Many of us have been on the verge of our breakthroughs for a very long time. Right on the edge, on the threshold of something great, but every time things seemed to break open, something or someone came and interfered with the events, delaying the birth of our promises!
This sense of weariness, hopelessness, and discouragement engulfed me as I interceded for God’s people. I was on my knees as tears poured out of my eyes and onto my rug.
I cried out:” God! How much longer? How much longer do we have to wait to see Your promises come to pass?! Why do You keep allowing the enemy to rob us of our God-given inheritance? We have been faithful, patient, and obedient! What else do You want us to do?!”
He stopped me before I could say anything else and said: I want you get up and take it by force!
I said: God, what do You mean? Can you show me a Bible passage that speaks of what You Are telling me?
He said: Do you remember Tamar?
I said: Yes, Lord, I do.
Honestly, all I remembered about Tamar was that she pretended to be a prostitute to lay with her father-in-law Judah so that she could get pregnant.
I never stopped and meditated on this passage, also because of its location. It’s right in the middle of Joseph being sold as a slave and then ending up in Potiphar’s home. It doesn’t really flow with the rest of the story. It’s like an interruption, a disruption, an intermission during a play.
Before I could even start reading Tamar’s story, The Lord said:
The location of this passage is not by chance. Just as Tamar’s story doesn’t seem to fit into the flow of the events in Joseph’s life, so some events in your life seem like interruptions and disruptions to my plans, but know that I Am never caught by surprise! Everything fits harmoniously together in my perfect plan, and in the end, all the pieces of the puzzle will fit so seamlessly together that you will not even be able to detect where one piece ends and the other begins! I am The Master Weaver, who weaves the perfect tapestry of your life, and occasionally a different type of thread gets weaved right in between the others. Though they might not match in color or texture, and though you cannot see or understand the whole picture, once it’s complete, you will see why those threads needed to be weaved in between the others.
You will realize that those threads are made of gold, purified, and refined through the hottest of fires, and each time you will look upon them, you will not remember the pain associated with them. You will only admire their brilliance and appreciate their beauty, for I give beauty for ashes!
This is Tamar’s story.
Genesis 38:6-30 NLT
6 In the course of time, Judah arranged for his firstborn son, Er, to marry a young woman named Tamar. 7 But Er was a wicked man in the Lord’s sight, so the Lord took his life. 8 Then Judah said to Er’s brother Onan, “Go and marry Tamar, as our law requires of the brother of a man who has died. You must produce an heir for your brother.”
9 But Onan was not willing to have a child who would not be his own heir. So whenever he had intercourse with his brother’s wife, he spilled the semen on the ground. This prevented her from having a child who would belong to his brother. 10 But the Lord considered it evil for Onan to deny a child to his dead brother. So the Lord took Onan’s life, too.
11 Then Judah said to Tamar, his daughter-in-law, “Go back to your parents’ home and remain a widow until my son Shelah is old enough to marry you.” (But Judah didn’t really intend to do this because he was afraid Shelah would also die, like his two brothers.) So Tamar went back to live in her father’s home.
12 Some years later Judah’s wife died. After the time of mourning was over, Judah and his friend Hirah the Adullamite went up to Timnah to supervise the shearing of his sheep. 13 Someone told Tamar, “Look, your father-in-law is going up to Timnah to shear his sheep.”
14 Tamar was aware that Shelah had grown up, but no arrangements had been made for her to come and marry him. So she changed out of her widow’s clothing and covered herself with a veil to disguise herself. Then she sat beside the road at the entrance to the village of Enaim, which is on the road to Timnah. 15 Judah noticed her and thought she was a prostitute, since she had covered her face. 16 So he stopped and propositioned her. “Let me have sex with you,” he said, not realizing that she was his own daughter-in-law.
“How much will you pay to have sex with me?” Tamar asked.17 “I’ll send you a young goat from my flock,” Judah promised. “But what will you give me to guarantee that you will send the goat?” she asked.18 “What kind of guarantee do you want?” he replied.
She answered, “Leave me your identification seal and its cord and the walking stick you are carrying.” So Judah gave them to her. Then he had intercourse with her, and she became pregnant. 19 Afterward she went back home, took off her veil, and put on her widow’s clothing as usual.
20 Later Judah asked his friend Hirah the Adullamite to take the young goat to the woman and to pick up the things he had given her as his guarantee. But Hirah couldn’t find her. 21 So he asked the men who lived there, “Where can I find the shrine prostitute who was sitting beside the road at the entrance to Enaim?”
“We’ve never had a shrine prostitute here,” they replied.
22 So Hirah returned to Judah and told him, “I couldn’t find her anywhere, and the men of the village claim they’ve never had a shrine prostitute there.”
23 “Then let her keep the things I gave her,” Judah said. “I sent the young goat as we agreed, but you couldn’t find her. We’d be the laughingstock of the village if we went back again to look for her.”
24 About three months later, Judah was told, “Tamar, your daughter-in-law, has acted like a prostitute. And now, because of this, she’s pregnant.”
“Bring her out and let her be burned!” Judah demanded.
25 But as they were taking her out to kill her, she sent this message to her father-in-law: “The man who owns these things made me pregnant. Look closely. Whose seal and cord and walking stick are these?”
26 Judah recognized them immediately and said, “She is more righteous than I am, because I didn’t arrange for her to marry my son Shelah.” And Judah never slept with Tamar again.
27 When the time came for Tamar to give birth, it was discovered that she was carrying twins. 28 While she was in labor, one of the babies reached out his hand. The midwife grabbed it and tied a scarlet string around the child’s wrist, announcing, “This one came out first.” 29 But then he pulled back his hand, and out came his brother! “What!” the midwife exclaimed. “How did you break out first?” So he was named Perez. 30 Then the baby with the scarlet string on his wrist was born, and he was named Zerah.
Tamar was denied twice what was rightfully hers, first by Onan and then by Judas. God never intended for her to remain childless. In fact, that is the reason He took Onan’s life. After waiting years as a widow for that promise to come to pass, she realized that if she didn’t do something about it, it was never going to happen.
Although we might look upon her in a negative light because she pretended to be a prostitute and deceived her father-in-law, we need to realize that she was just taking what was rightfully and legally hers. She was denied her inheritance, but God redeemed her by giving her twins! Perez, who is King David’s ancestor, therefore, Jesus also.
If we know that God Has promised us something, we need to fight for it! We cannot sit around grieving for what it should have been or what was. We need to take off our sackcloth, wear our armor and go after our inheritance! God is on our side; He will give us victory!
The only way to lose our inheritance is to forfeit it by sitting around and not doing anything to take what’s ours! God will accelerate things in our lives! He will give us not just double for our trouble but seven times what was stolen!
Proverbs 6:31 NLT
But if he is caught, he must pay back seven times what he stole, even if he has to sell everything in his house.
Matthew 11:12 AMP
12 From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violent assault, and violent men seize it by force [as a precious prize]
971 biázō – properly, to use power to forcibly seize, laying hold of something with positive aggressiveness. ,971 /biázō (“to advance forcefully”) is only used twice in the NT (both times positively).
973 biastḗs – positive assertiveness; used of the believer living in faith (“God’s inworked persuasions”) guiding and empowering them to act forcefully
Seize It By Force:
726harpázō – properly, seize by force; snatch up, suddenly and decisively – like someone seizing bounty (spoil, a prize); to take by an open display of
This is an updated edition of a post originally published on The Rising of the Esthers
Featured Image by benjamin lehman on Unsplash
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