What about Joseph and his fantastic dreams? Why the hiatus to follow this crazy-twisted tale in Judah’s life? As the story continues to unfold, the destinies of these two sons of Jacob are linked in a unique way. This chapter covers roughly the same twenty-year period that Joseph will be in Egypt before the brothers come to visit. As we will see next week, Judah is a foil for Joseph. Among other things, Judah leaves his father’s home voluntarily, Joseph is forcibly removed; Judah makes bad decisions and follows his own desires, Joseph makes wise decisions and follows God. The dreams of Joseph will have a near-term impact on the family as he rescues them from famine, and they move south to Egypt. But ultimately the dreams of Joseph point us to a greater Rescuer, a greater Deliverer, a greater Redeemer, a much greater Hero…the Head-crushing Seed of the woman, a Guy we know as Jesus, who is also the Lion of the tribe of Judah.
Judah or Tamar. I don’t know which one best describes you. Selfish, hypocritical, short-sighted. Or self-reliant, resourceful, ends justify the means. Either way, the beautiful thing is…God uses evil in our lives for good. He’s not the Author of evil, but He is able to take our bad choices and accomplishes His purposes, many times in spite of us. Another way to say it…God doesn’t waste our mistakes. Thinking about life as a teenager…a point in life when a lot of major life decisions are made, generally the time when we have our first relationship with the opposite sex, the time when we are most tempted to experiment, decisions that can change the trajectory of our lives, decisions that may have catastrophic consequences in our lives. And many times bad choices made at this time can not only impact our life’s course, but they can also cause us to think that we can no longer be used by God. We can be deceived into thinking that life is over. But it’s not. God doesn’t often rescue us from the temporal consequences of our choices, but His grace abounds as we face those consequences. And those consequences become a part of the journey that God has us on as He fashions us into the image of His Son.
We talked about this a couple of weeks ago…God is in the process of shaping and molding us into the folks He wants us to be. He has a destiny for each one of us. And the road to realizing that destiny may be short or long, depending on the choices we make. Judah’s turning point didn’t have to be twenty years in the making. Tamar shouldn’t have had to trick her father-in-law. But God uses their choices and does an incredible thing…the hope remains alive through the mess. From this crazy-twisted story comes the line of Jesus. God can redeem our crazy-twisted stories also and bring beauty from ashes.
Until next time…stay salty.