BSF Study Questions Romans Lesson 26, Day 5: Romans 14:19-23

Summary of passage:  Paul reiterates getting along with others.  Don’t destroy someone’s belief over petty issues like food.  Avoid causing your brother to fail.  Keep your beliefs to yourself and don’t shame others into your beliefs.

Questions:

13)  It could cause others to stumble, feel shame and guilt and begin to doubt God and potentially sin.

14)  “Make every effort to do what leads to peace and mutual edification.”  “Keep your beliefs about these issues between yourself and God.”

15)  “It is better for the stronger believer to not eat meat or drink wine or do anything else that will cause your brother to fall.”  The weaker believer should not “condemn himself by what he approves.”

16)  Personal Question.  My answer:  This has nothing to do with straying from God but the one thing I can think of is having candy in the house.  My kids eat candy and I don’t but my husband, who is trying to lose weight, can’t resist it. I’m becoming more cognizant of what I’m buying so he won’t stumble.

Conclusions:  Important passage.  We need to put others’ needs first.  Whether it’s not drink around those who struggle with drunkenness or not eat certain foods around those struggling with their weight/health.  It’s being considerate of others at its foundation.

End Notes:  Paul is not talking about catering to legalism here such as eating certain foods.

Keep your faith between yourself and God. You don’t have to parade it around weak Christians.  You can keep your standards and convictions.  However, you’re not permitted to flaunt it around others.

There are things God may challenge us to give up, but we go on approving them in our life – thus we condemn ourselves. It may not be that the thing itself is clearly good or bad, but it is enough that God speaks to us about the matter.

Each of us must ask: “God, what is there in my life hindering a closer walk with You? I want to know the happiness that comes from not condemning myself by what I approve in my life.” This takes faith, because we often cling to hindering things because we think they make us happy. Real happiness is found being closer and closer to Jesus, and by not being condemned by what we approve.

If we are troubled by something, it is likely sin, not faith.  We can check ourselves when we tend to justify things we permit this way.

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BSF Study Questions Romans Lesson 26, Day 2: Romans 14:1-8

Summary of passage:  Accept those who are new believers and fail without looking down on him or condemning him.  The Lord will strengthen him.  We all belong to the Lord and God knows our heart for what we do.

Questions:

3)  Without passing judgment.

4)  Whether to eat meat or not to eat meat.  Disputable is open to debate whether it is acceptable or not meaning there is no agreement.  Forbidden are those things that are outlawed, meaning there is a majority agreement on what is acceptable or not.

5)  God is the standard and we are to live for Him.  Both the weak and the strong should be motivated to serve the Lord and give thanks for His provision.

Conclusions:  Acceptance is the theme here.  Mankind is messy.  All of us.  We are all equal.  None of us is better than the other.  Paul reminds us to accept each other and let God handle the rest.

End Notes:  Paul warns us not to judge others whose faith is weak, usually a newer Christian or one ignorant of God’s ways.  He was probably addressing Jewish Christians in Rome who were continuing to observe the hallmarks of Jewish identity, such as dietary restrictions and the keeping of the Sabbath and other special days.  Their concern was not the same as that of the Judaizers of Galatia  They Judaizers thought they could put God in their debt by works of righteousness and were trying to force this heretical teaching on the Galatian churches, but the “weak” Roman Christians did neither.  They were wrestling with the status of the Old Testament regulations under the new covenant that Christ ushered in.

In Paul’s mind, the weak brother is the stricter one due to their legalistic attitudes and lack of love towards others.

Undoubtedly these weak ones did not see themselves as such. They probably saw the meat eaters as weak.  Legalism has a way of making us think that we are strong and those who don’t keep the rules the way we do are weak.

Paul reminds us it is God’s job to judge, not ours.  We must rise above these petty arguments and be united in our faith in Christ.  Christians do not agree on all matters pertaining to the Christian life, nor do they need to.  Fellowship should not be based on agreement.

By bringing in the aspect of observing certain days, Paul is talking more about principles than specific issues. It’s up to the conscience of the individual. But whatever we do, we must be able to do it to the Lord, not using “conscience” as an excuse for obviously sinful behavior.

From birth to death, we are connected to one another and we are to live for the Lord always.

BSF Study Questions John Lesson 26, Day 2: John 19:18-22

Summary of passage:  Jesus was crucified between 2 criminals.  A sign reading “Jesus of Nazareth, The King of the Jews” hung above Jesus.  It was written in Latin, Greek and Aramaic.

Questions:

3)  “Jesus of Nazareth, The King of the Jews”.  Because he wasn’t the King of the Jews according to the religious leaders and it felt like Pilate was mocking the Jews.

4)  Psalm 72:1, 8, 11, 17:  Jesus bring justice, righteousness, rule over earth, all will bow down to him, and his name will endure forever.

Matthew 2:1-2, 6:  Jesus was born king of the Jews to shepherd Israel.

John 4:42:  Jesus is the savior of the world.

John 6:51:  Jesus gives eternal life with his death.

John 11:51-52:  Jesus died for all to bring them together and make them one.

Revelation 5:9:  Jesus saved all with his blood.

Jesus is King over all and it was written in all the possible languages anyone who witnesses his death would know so all would know he had come to save all of them.  Jesus’ death is meant to save all.

5)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  Jesus took away our sins with his death, forgiving us, and giving us eternal life with God.  There is nothing else in this world more important.  It gives me meaning and purpose to do His will.

Conclusions:  Jesus died for all our sins.  Painfully and sacrificially. He has always been and will always be our king.

End Notes:  Crucifixion:  The Persians invented crucifixion, but one could say that the Romans perfected it and made it an institution. It was practiced by the Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Macedonians, and the Egyptians as well.  It was the form of execution reserved for the worst criminals and the lowest classes. It was so dreaded in the pre-Chrisitian era that the cares and troubles of life were often compared to a cross.  Crucifixion was designed to make the victim die publically, slowly, with great pain and humiliation. This was the form of death God ordained for Jesus to die, and the death that He submitted to in the will of God.

Crucifixion was so awful and degrading that polite Romans wouldn’t talk about it in public. The Roman statesman Cicero said of crucifixion: “It is a crime to bind a Roman citizen; to scourge him is an act of wickedness; to execute him is almost murder: What shall I say of crucifying him? An act so abominable it is impossible to find any word adequately to express.” The Roman historian Tacitus called crucifixion “A torture fit only for slaves.”

In Ancient Times everyone knew how tortuous crucifixion was.  John and the other Gospel writers did not have to spell it out for us so they didn’t.  Plus, they wanted to convey the facts and not get bogged down in the emotions of the moment.  Plus, Jesus suffered both spiritually and physically so describing the physicality of crucifixion would take away from the much more important spiritual aspect.  Roman citizens were exempt from crucifixion.

According to Dr. William Edwards in the Journal of the American Medical Association, death from crucifixion could come from many sources: acute shock from blood loss, being too exhausted to breathe any longer, dehydration, stress-induced heart attack, or congestive heart failure leading to a cardiac rupture.  When a person is suspended by two hands, the blood sinks rapidly into the lower extremities.  Blood pressure drops and heart rate speeds up.  If the victim did not die quickly enough, the legs were broken, and the victim was soon unable to breathe and died of suffocation.  However, this usually took 2-3 days to die.  The body was usually left as a deterrent to criminals.  It would decompose and be eaten by animals.

Constantine outlawed the practice in 337 AD out of veneration for Christ.  However, the Japanese adopted it in the 1500’s and it is still legal in some countries today as a method of capital punishment.  The word excruciating comes from the Latin word for crucify.

Jesus was crucified alongside other sinners.  One was saved, the other lost.  So it goes throughout all of time.

A placard  was according to Roman custom. The crime was written out and the title hung around the victim’s neck as he carried his cross to the place of death.  The title was then placed at the top of the cross so all would know the reason for the crucifixion and be warned what happens to criminals.  The execution took place outside of city walls and probably along a popular road so the max amount of people would see it.

Jesus’ crime was who he was.  He didn’t do anything.

Aramaic was for the common folk and Jews.  Latin was for the learned.  Greek was for the Greeks.  The three languages in use at the time and place of Jesus’ death.  This would serve as a model that all are intended for Jesus’ message, death, and salvation.

The religious leaders objected because they didn’t believe Jesus was the king of the Jews and if he was, it was insulting to the Jewish people.  Pilate stood by his pronouncement and once the sentence had been pronounced, it was against Roman law to change it.  John recording this shows Jesus kingship is final and unalterable.

BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 26, Day 5: Revelation 21:1-8

Summary of passage: After the final judgment, John sees a new heaven and a new earth and a new Jerusalem come from heaven. God will dwell with men here and be their God. The old order has passed, vanquishing death, pain, tears, and mourning. God declares all to be new and He who believes shall inherit the new earth while the unbelieving rot in the fiery lake of burning sulfur.

Questions:

10)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  God will live with believers, be His people, and He will be their God.  There will be no more tears, death, or pain.  It is an awesome thought that one day we’ll all be in God’s presence.  It makes the heartaches of this world not hurt quite so much.

11)  God created the world, Jesus sacrificed His life for our sins, and God will dwell with man for eternity.  Obviously with no world we wouldn’t exist.  With no Jesus we’d be hopeless.  With no eternity life would be meaningless.  It teaches us God’s greatness, compassion, mercy, and love for all of mankind.

12a)  Only those who don’t choose Him suffer a second death instead of all of us.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  None truly.  I let God handle it and I let Him guide me around unbelievers.  I worry about nothing in this world (Philippians 4:6).

Note:  We just had this question in 5d, Day 2 & 3.

Conclusions:  Lackluster and disappointing.  Nothing new here.

End Notes:  See YESTERDAY’S post.

BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 26, Day 2 & Day 3: Revelation 20:11-15

Summary of passage:  Jesus sits on the great white throne in judgment of all according to what they had done on earth.  Those whose names are found in the book of life (believers) are saved.  The rest are thrown into the lake of fire for the second death for all of eternity.

Questions:

3)  Jesus and he is God so he has every right.  Also, God gives him the right.  A more complete answer is the Triune God.  See also (John 5:22-27)

4)  “Earth and sky fled from his presence” as there was no place for them anymore.

5a)  Books that hold the deeds unsaved people have done while on earth which God/Jesus will use to justify His judgment.

b)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  Believers.  Yes.  Because I have accepted Jesus as my Savior.

Context Note:  In Psalm, the they is “foes” from Psalm 69:18 or “enemies” from Psalm 69:19 so David’s foes or enemies who are unrighteous.

c)  Second death is judgment and eternal damnation for unbelievers, which results in a permanent banishment from God’s presence. (Isaiah 65:17; Psalm 88:5).  First death is when we all die physically.  Revelation 21:8 identifies them as “The cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars”.  This also includes the Antichrist, the False Prophet, Satan, the fallen angels, Death, and Hades.

d)  Personal Question.  My answer:  We’ve been asked this so many times it’s ridiculous.  Yes and tell them about Jesus. (Lesson 19 Day 3, Lesson 15 Day 4, Lesson 13 Day 5, Lesson 7 Day 2)

6)  Personal Question.  My answer:  God is just and I don’t need to worry for He has it all.  I am saved. Others need to be saved.

Context Note:  Not sure why we read the Romans passage if the question asks us about the Revelation passage.  It really doesn’t add anything to the context.

Conclusions:  I have nothing positive to say, so I won’t say anything.  Do this passage in one day.  It’s easy enough.  Most of these questions can be answered without looking up the reference passages if you so choose.

End Notes:  Great is “great”, white is purity and holiness, throne is sovereignty.  No one can escape the judgment (why there is no where for the sky and earth to go).  Hebrews 1:10-12 & 2 Peter 3:10 tell us this world will perish and pass away as this world is no longer needed when Jesus comes.

Will believers be at this Great White Throne?  Almost all scholars say no because believers sins are already judged by Jesus’s death at the cross.  This is for the unbelievers.  Believers are judged but right after the first physical death.  This is told to us in 2 Corinthians 5:10 (judgment seat of Christ).

Paul elaborates on this in  1 Corinthians 3:12-15 where our works and motives will be judged.  There will be no punishment, however, only rewards.  This scene is punishment, a sentencing, consequences handed out, not a trial.  This is for the condemned, unbelievers.  There will be no words, no “telling God anything”.  There will only be the righteousness and goodness of God and the unbelievers rejection of Him.  When believers die, they go into the immediate presence of the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:6-8; Philippians 1:23).

There are degrees of punishment meted out here based on the sins unbelievers committed on earth.  Other passages that speak to judgment based on works is:  Psalm 62:12; Jeremiah 17:10; Romans 2:6; 1 Peter 1:17, and many more.

The “sea gave up the dead” is referenced unburied bodies.  Again, emphasis on no escape from God’s judgment.

“Death and Hades” are the final vestiges of sin.  Sin is now completely done away with forever and both are no longer needed.

The Bible uses 3 main words to describe the idea of “hell” or the lake of fire:

1)  Hebrew Sheol means “the grave”

2)  Hades which is a Greek word and where the Ancient Greeks believed all dead went. Remember parts of the Bible were originally written in Ancient Greek.  It means “world beyond.”  In Revelation 9:1 we see the Greek abyssos or Abyss or Bottomless pit.  It is a prison for demons (Luke 8:31; 2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6).  Paul uses it in Romans 10:6.  It is where the souls of the unsaved go until Judgment Day and is temporary which is why it will be cast into the lake of fire as well.

To make Hades even more complicated:   Once consisting of two compartments as the abode of all departed souls whether saved or unsaved (Luke 16:19-31), when Christ died and His spirit descended into Hades (Ephesians 4:9) proclaiming victory to the evil spirits incarcerated there (1 Peter 3:19), He resurrected with the souls of those who died in faith (Ephesians 4:8; Matthew 27:52-53).

3)  Gehanna, another Greek word, used by Jesus in Mark 9:43-44.  In Hebrew it means “valley of Hinnom” and is where we get our English word “hell” from.  It is a place where child sacrifices to Molech took place.  This is the hell we think of and currently it is unoccupied until the great white throne room and final judgment.  Other uses:  2 Chronicles 28:1-3; Jeremiah 32:35.

Eternal separation from God is the ultimate punishment.  Can you imagine even now living in a world without God?  Imagine a world where Jesus reigns but you are in hell!  Horrible doesn’t even describe it. Saying “tormented day and night for ever and ever”  (Revelation 20:10) is the best description and even that is hard to imagine!

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 26, Day 4: Deuteronomy 12-16

End Notes: My end notes will only cover the passages we are asked questions about. It is too many chapters to do in one week.

Summary of passages:  Deuteronomy 12:  Moses tells the people to destroy all the altars to other gods, burn their Ashram poles, and cut down their idols.  Don’t worship God in the way the pagans worshipped their gods.  The people shall rest once they have finished defeating the pagans.  Then God will chose the place they will worship Him and they are to bring their offerings to Him there.  Moses says they may kill animals but never eat their blood.  They are to eat their tithe only in the presence of the Lord.  Do exactly what God says to do without adding or detracting in any way.

Deuteronomy 13:  Do not believe false prophets who try to lead you into worshipping other gods.  This is a test sent by the Lord to test your heart.  That prophet must be put to death for his crimes.  If your brother, sister, son or daughter try to lead you to other gods, they must be put to death as well.  If people in your town are leading you astray, they must be killed and the town destroyed along with all the livestock as a burnt offering to the Lord.

Deuteronomy 14:  Lists clean and unclean food the Israelites could eat (repetition of Leviticus 11).  Moses reminds the Israelites about tithing.  Set aside one tenth of your produce each year for the Lord to eat in His presence or exchange it for silver if you live far away to but items at the tabernacle to be consumed in the Lord’s presence.  Every three years the tithes are to be stored for the Levites, aliens, orphans, and widows to live on.

Deuteronomy 15:  Review of Jubilee year (Leviticus 25), freeing servants (Leviticus 25), and setting aside the firstborn animal for God (Exodus 13).

Deuteronomy 16:  Review of the Passover Festivals, Feast of Weeks and the Feast of Tabernacles (Leviticus 23).   Moses tells the people to appoint judges for each tribe in every town.

Questions:

9a)  Destroy completely all the places where the nations worshipped their gods.  Break down their altars, smash their sacred stones, and burn their Ashram poles.  Cut down their idols and wipe out their names from those places.

b)  Because only in that place would the presence of God dwell.  The people are to worship in His presence.  Otherwise, they wouldn’t be worshipping with God.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Worship is to be taken seriously and if God is not invited in and not present, then it’s meaningless.  We are to worship Him and He is to receive it.  Going through the motions is unacceptable to God.

10)  Part Personal Question.  My answer:  False prophets, relatives (brother, son, daughter, wife or other relatives), and townspeople (wicked men).  Honestly, they don’t trouble me because I don’t associate with them.  False prophets are easy to spot.  My relatives are mostly believers and the ones that aren’t aren’t close to me.  I also don’t associate with friends who would lead me astray (Admittedly, I don’t have much contact with the outside world so my connections are limited).

Conclusions:  Loved the emphasis on worshipping God where He is and taking it seriously.  Question 10 was a toss-out.  I am a very strong personality, very strong beliefs, and am very opinionated and not afraid to say it.  So it’s hard for me to be influenced by others.

Much of this passage was review of Leviticus.  Thank goodness!

End Notes:  Deuteronomy 12:  The destroying of the places of worship went completely against contemporary practice.  In the ancient world, it was difficult to build buildings and time consuming.  They had only simple tools and machines.  Nothing like we have today.  So the ancients would re-use buildings and if one empire conquered another, they’d simply remove the old temple’s accessories and replace it with theirs.  Not here.  God wanted no part in a building not meant for Him.

As usual, the Israelites did not fully follow these rules and tear down the places.  Hundreds of years later in a temple renovation a priest discovered the Book of the Law (scholars believe it was a copy of Deuteronomy), which resulted in a renewed vigor for God (2 Kings 22-23).  God’s work never ceases to mystify–how He uses disobedience for obedience hundreds of years later.

The Israelites had been doing their own thing with regards to worship.  “No more,” God says.  “Once you are settled, there will be a place dedicated to me.”  Rejoicing is commanded, both here and in the New Testament (Philippians 4:4; 1 Thessalonians 5:16).

Animals could be killed for purposes of meat only.  It didn’t have to be just for a sacrifice.

Tragically, the Israelites were infected by the Canaanite worship of their god, Molech, that demanded children as sacrifices.  From Solomon on, the worship of Molech is recorded and was a systemic problem throughout Israel’s history.  One can only wonder what would have happened if the Israelites had done as the Lord said–destroyed the people and their places of worship and followed Him whole-hearted.  Wonder if earth would be any better off?

Deuteronomy 13:  It is rare for God to speak solely through a dream.  One must look for confirmation of that dream.  Deuteronomy 18:22 speaks of the easier one to discern:  a dreamer whose prediction does not come to pass.  Here we examine a dreamer whose prediction does come to pass but then tries to turn you away from God.  This is a test from God of your heart for Him.

Jesus warns in Mark 16:17 that signs follow believers; believers are not to follow signs as Satan will arrive, performing miracles (2 Thessalonians 2:9).

We must remember ancient Israel was a theocracy where the civil laws matched the religious laws.  Hence, some penalties that seem harsh to us today were permitted by God before Jesus came and ushered in the New Covenant.  Israel was the only true theocracy sanctioned by the One, True God.  Some say some Islamic countries are theocracies but non of them are pure–some secular laws are in existence there.

As we studied in Matthew 10:37 last year, God is above family.  The same is here.  Leading someone away from the Almighty is punishable by death since God is the giver of eternal life, you essentially have damned them.  Again, casting of the first stone is seen here as well.  (See also Matthew 18:6).

“Detestable” used to be translated “abomination”, which is a much stronger word and much more correct in translation.  It meant anything God could not stand and was impure, unholy, and unclean.

By destroying all within the city, it ensured no one would profit from the ruin of the city.  This deterred false reports.

The city was to remain a ruin forever.  Archaeologists believe these ruins (known as tel or tells) are the towns mentioned here.  Click HERE and HERE for examples.

Map Showing the King’s Highway and Israel’s Camp:  http://www.biblenews1.com/maps/moabcamp.gif

Time Fact to Complete This Lesson:  3 days and 4 hours.

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 26, Day 5: Genesis 38

Summary of passage:  After Joseph was sold to the Midianites, Judah left his family and went to Adullam.  He married a Canaanite woman names Shua and had 3 sons with her–the last of which was born in Kezib.  When Judah’s first-born son grew up (Er), he married a woman named Tamar.  But Er was so wicked that the Lord put him to death.

Onan, the second-born of Judah, now was ordered to sleep with Tamar since it was law back then to produce heirs for the line.  Onan refused and the Lord killed him too.

Tamar went to live in her father’s house until the third son, Shelah, was grown.  However, Tamar was not given to Shelah when he had come of age so Tamar dresses up as a prostitute in order to trick Judah into sleeping with her.  He does indeed sleep with her and she conceives twin boys.  She keeps his seal, cord, and staff in order to prove he is the father to avoid being accused of prostitution and put to death.  Judah admits he was wrong in not giving her Shelah so spares her life.

Their names are Perez and Zerah.

Questions:

12)  We see in Genesis 34:1 that Dinah apparently was a girl of the town who “visited the women of the land” frequently.  We see the horrendous retribution by Simeon and Levi wiping the town of Shechem from the map.  Joseph was sold to slavery by all the brothers in Genesis 37.  And now Judah marries a Canaanite.

13)  The whole family might have become pagans once again and the line to Jesus would have been tainted forever.  Belief in the One, True God could have vanished all together and God would have had to start all over again.  Remember, those who believed in God at this time were all from Abraham’s family.  And not that many generations have passed since then.  Perhaps hundreds?  Maybe a thousand people believed in God.

It’s not hard to imagine how these people could be swallowed up by the corruption and unbelief around them.

14)  No.  Judah.  Judah shouldn’t have married a Canaanite.  Period.  When God kills two of your three sons that should have been a hint that you made a mistake.  However, like Rachel, Tamar resorted to trickery to get what should have been rightfully hers.  This is not good in God’s eyes.  But I can’t help but wonder in ancient times how women had little other means to do anything.  Not that their behavior is justified.  But it is understandable considering women were mere property back then.

Furthermore, Judah wasn’t following the law either by refusing to give Tamar to Shelah. Judah held all the power in his hands to do what was right and he refused.

15a)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Perhaps she came to believe in the Lord and back then there wasn’t a lot of believers in the One, True God to choose from as husbands.

However, this question may be misguided and makes a lot of assumptions.  How do we know she had her own friends and opportunities for marriage?  Tamar was now a widow and she had no land or anything to go with that status.  She had also married outside of her culture.  Normally, this causes a rift between her and her “friends” and family so she may have been labeled as an outcast.

Furthermore, as a widow, it was Judah, NOT her father, who now decided whom she should marry.  Only he could give her in marriage and provide a dowery.  And from what Tamar was seeing, it appeared Judah’s intentions were to leave her with her father for the rest of her life.

Well, an unmarried woman and childless in that culture was an outcast period.  She’d have no son to provide for her and would have no purpose outside of the marriage realm. She was facing a bleak future and hence took matters into her own hands.  Can anyone blame her?

In conclusion, I don’t think she had any other opportunities to marry.  I think this question is wrong in asserting that.  I think she had no friends either.  Her former friends were probably all married now with a family of their own.  And as a mother we all know once you have kids it is difficult to maintain friendships with your single friends who have no kids simply because you have nothing in common any more with them.  I think this is more likely the case.

Like I said, there weren’t a lot of other believers out there to marry at this time.  I believe she was stuck between a rock and a hard place and didn’t like either one.

It was obvious the Lord was with her.  If she was a believer, she could have been praying for a solution to her problem.  She probably acted before He answered.  But He never abandoned her and He blessed her in a way only we know (by being in Christ’s line). Amazing!

b)  Ruth, who was a Gentile as well, accepted the Lord as her God after her marriage to Ruth’s son. She would not turn back to her people who were unbelievers and who worshipped other gods.  Rahab has heard of God’s power and abilities and although it doesn’t say if she was a believer when at this time when she protected the two spies, she reveres God enough to get on his side and not the side of her people.

Tamar seems to be the same way.  She probably was converted when she was married to Er and would not turn her back on God no matter what happened to her.

16)  Judah sent Tamar back to her father to live because he thought “he may die too like his brothers” (verse 11) and then refused to give her Shelah, probably out of fear he would be stricken by the Lord as well (verse 14).    Verse 26 is where Judah mentions she is more righteous than him for her actions.

17)  Personal Question.  My answer:  First because her story takes up a whole chapter in Genesis.  And her actions were righteous and because of them we have Jesus.  Her story is an example of following the law.  If it hadn’t of been for Tamar’s actions, there would have been no Jesus.  She was responsible for conceiving, not Judah.  Hence, I believe she is mentioned in recognition of that fact.

Conclusions:  We look at some powerful women in this lesson that clung to God despite all the hardships involved.  For supposedly a “weak” lot, women play a powerful role in God’s world even when in man’s she is nothing.

Onan was more than happy to have sex with Tamar but didn’t want her to have a child that would not be considered his.  He was shirking the law and for that he is judged.

We must remember God caused Tamar to conceive.  It was His will that she carry the line even if she used deception.  Just like Rebekah and Jacob.  God is in control despite all man’s doings.

Both Tamar and Judah are shining examples of God’s grace.  Neither was worthy to be the heir of Jesus but they were both chosen by God to be so.  Despite our sins, God loves us anyways and uses us in powerful ways.

End Note:  I had never drawn the conclusion that Jacob and his family were meant to get out of Canaan for a bit in order to escape the pagans around them.  I had always assumed that they only went to Egypt for food.  Now I see God’s wisdom and purposes in a new light.

It is just absolutely amazing how God has everything planned and how we may only see one purpose (like the need for food); whereas, God has infinitely more (like getting them out of Canaan to protect them).  Good to remember in my life as well.

Map of Timnah, Bethel, and Adullum:  http://bibleatlas.org/full/timnah.htm

Adullum is beneath Timnah to the right a bit.  Bethel is in the upper-right hand corner in the brown.  So Judah left Bethel where his family had been staying, went to Adullum and got married, then went up to Timnah to shear his sheep.  The place where Tamar waited for Judah, Enaim, is right outside of Timnah on maps I found.