I’m using the esv.com “through the Bible in a year” plan this year, and January 16th finds me at the Judah Interlude. You know that one story that cuts into the story of Joseph being sold as a slave in Egypt and being sold to the house of Potiphar.
It just sort of hits you when you come to it. Why would this story of wickedness be a part of the book of Genesis? A story of incest and prostitution between Judah and Tamar… A strange ending with the babies, Perez and Zerah… It just doesn’t fit.
And then the story of Joseph resumes. He’s sold into the house of Potiphar. I’m sure that my five year old could tell me the story of Joseph. She may leave out some details, but I bet she knows enough to give me the idea of all that happened to him. She probably would even recall that Joseph had to run from Potiphar’s wife because she was being “mean to him.”
But how does this other story break into the action?
My takeaway, which is probably NOT what I’m supposed to get from this passage, is that while God is involved in each of our lives, he is also involved in others. That may sound obvious, but often I see God working around me. Other times, I see Him working in others folks. The reality, is that he is working in all things for His purpose.
While God was getting Joseph in place, he also was involved in the story of Tamar and Judah. Perez who “pushed” past his twin brother Zerah later became a part of the messianic line that led to Boaz and Ruth, to King David, and ultimately to Jesus.
Skeptics of the Bible, why would stories like this be included if the men who penned the stories weren’t inspired by God Himself.