ISSL Reflections September 25 2022 Genesis 35:22b–26; 38:24–26; 49:10–12 Post 1

I.
I have to say – in my initial reading of this week’s focus Scriptures, I was confused, speechless and wondering where this collection of verses was supposed to lead me. Why jump between these passages?

So, I went back to the theme for this set of 13 lessons, which is God’s call. (Oh, I also read a couple of commentaries.)

I think when we get to Genesis 49:10 (“The scepter shall not depart from Judah”) we see who is “called” to be the agent of the continued workings of God’s call to Abram.

Do you think I might be on the right track?

Let’s read these passages and then see how we can make our way through them.

II.
Genesis 35:22-26 New Revised Standard Version Updated Edition

While Israel lived in that land, Reuben went and lay with Bilhah his father’s concubine, and Israel heard of it.

Now the sons of Jacob were twelve. The sons of Leah: Reuben (Jacob’s firstborn), Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun. The sons of Rachel: Joseph and Benjamin. The sons of Bilhah, Rachel’s maid: Dan and Naphtali. The sons of Zilpah, Leah’s maid: Gad and Asher. These were the sons of Jacob who were born to him in Paddan-aram.

Genesis 38:24-26 New Revised Standard Version Updated Edition

About three months later Judah was told, “Your daughter-in-law Tamar has prostituted herself; moreover, she is pregnant as a result of prostitution.” And Judah said, “Bring her out, and let her be burned.” As she was being brought out, she sent word to her father-in-law, “It was the owner of these who made me pregnant.” And she said, “Take note, please, whose these are, the signet and the cord and the staff.” Then Judah acknowledged them and said, “She is more in the right than I, since I did not give her to my son Shelah.” And he did not lie with her again.

Genesis 49:10-12 New Revised Standard Version Updated Edition

The scepter shall not depart from Judah,
nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet,
until tribute comes to him,
and the obedience of the peoples is his.
Binding his foal to the vine
and his donkey’s colt to the choice vine,
he washes his garments in wine
and his robe in the blood of grapes;
his eyes are darker than wine
and his teeth whiter than milk.

III.
In Genesis 35:23-26 we see a listing of the sons of Jacob/Israel. Note that Reuben is the oldest. In what I have read of that culture (as in so many other cultures) the oldest son was the prime inheritor of the father’s property, prestige and authority. We read earlier that this is not always the case in the Scriptural narrative. Remember the account of Esau and Jacob were we read, “the elder shall serve the younger” (Genesis 25:23)

So do we know why Judah has the “scepter” and not Reuben?

I guess, given the Scriptures in front of us this week, we might think it is because, “Reuben went and lay with Bilhah his father’s concubine …

But wait, what of this mention of Judah’s daughter-in-law, “Judah was told, “Your daughter-in-law Tamar has prostituted herself; moreover, she is pregnant as a result of prostitution.” Then his “command” that she be burned, and her sending the “the signet and the cord and the staff” to Judah and letting him know, “It was the owner of these who made me pregnant.”

Going back to Genesis 35:12-19 we discover the signet, cord and staff belonged to Judah. When Tamar confronts Judah with this, he acknowledged, “She is more in the right than I, since I did not give her to my son Shelah.”

Family histories get complicated? Yes?

Maybe this is the place to quote Romans 3:22-23, “For there is no distinction, since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

Yet, God continues to call us to his covenant of blessing and grace?

Where do you see grace in your life today?

charles
{ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est}


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.