12 Mar 2018, Gen 38 创38章, The Grace and Plan of God 神的恩典和计划

Scripture Reading        : Gen 38

Theme                            : The Grace and Plan of God


The events in this chapter seem to interrupt the story, but why is this story here? One of the major purposes of Genesis is to record the origin and development of the family of Jacob, the founder of the twelve tribes of Israel. The Israelites went down to Egypt a large family, and four centuries later they came out of Egypt a large nation. Since the tribe of Judah is the royal tribe from which the Messiah would come (49:10), anything related to Judah is vital to the story in Genesis. Without this chapter, you’d wonder at finding Tamar and Perez in our Lord’s genealogy (Matt. 1:3). Perez was an ancestor of King David (Ruth 4:18–22) and therefore an ancestor of Jesus Christ (Matthew 1:1).

Judah marrying a Canaanite woman was clearly disobedience God’s command (24:3; 2 Cor. 6:14–7:1). When we disobey, we will reap the consequences sin brings to us. Two of his sons were slain by God, and then his wife died. What tragedy! It was expected that the next son would marry the widow and thus preserve the family, but Judah did not intend to keep his promise (v. 11). Although Tamar’s purpose was good but her plan was wicked. Leaving the signet and staff was like leaving fingerprints, because each man’s was distinctive. Judah was quick to condemn Tamar for sinning, but he was blind his own sins toward Joseph and Tamar. [1]


Praying the Scripture

  1. This chapter shows how dangerous it was for God’s people to be in the land with the Canaanites. There will always be temptations. Judah got himself into trouble when he separated himself from his brothers and started to make friends with the Canaanites in the land. Like Samson, he saw a woman he liked and took her to be his wife (v. 2; Jud. 14). Lord, help us to be careful and watchful in observing your commands especially in this unbelieving world. Help us not to stray away from your people like Judah.
  1. There is also a big contrast between Judah’s sin and Joseph’s victory (chap. 39), and we realize the importance of purity. Joseph refused to compromise himself with Potiphar’s wife (Gen. 39:7–20), but his brother Judah casually slept with a strange prostitute. We also see the continued practice of deception in the family. Jacob used a garment to deceive his father Isaac, and Judah and his brothers used a garment to deceive Jacob (37:32). Now Tamar used a garment to deceive Judah! (Gen. 38:14) We reap what we sow. Lord, keep us pure and faithful.
  1. The story of the patriarchs in Genesis reminds us of God’s grace and sovereignty. The men and women who played a part in this important drama weren’t perfect and yet the Lord used them to accomplish His purposes. This doesn’t mean that God approved of their sins, because their sins were ultimately revealed and judged. But it does mean that God can take the weak things of this world and accomplish His purposes (1 Cor. 1:26–31). Thank you Lord and help us not to tarnish your good name but to fulfill your will on this world.

[1] Warren W. Wiersbe, With the Word Bible Commentary (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1991), Ge 38:1.









  1. 本章告诉我们神的子民在迦南地是多么的危险:因为那里总是充满了许多的诱惑。当犹大离开自己的兄弟并开始与迦南人交往时,他把自己陷入困境中。但他看见了一个他喜欢的女人,就不顾神的命令把她迎娶为妻(2节;士14)。主啊,请帮助我们要小心警惕地遵守袮的命令,尤其是在这个不信的世界。请帮助我们不要像犹大一样偏离袮的子民。
  1. 犹大的罪和约瑟的得胜(39章)之间正反映了一个强烈的对比。这让我们意识到圣洁的重要性。约瑟拒绝向波提乏的妻子妥协(创39:7-20),但他的兄弟犹大却随便与一个妓女妥协。我们也看到这家族不断使用欺诈的手段。雅各用衣服欺骗自己的父亲以撒,而犹大和兄弟也用衣服欺骗的雅各(37:32)。现在他玛也用一件衣服欺骗犹大! (创38:14)我们必自食其果。主啊,请使我们纯洁和做诚实的人。
  1. 在创世记先祖的故事提醒着我们神的恩典和主权。在这重要戏中的男女主角都不是完全的,但主仍然使用他们来完成自己的旨意。这并不代表神允许他们犯罪,因为他们的罪行最终将被揭示和受到审判。但它代表神可以用这世上软弱的事物来完成自己的目的(哥前1:26-31)。感谢主,请帮助我们不要玷污袮美好的名声,但能这个世界上完成袮的旨意。