When she was brought out, she sent to her father-in-law, saying, “By the man to whom these belong, I am with child.” And she said, “Please determine whose these are—the signet and cord, and staff.” (Genesis 38:25)
When Judah found out that his daughter-in-law was pregnant, his response was rash and impulsive. In fact, his exact words were, “Bring her out and burn her.” Rabbinical commentary says this was because she was the daughter of a priest, but in light of Judah’s own missteps, it certainly seemed over the top. On the other hand, Tamar acted nobly and did not identify the father of the child. Instead she sent word to Judah asking him to identify certain belongings, just as he had done when word was sent to Jacob regarding Joseph.
When he realized what had happened, he exclaimed, “she is more righteous than I,” suggesting that she had been righteous all along — just as Joseph had behaved righteously. In other words, with the message, “Please identify these,” Judah is repaid “measure for measure.” Perhaps the irony was not lost on Judah and that is what provoked him to confess his indiscretion in regards to Tamar.
There is a principle in Scripture that dictates that every person will receive justice in this manner — an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth (Exodus 21;23-24). That is not to say that justice will rendered by plucking out eyes and knocking out teeth. It is understood to mean that if we deceive someone, we will be deceived. If we abuse someone, someone will abuse us — measure for measure. Messiah alluded to this when He said:
“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.” (Matthew 7:1-2)
The point is, with the loss of his sons and the embarrassing situation with Tamar, Judah ate the fruit of his deeds where his brother was concerned. Later he will acknowledge his transgression and make amends but it could be argued that what he experienced in the interim is what caused him to understand the consequences of his choices. Very often the uncomfortable situations that we go through are not the result of the enemy’s attack but are the unfortunate consequences of our choices. Therefore, let us be acutely aware of the fact that we do, in fact, reap what we sow. So then, let us sow goodness, compassion and mercy; if we do we can expect to reap the same.
Blessings and Shalom,