“11 Judah then said to his daughter-in-law Tamar, ‘Live as a widow in your father’s household until my son Shelah grows up.’ For he thought, ‘He may die too, just like his brothers.’ So Tamar went to live in her father’s household.12 After a long time Judah’s wife, the daughter of Shua, died. When Judah had recovered from his grief, he went up to Timnah, to the men who were shearing his sheep, and his friend Hirah the Adullamite went with him.13 When Tamar was told, ‘Your father-in-law is on his way to Timnah to shear his sheep,’ 14 she took off her widow’s clothes, covered herself with a veil to disguise herself, and then sat down at the entrance to Enaim, which is on the road to Timnah. For she saw that, though Shelah had now grown up, she had not been given to him as his wife.”NIV
“For she saw that, though Shelah had now grown up, she had not been given to him as his wife” (14b).
Judah gave a false assurance to Tamar. He implied that he would give her his son,Shelah, in marriage, when the boy was grown up. But, when it came to it, he did not arrange the marriage. It seems he never intended to. If Onan was motivated by self-centredness, it was fear turning Judah’s wheels – at least it was at this point. Fear can make one selfish.
Well, there is more than one way to lie.
Dishonesty should play no part in the life of one who is a new creation in Christ:
‘’You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbour, for we are all members of one body’’ (Ephesians 4:25);
“Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator” (Colossians 3:9, 10).
In Christ, we should and we can be honest. We have the resources. We do have the ‘power under the bonnet.’ Truthfulness is one of the hallmarks of the new creation.
It is interesting to note that, as in the story of Jacob, so it is with Judah, that he who deceived is about to be deceived. We reap what we sow.