Daily Word

More righteous than I | Genesis 38: 20-26

20 When Judah sent the young goat by his friend the Adullamite, to get his pledge [back] from the woman, he was unable to find her. 21 He asked the men of that place, “Where is the temple prostitute who was by the roadside at Enaim?” They said, “There was no prostitute here.” 22 So he returned to Judah, and said, “I cannot find her; also the local men said, ‘There was no prostitute around here.’” 23 Then Judah said, “Let her keep the things (pledge articles) for herself, otherwise we will be a laughingstock [searching everywhere for her]. After all, I sent this young goat, but you did not find her.”

24 About three months later Judah was told, “Tamar your daughter-in-law has played the [role of a] prostitute, and she is with child because of her immorality.” So Judah said, “Bring her out and let her be burned [to death as punishment]!” 25 While she was being brought out, she [took the things Judah had given her and] sent [them along with a message] to her father-in-law, saying, “I am with child by the man to whom these articles belong.” And she added, “Please examine [them carefully] and see [clearly] to whom these things belong, the seal and the cord and staff.” 26 Judah recognized the articles, and said, “She has been more righteous [in this matter] than I, because I did not give her to my son Shelah [as I had promised].” And Judah did not have [intimate] relations with her again.

Genesis 38: 20-26 (AMP)

Payment problems

Judah went into a prostitute in yesterday’s account. The “prostitute” was his daughter-in-law, Tamar, whom he had lied to about giving her his son to uphold the Levirate marriage custom. He sends the promised payment for the sinful sex (at least he had some integrity) but the “prostitute” isn’t there. 

He sends the payment by the hand of his Adullamite friend, Hirah. He’s had this friendship for a long time. Is his purpose friendship evangelism, to witness by his life to his friend that he may believe in the Lord? I don’t think so. He engaged in the same worldly thinking and activities as these pagans did. He had no witness. What a shame.

Pregnancy predicament

Three months later it becomes known that Tamar is pregnant. Judah calls for her to be killed for what she’s done…until he knows the baby is his…and others know also. He declares, “She had been more righteous than I”. Was this a confession and repentance? Or was it just remorse for being caught?

We need to be serious about our confession and repentance. God is a holy God. When we sin, we break the relationship with Him. Christ had to suffer death and separation from the Father for our sin. A weak confession has no effect if there is no heart change.


  • Do we have non-Christian friends? If not, we should. We are called to be salt and light in this world. In Matthew 5:16 Jesus tells us to, “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”
  • Who is influencing who? Are you able to influence those around you for the gospel sake so that the Spirit of God may reach them using your testimony? Or, are they leading you to engage in the same behaviors and thinking as them?
  • Is our confession true? Do we seek heart change, to be pure and holy? [I’m also speaking to myself.]
Lady justice with scale. Image from www.cbc.cam *

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