Judah's Secret Past: Episode 2

abraham tree.jpg

Prayer:

God of Grace, how good you are to us poor, miserable sinners. Cleanse us, renew us, and inspire us with your Word so we are ready to live for you and through you. Amen.

Devotion:

Matthew 1:1-3

1This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham: 2Abraham was the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, 3Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar, Perez the father of Hezron, Hezron the father of Ram.

I imagine that many of you know a lot of the people in this family tree so far.  You know Abraham, the father of many nations and Isaac his son, who made his parents laugh with joy when he was born.  You know about Jacob, who wrestled with God.  Judah was Jacob’s fourth son.  Yesterday, we started to learn about him.  We know these guys.  But do you know Perez?  Do you know his mother Tamar? 

There is probably a reason for that.  The story of Judah the father of Perez, whose mother was Tamar is a story that is probably rated R.  At the very least, it would be rated PG-13.  When was I growing up, my mom would stand in front of the TV and block out parts of a TV show that were inappropriate.  For this part of Judah’s story, mom would have stood in front of the TV for the whole episode. This part of his life is really wicked.

If you want to dig in, you can read the story of Judah and Tamar in Genesis 38.  If you read it, make a list of the despicable things that Judah did in this chapter. Here is a little bit of space:

 

 

Why would God include someone like this in his family tree?  Why would God include a story like this in the Bible?

Know this. Jesus came from a line of secret sinners to save sinners from their secrets.  Jesus came into this world to save Judah and everyone who falls into sin like Judah did.  Jesus came for us no matter how wicked and despicable we are.

Jesus has redeemed us from our sinful past and now wants to use us.  If he can use someone like Judah to do great things for the world, God will also use you and me to save people in our lives.

The sins of your past are gone, forgiven and forgotten. People may remember, but God forgets.  People may hold it against us, but God always forgives.  And now he calls us to get out into this world with the message of his salvation and peace.

Additional Reading: Genesis 38.

Family Questions:

Review the people on your list. Pray for them specifically today and decide what you will do for them to invest in that relationship. 

1.     Identify.

2.    Intercede.(Pray for them).

3.    Invest in them.  Find a way to build a deeper relationship with them, to care about them the way that Jesus cares about you.  Can you give them a plate of cookies? Can you get them a Starbucks gift card? How about inviting them over for dinner? What else might you do?

4.    Invite.  

Four People:

1.      __________________________________

This is how we will invest in this relationship: _________________________________ 

2.     __________________________________

This is how we will invest in this relationship: _________________________________

3.     __________________________________

This is how we will invest in this relationship: _________________________________

4.     __________________________________

This is how we will invest in this relationship: _________________________________

Prayer:

Holy Spirit, fill our hearts with faith in the promise of our forgiveness. Give us your words to go and proclaim forgiveness to those still living in fear and guilt. Amen.