The life of Judah, the son of Jacob, really tells a sad story of what can happen to a family that doesn’t walk in the ways of the Lord, but unto their lustful desires. As he became of age, he decided to look for a wife for himself. It was then that he found Shuah and married her. This is when they started a family of their own, with her baring three sons, Er, Onan and Shelah. It was from this point forward, however, that there would be much heartache. So as the kids got older, there choices got them in a lot of trouble. First off was Er, whom Judah helped find a wife, whose name was Tamar. However, he 1“was wicked in the sight of the Lord; and the Lord slew him.” (Genesis 38:7) This was done because of his many willful sins in the eyes of God. And his next son didn’t please the Lord either, because of what he did, by direction of his father. It is recorded, 1“Judah said unto Onan, Go in unto thy brother’s wife, and marry her, and raise up seed to thy brother. And Onan knew that the seed should not be his; and it came to pass, when he went in unto his brother’s wife, that he spilled it on the ground, lest that he should give seed to his brother. And the thing which he did displeased the Lord: wherefore he slew him also.” (Genesis 38:8-10) Judah did not learn, based on his first son’s sins, and it was because of his bad parenting and counsel to his second son that he died also. God surely does not like it when we inner marry in the family and when our sperm is not for having kids, but instead spilling on the ground. Therefore, he was killed as well. I can just imagine how Judah must have felt, especially when he had a hand in what transpired because of God’s wrath upon his son.
The story that you just learned about is just the first part of the downfall of Judah and his family. The second half of what Judah did with Tamar will be discussed in a later message, but to spare you the details, it was very wicked in the sight of God because of sexual sin. Now, before this happened, Judah told his daughter-in-law Tamar to remain a widow until his youngest son, Shelah, was of age. In his own words, he said, 1“to Tamar his daughter in law, Remain a widow at thy father’s house, till Shelah my son be grown: for he said, Lest peradventure he die also, as his brethren did. And Tamar went and dwelt in her father’s house.” (Genesis 38:11) Thinking he was doing the right thing by having his youngest be at least of age to marry her, this was his instruction to Tamar. However, God was not thrilled with any of this, since it involved having sexual relations with family members wives. Now, how Judah thought this was OK with God is beside me. He truly was not in the right mind with God. However, God was not going to let Judah keep getting away with things and not be punished, therefore, another child of his died. This time, it was his daughter. Though he was comforted by the people, now his only child left was Shelah. So to put things in perspective, lying with a family members wife is wrong. God even said, 2“if a man shall take his brother’s wife, it is an unclean thing: he hath uncovered his brother’s nakedness; they shall be childless.” (Leviticus 20:21) This is why Judah’s sons were punished with death and even Judah and his family had to suffer because of this. God does not take sexual sin lightly and therefore, learn from this story and begin to be obedient unto God and not your fleshly nature any longer.
Let us pray:
Lord, I pray that we will be more vigilant in knowing Your ways, that we ourselves will not willfully sin and not even know it. And as parents, teaching our children what is right is key to raising children to love You and to hate the darkness. Therefore, help every father and mother to love You more than the lusts of the flesh. May we long for Your holiness and not things that only lasts a moment. I know that Satan wants to deceive us into thinking that we do not have to wait to find our true joy, but that we can have it all now. This is such a lie and almost took me under, if it wasn’t for Your mercy. How deep a hole I once was in my adultery and pornography addiction and if You had not helped me get out of this mess, my life would be wrecked, if not dead, because of my mistakes. Surely, Your punishments and wrath was upon me each day that I willfully sinned and did things that was only pleasing for the moment. If I had continued down this path of destruction, I would never have known Your great love for me and instead, I’d have hell to pay come judgment day. Thank You for keeping taking me home Lord and hearing my cries, though I had deliberately walked on Your commandments for many years. I was so wrong and I am so sorry for the life I once led. You could have just kicked me to the curb, but instead You took me in and cleansed me of all my sins. It was Your blood, Jesus, that washed me clean. Now my life is different and I can think clearly. What a great God you are for sparing my life. Oh, how I love You Lord. You are my God and my delight is to serve You. Amen.
Let us read the Bible:
Note: Any Numbered References, found above, are listed below.
1Genesis 38:1-12 (KJV)
1 And it came to pass at that time, that Judah went down from his brethren, and turned in to a certain Adullamite, whose name was Hirah.
2 And Judah saw there a daughter of a certain Canaanite, whose name was Shuah; and he took her, and went in unto her.
3 And she conceived, and bare a son; and he called his name Er.
4 And she conceived again, and bare a son; and she called his name Onan.
5 And she yet again conceived, and bare a son; and called his name Shelah: and he was at Chezib, when she bare him.
6 And Judah took a wife for Er his firstborn, whose name was Tamar.
7 And Er, Judah’s firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the Lord; and the Lord slew him.
8 And Judah said unto Onan, Go in unto thy brother’s wife, and marry her, and raise up seed to thy brother.
9 And Onan knew that the seed should not be his; and it came to pass, when he went in unto his brother’s wife, that he spilled it on the ground, lest that he should give seed to his brother.
10 And the thing which he did displeased the Lord: wherefore he slew him also.
11 Then said Judah to Tamar his daughter in law, Remain a widow at thy father’s house, till Shelah my son be grown: for he said, Lest peradventure he die also, as his brethren did. And Tamar went and dwelt in her father’s house.
12 And in process of time the daughter of Shuah Judah’s wife died; and Judah was comforted, and went up unto his sheepshearers to Timnath, he and his friend Hirah the Adullamite.
2Leviticus 20:11-23 (KJV)
11 And the man that lieth with his father’s wife hath uncovered his father’s nakedness: both of them shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.
12 And if a man lie with his daughter in law, both of them shall surely be put to death: they have wrought confusion; their blood shall be upon them.
13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.
14 And if a man take a wife and her mother, it is wickedness: they shall be burnt with fire, both he and they; that there be no wickedness among you.
15 And if a man lie with a beast, he shall surely be put to death: and ye shall slay the beast.
16 And if a woman approach unto any beast, and lie down thereto, thou shalt kill the woman, and the beast: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.
17 And if a man shall take his sister, his father’s daughter, or his mother’s daughter, and see her nakedness, and she see his nakedness; it is a wicked thing; and they shall be cut off in the sight of their people: he hath uncovered his sister’s nakedness; he shall bear his iniquity.
18 And if a man shall lie with a woman having her sickness, and shall uncover her nakedness; he hath discovered her fountain, and she hath uncovered the fountain of her blood: and both of them shall be cut off from among their people.
19 And thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy mother’s sister, nor of thy father’s sister: for he uncovereth his near kin: they shall bear their iniquity.
20 And if a man shall lie with his uncle’s wife, he hath uncovered his uncle’s nakedness: they shall bear their sin; they shall die childless.
21 And if a man shall take his brother’s wife, it is an unclean thing: he hath uncovered his brother’s nakedness; they shall be childless.
22 Ye shall therefore keep all my statutes, and all my judgments, and do them: that the land, whither I bring you to dwell therein, spue you not out.
23 And ye shall not walk in the manners of the nation, which I cast out before you: for they committed all these things, and therefore I abhorred them.