In verse 3, God takes the life of a wicked man, Er. In verse 4 he rewards Er’s wicked father, Judah, by placing him in the genealogy of Jesus!  What’s up with that?

We don’t even know what Er did that was so wicked. But we do know that Judah betrayed his responsibility to his daughter in law and then bartered with her for sexual favors not knowing who she was. When she became pregnant Judah wanted her stoned for her sin. When she soundly establishes that he is the father, he lets her live, ignores his own guilt and bears two children by her. Allen observes, “In Hebrew law this was incest, for the relationship was within the forbidden degrees of Leviticus 18:15. The Chronicler and his readers knew the ruling of Leviticus 20:12, the death sentence for both parties. This makes his placing the cases of verses 3 and 4 together very striking.”

God’s grace is a mysterious thing! He bestows it upon those he chooses to bestow it upon and he doesn’t ask me for advice. Human failure is woven into God’s ongoing plan for man from the very beginning.  We see it even in the man who’s supposed to be “after God’s own heart,” David.

I believe God wants us to identify with the guilty parties who received God’s grace not with the God who can give or withhold it. You see we are the sinners in the story, we are not the Judge of the rightness or wrongness in the lives of others. We are all Judah, David, Bathsheba and Tamar! In Christ we too have received God’s mysterious grace. Notice the signature verse for the week.

“For God saved us and called us to live a holy life. He did this, not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan from before the beginning of time—to show us his grace through Christ Jesus.”  2 Timothy 1:9