purpose? Judah and Tamar have also done evil, here. Being evil in God’s sight cannot relate merely to one’s sin. Er and Onan typify the offspring of the serpent from Chapter 3, verse 15. Judah and Tamar typify the offspring of the woman, the object of redemption in 3:15. Er and Onan are not forgiven because they are sons of snakes. Judah and Tamar are, as seen in Judah’s treatment of Tamar when he recognizes his own unrighteousness. The seed of the woman typology is ultimately fulfilled in Christ. God isn’t some mean kid sitting at an anthill burning ants with a magnifying glass. His actions are careful and intentional. This passage in the narrative is christological and shows the severity of being outside the redemptive work of God in Christ, the lion of Judah.


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