Tuesday, May 30, 2017
Block 69: Judah
Click HERE: Go to Stitchintree.com to download the draft pattern for this block.
“The Lord works out everything to its proper end… “Proverbs 16:4
Judah was the fourth son of Jacob by his first wife Leah. He grew up with his brothers living a simple life, tending sheep and cattle. Like his brothers, Judah was insanely jealous of his half-brother, Joseph (their father’s favorite). When the brothers conspired to kill Joseph, the oldest brother, Reuben stopped them. They decided to throw Joseph into a pit instead, leaving his fate to God. When Reuben was away, Judah came up with a great idea. He convinced the brothers to sell Joseph into slavery, cover Joseph’s coat with animal blood, and convince Jacob that Joseph had been killed by an animal.
Judah had saved Joseph’s life. But his great idea hardly made up for his previous misdeeds. His troubles had only begun. He married a Canaanite woman and had three sons. He chose a wife (Tamar) for his first son. But this son was so evil that God allowed him to be killed before they produced an heir. So Judah gave Tamar to his second son and asked him to produce an heir for his dead brother. The second son refused, so God allowed him to be killed also. Judah intended to give Tamar to his youngest son when he came of age, but during the interim, Tamar tricked Judah into sleeping with her. She became pregnant and delivered twins. The firstborn, Perez, became the ancestor to King David and the kings of Judah. Most importantly, Jesus Christ could also trace his lineage to Jacob through Perez.
Why would God reward Judah for his atrocious behavior? Well, He didn’t really. God was actually fulfilling the promise that he had made to Abraham. From Judah we learn that God’s will WILL be done, despite man’s sinful nature (remember, the descendants were taken captive by the Babylonians and had 70 years to “cleanse”). So if God’s will be done despite our sinful nature, why should we restrict ourselves to obeying God’s commands? Because he said so! In John 14:15, God says “If you love me, keep my commands.” In faith, we know that God’s commands are for our own good. Life works better when we follow God’s commands.
I chose Blacks & Whites (typically a 2-color block) to represent Judah because his story reminds us that we tend to see actions as Blacks & Whites (good and bad), while God sees beyond the Blacks & Whites to the rainbow of colors within.