December 12, 2016
Taken by my cousin Georgia
Message Summary: Today we consider Tamar. Perhaps there is something in your past that really is bogging you down. Remember, God has a wonderful plan for your life and whatever may be in your background that is unusual or even sordid is not going to stop Him. Though you may struggle with fully understanding or clearly explaining how it has been used of God, it may possibly enhance Your walk with Him and witness to others!
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“Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar, Perez the father of Hezron, Hezron the father of Ram” (Matthew 1:3).
Brooksyne gets a lot of comments about her name. Actually it’s a hybrid name her mother came up with. She has an older sister and they were hoping for a boy next time. Her father’s name was Brooklyn so they planned to name their son Brooklyn Jr. However they had a girl (for which I am sooo grateful) and Brooksyne’s mom came up with Brooksyne (pronounced Brook seen’). It’s been a good name and for many years she has assisted new acquaintances with the pronunciation by saying, “like the scene of a brook…now turn it around – Brook-scene.” She still gets it mispronounced a lot though. She’s got a good name both in regard to being interesting and distinct, but much more importantly in her character. (This part written by Stephen.)
Today we want to consider the first of five women mentioned in Matthew’s genealogy of Christ. It’s not a familiar name though it is still used today. The story is found in Genesis 38 and is surely one of the most sordid accounts in the Biblical record. It’s a story with a theme that would be in keeping with the expression, “Truth is stranger than fiction.”
I won’t go into the unpleasant details here but merely sum it up by pointing out that Judah and his sons acted in a very wicked way. Tamar’s pregnancy with Perez and Zerah is the result of a deceptive prostitution alliance with her father-in-law, Judah. It may be disturbing enough that such an account is way back in the genealogical record of Jesus Christ, but Matthew even calls it to our attention in the New Testament!
What should we make of it? One of the outstanding evidences of the reliability of the Bible is the unvarnished record of its main characters, both men and women. Judah is one of the most familiar ancestors of Christ and in the book of Revelation Christ is identified as the “Lion of the tribe of Judah” (5:5). Yet Moses was inspired in Genesis to record this story (taking an entire chapter to do so) and Matthew is inspired to call our attention to it as he opens his gospel.
However there is another thought that comes to mind when pondering this matter. God uses even the most unusual and evil situations to advance His cause. No attempt is made in the record to justify Judah or his son’s actions. They are forthrightly presented as acting wickedly.
However that does not stop the fact that Perez and Zerah were conceived and born as a result of that wicked act and Perez is in the genealogical line of Christ. Surely God’s ways are at times puzzling to us. The life of faith and obedience often is, but we are called to keep pressing on by faith.
Perhaps there is something in your past that really is bogging you down. Remember, God has a wonderful plan for your life and whatever may be in your background that is unusual or even sordid is not going to stop Him. Though you may struggle with fully understanding or clearly explaining how it has been used of God, it may possibly enhance Your walk with Him and witness to others!
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Here’s the account of Tamar: Genesis 38
Tamar was also the name of a daughter of David and sister to Absalom, who ironically was violated sexually. 2 Samuel 13
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“I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day” Video Casting Crowns We heard Casting Crowns sing this song in a concert several years ago at the Giant Center in Hershey.
“When Love Was Born” Video Mark Schultz
Each year we share several online resources that we have used over the years and that may be a blessing to families and churches during this Christmas season.
“In Remembrance of Me” pdf This is a passion-filled Scripture reading for two adults. Brooksyne and I have used this reading with great receptivity during Christmas Eve services over the years. We suggest, if possible, a musical background as the message is read. It is also a great lead-in to a Communion service. It should be thoroughly practiced and read with great feeling. Here’s a great Communion Hymn for Christmas (Video)
“When Christ Was Born” pdf This is an adaptation to the tune of “How Great Thou Art”. It’s a great song to sing as a congregation since most are familiar with and love the tune.
We have also posted two Christmas carol quizzes here (scroll down).