Staff and Signet

He said, “What pledge shall I give you?” She replied, “Your signet and your cord and your staff that is in your hand.” So he gave them to her and went in to her, and she conceived by him. Then she arose and went away, and taking off her veil she put on the garments of her widowhood. Genesis 38:1-19

         Judah was a failure as father-in-law to Tamar. He left her without a husband and ensured her vulnerability in that culture. Tamar took matters into her own hands. She tricked Judah by playing the part of a prostitute. For the privilege of laying with her, she asked for two things; his signet and his staff.

         The narrative of the Bible reveals that not much has changed. Every human craves what the signet and staff represented. We often sell our soul to get it.

  • A Signet: A signet was a sign of authority, a raised seal that was used to sign important documents. If you worked for a wealthy person, he gave you his seal to do business on his behalf.

Not knowing that God has sealed me with His favor, not knowing that I am His signet ring (Haggai 2:23), I arm myself with earthbound credentials. I will not remember that I often like Moses. I can stutter, dress like a poor shepherd, but still experience spiritual success because the Spirit of God is speaking through my mouth.

  • A Staff: A staff was a sign of power. Moses used it to part the red sea. Jesus sent out His disciples and told them to take nothing but their staff.

At Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came with power upon the people of God. He is still available to me. He lives in me, after all. If God tells me to speak, my mouth becomes the staff. Use it – and kingdoms fall. If God tells me to be still and pray, my prayers become a staff. Pray – and kingdoms fall. If God tells me to teach, my material becomes my staff. Share the Word – and kingdoms fall.

         Power and authority. In Christ, they are mine, not to do what I want but as His ambassador, sent to do what He wants.

The path to significance outside of You was a painful road. In You, all is mine today. Help me rest in Your provision and then go with boldness. Amen

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