When You have a Scandalous Past, Does God Still Love You?

For the past couple of Sundays, our pastor has been speaking about the ancestry of Jesus. Normally, to me (because I am SO not a history person), this sounds super boring, but, in actuality, it’s pretty cool.

Alright, here’s some background. Normally, when the Bible lists genealogy, the author only lists men because of their role of head of the household; however, Matthew goes off course a little and lists a couple of women.

Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar,
Perez the father of Hezron,
Hezron the father of Ram,
Matthew 1:3

Wonder why he listed Tamar, Zerah’s mother, when he hasn’t listed anyone else’s mother up to this point?

Let’s find out.

In Genesis 38, we see the story of Tamar, which is really quite interesting. So, Judah had three sons. He found a wife for his first born named Tamar (important), but God found that Er, the first born, was wicked, so he let Er pass away. In that day in age, when a woman’s husband died, and she hadn’t had a son yet, the husband’s brother had to fulfill the duties of the husband (if ya know what I mean). Got it?

So in this case, the second son Onan had to fulfill Er’s duties to give Tamar a son. Onan did not fulfill said duties. Let’s just leave it at that. God saw that he didn’t help provide for her, so God also let him pass away.

Obviously, at this point, we can see the God really has Tamar’s back here.

So Judah (remember- Tamar’s father-in-law) didn’t let his third son even try to provide for her, because he’s thinking that the third son will die like the rest of them. After a while, Judah’s wife died. After he finished grieving, He went up to a sheep shearing festival. When Tamar found this out, she “took off her grieving clothes and put on her red dress,” as our pastor said. Because he didn’t recognize her in her new getup, she seduced him, and she finally got the son she had been needing.

Moral of the story: Tamar’s life was rough and filled with wickedness, an unhappy marriage, sexual abuse, and betrayal.

Matthew put Tamar’s name in here to show that Jesus came from all walks of life. Although there are some great men in his ancestry, there are also tough, real life situations that women lived. It’s like God gave a little shout out to all the girls dealing with these sorts of things. So, if God have his son come from the line of such a woman, he can DEFINITELY love you, scandals and all.

Stay strong.

Neely Bird
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Cover Photo: Isaac

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