Below are my thoughts from the daily Bible reading of the West Side Church of Christ. Today’s reading comes from Genesis 38-40. Before reading I invite you to pray and asked God to speak to you as you read His Word. Also above in the tabs is a link to the Bible reading plan.
What Does This Passage Say?
- This is perhaps one of those passages of Scripture that remind us the people that God used to tell His story were flawed. One of Jacob’s sons, Judah, moves out from his family and marries a Canaanite woman. They had three sons. The oldest marries, but God saw him as wicked, so he dies without producing offspring. The second one, follows the customs of the day and marries his brothers widow. He knows that any children born to him will not be his own, but will be his brothers (odd structure for us today), so he does not produce children. This displeases God. The third son, Judah refuses to give to Tamar. So, Tamar dresses as a shrine prostitute, disguises herself and sleeps with her father-in-law. This affair ends up with her pregnant, producing two sons, Perez and Zerah. Because of the payment Judah gives her, she is protected from punishment. This story is a brief interlude from the story of Joseph.
- Now we are back to the story of Joseph. He is now in the land of Egypt, where he has been sold in to slavery and purchased by one of Pharaoh’s officials. Potiphar likes Joseph and even sees that God has blessed him. So, Potiphar trusts Joseph with more and more responsibility, until he puts him over his entire household. Not only has Potiphar noticed Joseph, so has his wife. She noticed his physical attributes and desired him sexually. Joseph was an honest man and true to God. Every advance that she made he refused. One day, she trapped him, and because of his rejection, she cried foul, and this forced Joseph to be thrown into prison. I am convinced that Potiphar knew what kind of woman he was married to, and his anger was more directed to her than to Joseph. However, his only option was to send Joseph to prison.
- Joseph has now found himself in prison. A very similar scene plays out in prison as it did in Potiphar’s house. God is with Joseph, and the guards give him responsibilities, until he is caring for the entire prison. It is during his rounds he encounters two more of Pharaoh’s officials … his cupbearer and his baker. They have both been thrown into prison and both have had bad dreams Joseph reveals that he can interrupt dreams so both share them with him. Joseph’s dream telling comes true, the baker is killed and the cupbearer is restored to his position. Sadly, for a time Joseph is forgotten.
How Can I Apply this Passage to my Life?
- In the story of Judah and Tamar two sons are born to this odd couple. Perez and Zerah. Both of these boys are mentioned in Matthew 1:3. Matthew 1:3 happens to be a portion of the genealogy of Jesus. That means that one of these two boys (Perez) is a direct ancestor of Jesus. Jesus is a descendant from this sordid affair. Friends, it is a reminder … not only is God a God of forgiveness, He can also do some amazing things, like save the world, though sinful people like you and me. What sin do you hide in your past? Remember, it isn’t too much for God to not be able to work with.