Tomorrow we will look a little more closely at the detail of this chapter. But for today, I’d like to share a couple of ‘overview’ quotes. They deal more with the big picture, rather than the detail:
‘This chapter gives an account of Judah and his family, and such an account it is, that it seems a wonder that of all Jacob’s sons, our Lord should spring out of Judah, Hebrews 7:14. But God will show that his choice is of grace and not of merit, and that Christ came into the world to save sinners, even the chief. Also, that the worthiness of Christ is of himself, and not from his ancestors. How little reason had the Jews, who were so called from this Judah, to boast as they did, John 8:41. What awful examples the Lord proclaims in his punishments, of his utter displeasure at sin! Let us seek grace from God to avoid every appearance of sin. And let that state of humbleness to which Jesus submitted, when he came to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself, in appointing such characters as those here recorded, to be his ancestors, endear the Redeemer to our hearts.’ Matthew Henry.
‘Why is this sordid chapter in the Bible? For one thing, we see the contrast between Judah’s sin and Joseph’s victory (chap.39), and we realise the importance of purity.But the main reason is to add another link in the Redeemer’s family tree (v.29; Ruth 4:18-22; Matt.1:3). How gracious God is to mention a prostitute like Tamar in the genealogy of the Saviour!’ Warren W. Wiersbe: ‘With the Word’, p.41.
I would want to add to that, how gracious is God to allow any of us sinners to benefit from the Saviour’s death!! Sin is sin, whatever form it takes, and as F.B. Meyer correctly observes: ‘O my soul, remember that the possibilities of all these sins are latent in thee.’