Litmus Test by Christy Fay

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Litmus Test
Series: Reclaimed - Uncovering Your Worth
Week 2: Peripeteia: Tamar - Day 1
Christy Fay
Genesis 37, 38, 39

[per-uh-pi-tahy-uh, -tee-uh] noun
1. a sudden turn of events or an unexpected reversal, especially in a literary work.

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light (1 Peter 2:9 NIV). 

This week marks the beginning of our focus on the women from the genealogy of Jesus. I am excited about studying these women with you over the next five weeks. I believe, with my whole heart, that they, although living in a much different time than our own, have much to teach us. We will discover countless ways that their victories and struggles mirror our own.

Having said that, let’s begin with the very first woman our eyes meet on the page of Matthew 1, a woman by the name of Tamar. Let’s familiarize ourselves with her somewhat obscure story found in Genesis 38 and take a moment to glance over both Genesis 37 and Genesis 39 to get the context for her story. There is no need to read all of chapters 37 and 39; just take a look at some of the headings to learn how this story fits into the overall narrative of Genesis. Of course, if you want to read these chapters, go right ahead. 

Briefly summarize chapter 37 below. Who are the main characters?

Briefly summarize what happens in chapter 39. Who are the main characters there? 

I realize that those two chapters may not seem like they connect to Tamar, and so, I thank you for being diligent and taking the time to skim through them. We will come back to their significance later. Now, please take a moment to read through Genesis 38 in its entirety.

Sometimes it can be hard to slog through Scripture. I can remember the summer I turned ten. I attended a Christian sports camp just outside of Toronto, where I was living with my parents at the time. I came home with a newly acquired passion to read the Bible. I asked my mom, ever so enthusiastically, ‘‘Can you get me a Bible? I really want to read the whole thing.’’ Looking back now, I’m sure she held in some laughter at my naive eagerness, but she conceded and bought me one anyway. After all, it’s hard to argue with your daughter when the book she desperately wants is the Bible. I sat down and started voraciously reading, starting the only place I knew to start: the beginning. God made the light, darkness, stars, moon, and animals. ‘‘Good, I’ve got it,’’ I thought. Then He made the people. That was all great stuff, too. My eagerness came to a screeching halt, when I reached Leviticus. I remember thinking, ‘‘I’m done now.’’ Sometimes, I confess, I still feel that way, but Genesis 38 reads ...

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