Judah and Tamar (Genesis 38)

Scripture Text:

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Genesis 38


1. When have you been awakened by a friend or family member in need? Likewise, who has been a “3 a.m. friend” for you in your hour of need?

2. Read Deuteronomy 25:5 – 10 on brother-in-law marriages. Why would this law be important for widows in ancient Israel, where they had no welfare system?

3. Do you think Tamar acted morally here? Why or why not? In what sense is Tamar “more righteous” than Judah?

4. Of all the Hebrew tribes, why would God choose Judah for the line of King David and Christ Jesus (see Matthew 1:3, 6, 16), given that tribe’s dubious beginning here?

5. What situations (if any) would ever justify wrong acts to achieve something right? How is your answer supported by Genesis 38?

6. What role (match-maker, sugar daddy, etc.) do you assume in meeting the very real needs of unmarried people in your family? Do you feel the same sense of duty toward the extended family (in-laws, etc.)?

7. Perfection is not a requirement to be a part of God’s purposes. Do you consider any of your sins (sexual or otherwise) as too shameful to allow you to glorify God and fulfill His purposes? Why or why not?

8. When has God brought something good out of a bad situation for you? Where would you like to see some good come out of a bad situation today?


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