An Ancestral Advent Day 8: The Son of Judah and Tamar.

Matthew 1:3. Judah the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar.

Pride or humility? Which is your posture as you wait for God? Waiting in seasons of advent reveals who you really are. Will you live each day by faith in your waiting, or will you live each day by the flesh, satisfying your selfish desires while avoiding your responsibilities.  

This is the story of Jesus’ fore parents Judah and Tamar.

Judah the privileged son of Jacob who sold his brother Joseph, forsook his family, failed to love, moved in with the Canaanites, raised two wicked sons, allowing his oldest son to marry a foreign woman named Tamar.

Tamar the widowed daughter in law of Judah. Tamar who should have been provided for by Judah, including being given a new husband from the family line, left in her grief in her father’s house, left without an heir, left without hope, left without justice.

But Tamar in her waiting would faithfully seek justice as she understood it. Disguising herself as a prostitute she will sit along Judah’s path. Not to seduce her father-in-law to humiliate him, but to seek the justice for herself and the community that Judah should have provided. A widow without a son is destitute, despised, and disgraced. Judah was content to leave Tamar that way.

Cowardly Judah.

Courageous Tamar.

Judah lost sight of the promise. He failed to do justice, love mercy, or walk humbly with God. Judah in his “righteousness” was clearly sinning.

Tamar, even in her sinning, was “more righteous than Judah” (Gen. 38:26). Tamar received the promised seed of Judah, found God’s grace and power in that indwelling life, and then shared that life (lives actually – more on that tomorrow) with the world around her.

Thankfully with Jesus we never have to take matters into our own hands like Tamar did. Jesus will always do right by us. His justice will always prevail. He will never leave us in our sorrow, destitute, and alone. He will return for us to take us unto himself.

And so we wait, not as cowardly Judahs, but as courageous Tamars. In Christ, like Tamar we are carrying Christ’s redemption within. His love and justice can be born in us today. May we courageously allow Jesus to be unveiled in our lives this Christmas season.


Are you cowardly or courageous in your waiting? How does knowing Christ is in you allow you to choose righteousness and justice?

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