About three months later Judah was told, “Tamar your daughter-in-law has been immoral. Moreover, she is pregnant by immorality.” Genesis 38:24
Why, in the middle of the story of Joseph, does God bring in the story of Judah and Tamar? Isn’t it out of place? This tiny story is really the stunning focal point of the whole book. Here’s why.
Through Tamar’s offspring would come King David’s ancestral line. Without her pregnancy, Judah’s line would be extinct. In essence, Joseph’s rise to power made a way for Tamar’s child to get to Egypt! Perez, her son, was able to live outside of famine and grow to prosper. Ten generations after him would birth a shepherd boy who would become King.
How well do I handle God’s interruptions? When He leads me on a detour, or so I believe it to be, how willing am I to trust Him? For all I know, the detour provides the next doorway to my future. God hasn’t laid down His sovereign rule over my life; He has exercised it. Just because I can’t see the value of His interruption doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.
Getting older yields many gifts. One of them is the privilege of looking back at a large chunk of my life to see the fingerprints of God. The places of pain that I thought were wasted were invaluable. Some of the places that God took me (and I mourned all the way there), were places of blessed connections. How well I remember God’s words in Hosea. ‘I’m calling you to the desert to speak tenderly to you there.’ Desert equals disruption if I look at it from my limited viewpoint. But desert really equals a life-defining moment when God is there to speak into my life.
Against what are you straining today? Perhaps your trust in the Shepherd has eroded because of the place he’s taken you. What appears to be a meaningless detour never is when God has you by the hand. Do the very thing I failed to do so many years ago. Embrace the place you are in, by faith, and ask God to give you eyes to see the treasures under the rocks.
You don’t make detours. Amen