Divine Extraction

Read This Week: Genesis 38

At that time, Judah left his brothers and went down to stay with a man of Adullam named Hirah. There, Judah met the daughter of a Canaanite man named Shua. He married her and made love to her; she became pregnant and gave birth to a son, who was named Er. She conceived again and gave birth to a son named Onan. She gave birth to still another son and named him Shelah. – Genesis 38:1-5 NIV

Genesis 38 is a chapter often overlooked or cautiously approached due to its sensitive content and apparent break from the main narrative. However, beneath its surface lies a story that is very familiar to life and encapsulates themes of deception, redemption, and the mysterious workings of God’s providence. With the backdrop of the patriarchal era, this chapter unfolds amidst the lineage of Judah, one of the sons of Jacob. It begins with Judah’s departure from his brothers, venturing into the world of Canaanite culture, commerce, and religious practice. Here, he forms relationships that will profoundly impact his life and the future of his lineage.

The story itself revolves around the characters of Judah, Tamar, and the twins Perez and Zerah. It opens with Judah marrying a Canaanite woman named Shua and fathering three sons: Er, Onan, and Shelah. Yet, things take a tragic turn with the deaths of Er and Onan, leaving Tamar, Er’s widow, in a state of limbo as she awaits the fulfillment of levirate marriage customs. Then, in a series of events marked by deception and betrayal, Tamar resorts to a disguise to trick Judah into fulfilling his duty as a kinsman-redeemer, or a relative who, according to various laws of the Pentateuch, had the responsibility to act on behalf of another relative who was in trouble, danger, or need. Disguised as a prostitute, she seduces Judah, who unwittingly impregnates her. This act of desperation underscores Tamar’s resilience and determination to secure her future and ensure her place within the lineage of Judah.

Despite the moral ambiguity of the actions portrayed here, the overarching theme of God’s sovereignty and providence emerges as a guiding force, just as it has at each step in the book of Genesis. Despite the characters’ flaws and shortcomings, God’s plan unfolds with design and inevitability, using even their missteps to accomplish His purposes. Through this incident of Tamar’s cunning and Judah’s unwitting participation, Judah’s lineage is preserved. Ultimately, this leads to the birth of Perez, an ancestor of King David, and, according to the Scriptures, the birth of Jesus.

Once again, redemption and restoration emerge as prevailing ideas and outcomes. Through Tamar’s bold actions, Judah is confronted with his own moral failings, leading to his repentance and acknowledgment of Tamar’s righteousness. In the birth of Perez and Zerah, we witness the restoration of Tamar’s honor and the continuation of Judah’s lineage. God is a good Father in this way for us as well. He redeems our faults, deficiencies, and poor choices when we repent and turn to Him. He extracts His glory and restores us; human elements and weaknesses do not derail His sovereign plan. God enacts a beautiful, divine extraction of his purposes from the ugliness of sin and broken people.

This section may seem like a detour from the narrative of Genesis, but it’s not. Its significance lies in its exploration of the human condition, God’s provision, and the triumph of His redemption. Through the unique interplay of characters and events, we are reminded that despite deception and betrayal, God’s purposes remain steadfast, weaving together the threads of human history to fulfill His greater plan of salvation.


  1. Javaid Ahmed on March 27, 2024 at 12:31 pm

    God focused my attention on Genesis 38, verse 14

    14 So she put off her widow’s garments and covered herself with a veil, wrapped herself up [in disguise], and sat in the entrance of Enaim, which is by the road to Timnath; for she saw that Shelah was grown and she was not given to him as his wife.

    God said to me:

    “Things can get messy in life without My guidance. Sometimes seeing the mess helps you appreciate the cleanliness that occurs with Me. “

    I feel that when we see a ball of yarn like this, we appreciate all the more how streamlined our lives can be when we focus on, listen to, and obey God’s word. Its hard to see when you’re in the ball of yarn, but the best way to find out is to ask God. Those who know God also tend to see the ball of yarn you’re in first, so it’s important if we see that, to ask God’s guidance and how we can help those in need.

  2. Trina on March 30, 2024 at 2:10 pm

    Genesis Chapter 38 Verse 28
    And when she was in labor, one baby put out his hand; and the midwife took his hand and bound upon it a scarlet thread, saying, this baby was born first.

    Genesis Chapter 38 Verse 29
    But he drew back his hand, and behold, his brother was born first. And she said, What a breaking forth you have made for yourself! Therefore, his name was called Perez [breaking forth].

    ~Breaking Forth With God~

    God Is Saying To Me:
    When you stand out or begin a new journey with me, you are breaking forth in righteousness. Baby Perez was referred to as breaking forth from the womb. The connotation of being in the spotlight can be confusing at times. However, just trust and believe that when you finally choose to surrender your heart and soul to me, you make the spiritual decision to break forth. Your act of breaking forth with me is the birth of a new beginning, a shedding of the worldly flesh and worldly desires in exchange for a new heart and spiritual revolution. Breaking forth with me is never considered risky or unholy. You have to come from sin just like Perez and Zerah, the twins. They are shown my grace and so my daughter, you have been shown grace too.

    What This Means To Me:
    When we commit ourselves to Christ, we are born again into righteousness and right standing with God. We break forth with no prior prejudice, going through a spiritual metamorphosis and a lifelong journey of a spiritual renewing of the mind, heart and soul. When we enter into a relationship of transformation, nothing can ever cause us to carry a burden or represent failure unless we revert back to old habits and ways. May we always remain mindful of the power of God’s transformative love for us! Let us all break forth anew! Thank you God that we get to break forth with you into a spiritual metamorphosis! ❤️❤️❤️

  3. PK Chat on March 30, 2024 at 7:51 pm

    Have you ever wondered about the unexpected ways through which life’s lessons are imparted to us? Today, we turn our attention to Genesis 38, a chapter that might seem puzzling initially, yet it holds profound lessons about responsibility, redemption, and the intricate workings of God’s plans.

    In Genesis 38, we encounter Judah and his family in complex events. Judah, one of Jacob’s sons, steps away from his brothers and starts his own life, which leads to interactions filled with personal failure and unexpected twists. Judah and Tamar’s story teaches us the importance of owning up to our responsibilities and the consequences of failing. It is a reminder that our actions affect our lives and those around us.

    Yet, amidst these complexities, Genesis 38’s narrative carries a thread of redemption and grace. It shows us that God can work through our flawed human conditions to accomplish His purposes. From the lineage of Judah and Tamar comes Perez, an ancestor of King David and, ultimately, Jesus Christ. This genealogical line teaches us that God’s plans are far beyond our understanding and that He can use all situations, even those that seem mired in sin and deception, for His glory.

    1. Responsibility: We are called to be responsible for our actions and their impacts on others. Owning up to our mistakes is the first step towards redemption.

    2. Grace and Redemption: No matter how complex or troubled our past, there is always room for grace and redemption. God’s love and mercy are boundless and ready to transform our lives.

    3. God’s Sovereign Plan: Our lives are part of a larger divine plan. Even when things seem chaotic or beyond redemption, God is at work, weaving our stories into His tapestry.

  4. reachchurch on March 31, 2024 at 1:46 pm

    This Week in the Life: Genesis 38

    For the best experience, we suggest you listen to the first song, the message, and the second song.

    1. Sunday Worship – First Song: https://reachchurch.org/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/20240331-Worship1.wav
    2. Sunday Message: https://reachchurch.org/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/20240331-Message.wav
    3. Sunday Worship – Second Song: https://reachchurch.org/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/20240331-Worship2.wav

    Join the Party Line Live – Schedule: https://reachchurch.org/connect

  5. Heidi on April 2, 2024 at 10:51 am

    Genesis 38: 26 Judah recognized the articles, and said, “She has been more righteous [in this matter] than I, because I did not give her to my son Shelah [as I had promised].” And Judah did not have [intimate] relations with her again.

    God was saying to me
    It’s all about your heart my daughter ❤️
    You see Judah having a change of heart here.
    It’s important to realize when you have done something or said something to make it right.
    Every time you get to this place it’s wonderful and it’s wonderful doing it together, blessing someone.
    Always remember I am with you to help you through any situation because I love you and I love them.

    What this means to me is to always look to my Heavenly Father for guidance in all situations and to have a heart to want to see what Jesus sees and to be ready to be a peace maker and do it with Father God
    Because he loves me and he loves everyone ❤️️

  6. Alma on April 3, 2024 at 11:46 am

    This weekend, Genesis, chapter 38 I have a song

    We are blessed blessed because we have you Jesus we have you Jesus you are amazing our savior Lord come and have your way come and have your way your plans are perfect because we know only you can fix it We know only you can fix it. We believe in you our king you give us hope joy peace. We are blessed blessed because the Lord our savior loves us, loves us. We praise you we praise you. We are praising you our Lord. Amen.

    We are truly blessed because he loves us especially when we give our hearts and we’re all in. Thank you Our Father for always loving us through it all.

Leave a Comment