Genesis 38:1-30

The Sins of Judah

Introduction:

In chapter 49 of Genesis Jacob summons his twelve sons to give a prophecy regarding the future of their lives. It wasn’t always a good report or a time of blessing. For we know Reuben, Jacob’s oldest son was cursed because of his immorality who went up to his father’s bed. (Gen. 49:3,4) Simeon and Levi were also cursed because they were so violent with multiple murders. (Gen. 49:5-7) When it comes to Judah who was so guilty of immorality, you would have expected many curses to come his way; but the opposite is true of him, namely the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ will come from his line. Instead of a curse, Judah’s brothers will praise him and many will bow down to him as a King represented by the strength of a Lion. Rev. 5:5


  1. Married An Unbelieving Wife

  1. Parenthetical chapter

  1. Instead of hearing about the life of Joseph we hear about Judah and his graphic sins.

  2. There is a drastic contrast between chapter 38 and 39 between the sins of Judah and the righteousness of Joseph.

  3. In a more general picture of God’s providence we see how so much intermarrying of pagans led to the slavery in Egypt as a means of punishment for Israel.

  1. Judah’s sins escalate

  1. Marrying a pagan Canaanite woman, Shua.

  2. Shua giving birth to three pagan children – v.7,10; II Cor. 6:14

  3. Application: (Christians marrying unbelievers and Christians dating unbelievers)


  1. Unfaithful Commitment in Finding a Wife for His Sons

  1. Er and Onan marrying the Canaanite Tamar.

  2. Levirate marriage – Turn To: Deuteronomy 25:5-10; and Matthew 22:23-28

  1. Onan avoided impregnating Tamar

  2. Tamar should have been given Judah’s third son, Shelah

  1. Tamar’s Immoral scheme:

  1. She worked out a plan in which she would become pregnant.

  2. She disguised herself as a prostitute. V. 16-18

  3. She becomes pregnant by Judah and Judah pronounces a severe judgment upon her.

  4. She gives a saving defense by using physical evidence v. 18, 25

  1. Judah’s Confession:

  1. Judah recognizes Tamar’s innocence and can no longer cover up his sin.

  2. Judah confesses she is more righteous than he is.

Application: All sin is not alike – Turn To: John 19:1-15

  1. God’s Sovereignty overrules all sinful plots:

  1. Tamar’s life is spared being pregnant from Judah and gave birth to twins, Perez and Zerah who became the ancestor of the Lord Jesus Christ – (Matt. 1:3; Luke 3:33)

  2. Judah’s sin is degenerating in nature from bad to worse.

  3. God’s providence brought good out of evil circumstances – Luke 19:10, (corrupt genealogies: Matt. 19:10,11; 21:31,32; Matt. 15:24; 18:11)

  4. Four women are mentioned in the genealogies of Jesus. Three out of four are guilty of immorality: Tamar – Matt. 1:3; Rahab – Matt. 1:5; Bathsheba - Matt. 1:6; Ruth was a righteous Moabite – Deut.23:3)

  5. None of the genealogies of Genesis mention women – (Gen. 5, 10, 11, 36, and 46) or other Old Testament geologies: I Chron. Chapters 1-4; Ezra 2, 8, 10; Neh. 7, 11, 12. Num. 3, Ruth 4) Luther comments…


Pastor Nick Iamaio, Reformed Presbyterian Church207 South First Street, Fulton, NY 13069

Web Site fultonrpc.org (315-343-1976) 10/25/2015