March 15 Lent 1
At that time, Judah moved away from his brothers and settled near an Adullamite named Hirah. 2 There Judah saw the daughter of a Canaanite whose name was Shua, and he married her. After he slept with her, 3 she became pregnant and gave birth to a son, whom she[a] named Er. 4 She became pregnant again, gave birth to a son, and named him Onan. 5 Then she gave birth to one more son and named him Shelah. She was in Chezib when she gave birth to him.
6 Judah married his oldest son Er to a woman named Tamar. 7 But the Lord considered Judah’s oldest son Er immoral, and the Lord put him to death. 8 Judah said to Onan, “Go to your brother’s wife, do your duty as her brother-in-law, and provide children for your brother.” 9 Onan knew the children wouldn’t be his so when he slept with his brother’s wife, he wasted his semen on the ground, so he wouldn’t give his brother children. 10 The Lord considered what he did as wrong and put him to death too. 11 Judah said to Tamar his daughter-in-law, “Stay as a widow in your father’s household until my son Shelah grows up.” He thought Shelah would die like his brothers had. So Tamar went and lived in her father’s household.
12 After a long time, Judah’s wife the daughter of Shua died. Then, after a period of mourning, he and his neighbor Hirah the Adullamite went up to Timnah, to those who were shearing his sheep. 13 Tamar was told, “Your father-in-law is now on his way up to Timnah to shear his sheep.” 14 So Tamar took off the clothing she wore as a widow, covered herself with a veil, put on makeup,[b] and sat down at the entrance to Enaim on the road to Timnah, since she realized that although Shelah had already grown up, she hadn’t been given to him as a wife.
15 Judah saw her and thought she was a prostitute because she had covered her face. 16 He turned to her beside the road and said, “Let me sleep with you,” because he didn’t know she was his daughter-in-law.
She said, “What will you give me for sleeping with you?” 17 He said, “I will give you a kid goat from my flock.” She said, “Only if you give me some deposit, as security to guarantee that you will send it.” 18 He said, “What kind of deposit should I give you?” And she said, “Your seal, its cord, and the staff in your hand.” He gave these to her, slept with her, and she became pregnant by him.
Comment: in ancient Israel handing over a seal, its cord, and a private staff is like handing over your driver’s license, credit card, and social security number. Do not judge Tamar too quickly; sometimes the Lord uses the most awkward of situations, especially to expose abuse.
Mark 4:35-41 Good News
35 On the evening of that same day Jesus said to his disciples, “Let us go across to the other side of the lake.” 36 So they left the crowd; the disciples got into the boat in which Jesus was already sitting, and they took him with them. Other boats were there too. 37 Suddenly a strong wind blew up, and the waves began to spill over into the boat, so that it was about to fill with water. 38 Jesus was in the back of the boat, sleeping with his head on a pillow. The disciples woke him up and said, “Teacher, don’t you care that we are about to die?”
39 Jesus stood up and commanded the wind, “Be quiet!” and he said to the waves, “Be still!” The wind died down, and there was a great calm. 40 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Why are you frightened? Do you still have no faith?”
41 But they were terribly afraid and began to say to one another, “Who is this man? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”
Comment: sometimes the Lord uses the awkward of situations to reveal His glory.
1 Why do you boast, O mighty one,
of mischief done against the godly?
All day long 2 you are plotting destruction.
Your tongue is like a sharp razor,
you worker of treachery.
3 You love evil more than good,
and lying more than speaking the truth.
4 You love all words that devour,
O deceitful tongue.
5 But God will break you down forever;
he will snatch and tear you from your tent;
he will uproot you from the land of the living.
6 The righteous will see, and fear,
and will laugh at the evildoer saying,
7 “See the one who would not take
refuge in God,
but trusted in abundant riches,
and sought refuge in wealth!”
8 But I am like a green olive tree
in the house of God.
I trust in the steadfast love of God
forever and ever.
9 I will thank you forever,
because of what you have done.
In the presence of the faithful
I will proclaim your name, for it is good.
Comment: much of this psalm could be applied to Judah, Tamar’s father-in-law. Tamar would have identified herself with the speaker in this psalm.
Prayer: you hear the prayers of the innocent, the guilty, and all who take refuge in you. Thank you!