Leaving God and Abandoning Family

Leaving God and Abandoning Family

Genesis 38:1-30

Call to Worship: Psalm 99:1-5 “Holy is He” (ESV)

1      The Lord reigns; let the peoples tremble!
             He sits enthroned upon the cherubim; let the earth quake!
2       The Lord is great in Zion
             he is exalted over all the peoples.
3       Let them praise your great and awesome name!
             Holy is he!
4       The King in his might loves justice.
             You have established equity
       you have executed justice
             and righteousness in Jacob.
5        Exalt the Lord our God
             worship at his footstool!
             Holy is he!

Scripture: Ephesians 5:1-3, 7-15 (ESV)

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. 3 But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints… 7 Therefore do not become partners with them; 8 for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), 10 and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. 13 But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, 14 for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says,

            “Awake, O sleeper,
                    and arise from the dead,
            and Christ will shine on you.”

15 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise.

Sermon Text: based on Genesis 38:1-30 (NIV)

I. Judah: Leaving God and Family (38:1-11)

A. Judah’s leaving and cleaving (38:1-5 adapted from ESV)
 Now it was at about that time that Judah went down, away from his brothers and pitched (his tent) beside an Adullamite man—his name was Hirah.  There Judah saw the daughter of a Canaanite man—his name was Shua, he took her (as his wife) and came in to her,  and she conceived and bore a son, and he called his name Er.  She conceived again and bore a son, and she called his name Onan.  Yet again she bore a son, and she called his name Shelah. Judah was in Chezib when she bore him.

B. The family line in jeopardy (38:6-11)
Judah got a wife for Er, his firstborn, and her name was Tamar. But Er, Judah’s firstborn, was wicked in the Lord’s sight; so the Lord put him to death. Then Judah said to Onan, “Sleep with your brother’s wife and fulfill your duty to her as a brother-in-law to raise up offspring for your brother.” But Onan knew that the child would not be his; so whenever he slept with his brother’s wife, he spilled his semen on the ground to keep from providing offspring for his brother. 10 What he did was wicked in the Lord’s sight; so the Lord put him to death also. 11 Judah then said to his daughter-in-law Tamar, “Live as a widow in your father’s household 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 household.

II. Tamar Entices Judah (38:12-23)

A. Tamar takes matters into her own hands (38:12-14)
12 After a long time Judah’s wife, the daughter of Shua, died. When Judah had recovered from his grief, he went up to Timnah, to the men who were shearing his sheep, and his friend Hirah the Adullamite went with him. 13 When Tamar was told, “Your father-in-law is on his way to Timnah to shear his sheep,” 14 she took off her widow’s clothes, covered herself with a veil to disguise herself, and then sat down at the entrance to Enaim, which is on the road to Timnah. For she saw that, though Shelah had now grown up, she had not been given to him as his wife.

B. Judah taken in by Tamar’s deception (38:15-19)
15 When Judah saw her, he thought she was a prostitute, for she had covered her face. 16 Not realizing that she was his daughter-in-law, he went over to her by the roadside and said, “Come now, let me sleep with you.” “And what will you give me to sleep with you?” she asked. 17 “I’ll send you a young goat from my flock,” he said. “Will you give me something as a pledge until you send it?” she asked. 18 He said, “What pledge should I give you?” “Your seal and its cord, and the staff in your hand,” she answered. So he gave them to her and slept with her, and she became pregnant by him. 19 After she left, she took off her veil and put on her widow’s clothes again.

C. Judah unable to find prostitute and retrieve his pledge (38:20-23)
20 Meanwhile Judah sent the young goat by his friend the Adullamite in order to get his pledge back from the woman, but he did not find her. 21 He asked the men who lived there, “Where is the shrine prostitute who was beside the road at Enaim?” “There hasn’t been any shrine prostitute here,” they said. 22 So he went back to Judah and said, “I didn’t find her. Besides, the men who lived there said, ‘There hasn’t been any shrine prostitute here.’” 23 Then Judah said, “Let her keep what she has, or we will become a laughingstock. After all, I did send her this young goat, but you didn’t find her.”

III. Judah Exposed, Tamar Vindicated (38:24-26 verse 26 adapted)

24 About three months later Judah was told, “Your daughter-in-law Tamar is guilty of prostitution, and as a result she is now pregnant.” Judah said, “Bring her out and have her burned to death!” 25 As she was being brought out, she sent a message to her father-in-law. “I am pregnant by the man who owns these,” she said. And she added, “See if you recognize whose seal and cord and staff these are.” 26 Judah recognized them and said, “She is righteous, I’m not, since I did not give her to my son Shelah. And he did not sleep with her again.

IV. Tamar Restored by the Lord (38:27-30)

27 When the time came for her to give birth, there were twin boys in her womb. 28 As she was giving birth, one of them put out his hand; so the midwife took a scarlet thread and tied it on his wrist and said, “This one came out first.” 29 But when he drew back his hand, his brother came out, and she said, “So this is how you have broken out!” And he was named Perez. 30 Then his brother, who had the scarlet thread on his wrist, came out. And he was named Zerah.


Sing To The Lord
King Of Glory (You Restore My Soul)
King Jesus is All
Justice Will Roll Down