This Advent we are looking at the women named
in the genealogy of Christ.
If you are thinking, “How boring!”
There are fascinating treasures here for you.
love for you, despite the fact you fail Him every day.
The first woman mentioned is Tamar,
a woman who used sexual entrapment to get what she wanted.
These are fascinating chapters that have already impacted me,
and caused me experience His holiness and His love.
I can’t wait to do it with you.
Sunday (1st in Advent)
We have been called, as were God’s people of old, to carry His light, to bring justice and mercy to our world. And yet we are so sinful. Can we still expect God to love us, forgive us, and use us? Yes. That is one of the truths that keeps repeating in the women of the genealogy of our Savior. We are broken vessels, but through the cracks shines the light of Christ.
1. What stands out to you from the above and why?
2. Have you ever studied the women in the genealogy of Christ? If so, what do you remember?
3. You already know that they were flawed and broken, yet God used them. What does this mean to you right now?
4. Share any way you have experienced “Immanuel,” God with you, in the last few days.
Monday: Background To Help Us Understand This Shocking Story
When a new pastor comes to a church, his first sermon often shows the congregation what is most important to him, and what he longs to have be important to them as well. With that in mind, let’s consider the first sermon of Jesus.
5. Read Luke 4:14-21
A. What scroll did Jesus unroll? Find find 5 things this prophet said the Messiah would do. B. Challenge question: Jesus stopped in the middle of a sentence. Find out the rest of the sentence from Isaiah 61. Why do you think Jesus stopped?
C. From this passage, what do you think is very important to Jesus?
6. This cry for justice is the cry of every prophet. Perhaps the best known is this one. Reflect on it and share your thoughts.
7. Our merciful God was always looking out for the widow. In biblical days women could not own property and were often reduced to begging or prostitution to survive. What provision did God make for them in Deut. 25:5? In addition to caring for the widow, how did this provision bless the family of their deceased man?
8.We’re going to look at Judah in depth tomorrow, but I find it fascinating that though he failed miserably, I see light often shining out from his broken vessel. Find one instance in Genesis 37:12-27 and find both brokenness and light.
Tuesday: The Shocking Story
If you were with us last week as we prepared for this Advent study, you know we looked at Leah, who gave birth to Judah. Judah failed miserably yet he owned his failure and repented. He has a most honorable place in the genealogy, as you can see from the above.
9. Read Genesis 38:1-11
A. Why do you think, looking at Genesis 37, that Judah might have wanted to leave his family?
B. What failure of Judah can you see in verse 2? (See also Gen. 28:1-9)
C. What did God do to Judah’s first two sons and why, do you think?
D. What promise did Judah make to his daughter-in-law Tamar?
E. What fear kept him from keeping his promise?
F. Challenge: Why do you think Judah blamed Tamar instead of his sons or himself?
G. What do you think causes people to develop a victim mentality?
10. Read Genesis 38:12-30
A. What do you learn about Judah in verse 12?
B. What did Tamar apparently know about Judah’s habits?
C. What was Tamar’s scheme? What do you think motivated her?
D. What was Judah’s response upon hearing of Tamar’s pregnancy? What does this tell you about
E. How do you see repentance in Judah?
Wednesday: She is More Righteous Than I
I often hear it said by believers that all sins are the same in God’s eyes. If they mean by that that all sins deserve death, they are right, but if they mean that no sin is more grievous than another, that is not true.
11. What do you learn about the weight of sins from the following?
A. What does Moses say in Exodus 32:30-32? What do you learn from this?
B. What does Jesus say in John 19:11?
12. Read the following and comment:
13. Why do you think Judah perceives that his sin was more grievous than his daughter-in-law’s sin?14. Isaiah rebukes God’s people for giving the appearance of righteousness through rituals, but neglecting justice. Read Isaiah 58 and share anything that quickens you.
15. How could you more consistently do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God?
16. What do you see in Judah in Genesis 44:18-34? Comments?
17. In what areas of your life is repentance apparent?
The point in seeing that not all sin carries the same weight in God’s eyes is not to minimize any sin (God actually points out the great destructiveness of sexual sin) but to realize we may have minimized the sins that so grieve the heart of God. There is SO MUCH about caring for the poor and the vulnerable in Scripture.
Thursday-Friday: Tim Keller Sermon
18. Listen to the following and share your notes and comments.
19. How has Tamar’s story impacted you and why?