More Or Less?

Genesis 38:1-30



Intro: Have your attention listen to this sad STORY .  Ann Landers


Dear Ann -  10 yrs ago I left my wife & 4 teenage boys to Marry my SEC. W/ whom I was having an affair .  I felt that I couldn’t live w/ out her.   When my wife found out about us she of course went to pieces .


We are DIVORCED now & my wife went to work but she did a good job in raising our kids . I gave her the house & part of my RETIREMENT FUND . I am FAIRLY HAPPY in my new marriage although I am starting to see things in a little different light .


You see it hit me when I was THE GUEST  at our ELDEST SONS wedding That is all I was – THE GUEST . I am no longer considered a part of the family .


My first wife knew just about everyone in attendance & they showered her w/ AFFECTION – and since she has remarried her – NEW HUSBAND has been taken into the INSIDE CIRCLE of what was once ours.


At the rehearsal DINNER  I sat next to our other 3 sons & their sweet hearts & I was proud to have an ATTRACTIVE YOUNG WIFE at my side . But it didn’t seem to make up for the pain – when I realized that my Children were no longer mine.


They treated me courteously – but there was no real AFFECTION or CONCERN . I miss being around them ESPECIALLY AT HOLIDAYS

I am going to try to build some bridges / but the PROSPECTS don’t look to good since I have been out of their lives for 10 yrs now & it is hard to reenter since they have a step Dad .


I am writing this in hopes that others will consider the RAMIFICATIONS BEFORE THE LEAP – SIGNED ME   Second thoughts in PA

Sad story of a man who was DESIRING MORE – that is why he entered into an adulterous affair w/ SEC.

A)   Know this the person who desires for more - & when that desire takes him outside the REALM OF God’s RIGTHEOUSNES


B) KNOW THIS  His pursuit for more – will always leave him w/ less.

1)                           SATAN KNOWS THIS – ( His GOAL is to Kill Rob Destroy )

Many a man & woman have fallen .


C)Begins w/ a Look a glance – thought – that is sure better than what you

     have .

1)                           LOOK TURNS TO LUST – ungodly passion that becomes a pursuit



          1)  Read 1 Tim. 6:6-10


Gen. 38 Tonight we see such a man Driven by his Lust for more – ends up in great loss -  ( Why is this Chapt. Here? ) 

1st – Illustrate very VIVIDLY – Desire for more outside the economy of God – will always RESULT IN LESS .


A)   President Clinton-  desire for more -  could cost him his family & job


A)    2ND THIS Interruption in the life of JOSEPH  presents a CONTRAT between Joseph who is seen as SPARKLING & SPECTACULAR

1)                 Ch. 38 stands as a Contrast w/ the SORRID,SOUR & STINKY Details in  the Life of JUDAH – his older brother.


A)    God does this I think to present a CONTRAST – God is doing what a

     Jeweler does w/ DIAMOND -   BLACK VELVET

1)                           Magnifies the BRILLIANCE



One other thing to note – We left off w/ Joseph being thrown into a pit & then sold into slavery .

A) We noted that that THE PIT WAS PART OF THE PROCESS TO BRING ABOUT THE PROMISE.   (God allows for training )


B) But I want to say tonight that – there are pits that we can get ourselves into by our REBELLION by our DESIRE to please SELF above pleasing God

1)                           That PIT IS NOT A PART OF THE PROCESS to bring about the PROMISE


A)    But those pits that we dig ourselves are a DETOUR in the PROCESS TO bring about the PROMISE.

1)               They can however as a breaking point for REPENTENCE when that

   Pit – TURNS TO A PIG PEN – that brings me to my Senses / Prodigal son


 38:1  It came to pass AT THAT TIME  that Judah departed from his brothers, and visited a certain Adullamite whose name was Hirah.

A)   Notice that PHRASE – AT THAT TIME – WHAT TIME .


B)   Note the way Ch. 37 ended JACOB GRIEVING – no one is able to comfort him . HEAVY MOURNING

1)                 Now Jacob’s REACTION  would make Judah have to be confronted w/ his sin.


A)   But – in this type of situation you can do one of 3 things CONFESS & REPENT – DENY & LIE make EXCUSES/ or you  CAN RUN & HIDE

1)                 Judah opts for the 3rd – he is getting out of here  too depressing around dad's house / plus tired of sharing w/ bros. anyway


A)   So instead of confessing his sin & facing the CONSEQUENCES Judah takes off -  in Search for More.




Now in the case of our President – Question of the Day is will he be IMPEACHED – real question – why doesn’t he Resign .

A)   We have heard the DEFENSIVE CONFESSION -  Followed by the attack on his accusers / followed by the admission – I have sinned


B)   We look on & wonder – speculate – is this DAMAGE CONTROL or true REPENTENCE?

1)                 I PERSONALLY THINK that if He was really repentive – he would resign –


A)    Like the Prodigal Son – Say I have SINNED against GOD & MY FATHER OR this case my wife & our Country

1)                 No longer worthy to be called YOUR PRES.


A)   That in my opinion would be TRUE REPENTENCE – other wise just words -  No Different than Jimmy Swaggart.

1)                 All for Forgiveness – if it follows true REPENTENCE /



Back to Story - 38:1  It came to pass at that time that Judah departed from his brothers, and visited a certain Adullamite whose name was Hirah.

2  And Judah saw there a daughter of a certain Canaanite whose name was Shua, and he married her and went in to her.

3       So she conceived and bore a son, and he called his name Er.- 

( Running out of Jewish names /  far cry from Methuselah )


So Judah leaves the house of his father – heads down to hang out w/ the Pagan Canaanites – meets up w/ Hirah = NOBLE RACE

A)   Marries Shua = WEALTH


B) Looking for more – they have a son – Er.  

V  4  She conceived again and bore a son, and she called his name Onan.

5       And she conceived yet again and bore a son, and called his name Shelah.

 (  they wanted a girl )He was at Chezib when she bore him.

6       Then Judah took a wife for Er his firstborn, and her name was Tamar.

So here is Judah in this pagan place – seeking to build his family looking for more – wife couple kids / DAUGHTER IN LAW

A)   But understand because his MOTIVE FOR MORE is unrighteous / he will find that his pursuit for more leaves him w/ less.


B)   Biblical Principle – that those who hunger & thirst for Righteousness / those who have Righteous pursuits – they will be filled –


C)   But if my hungering & thirsting if my pursuits are for those things that are not righteous –

1)                 if looking in land of pagan – might think getting more but really in actuality really getting less.   (What we see happen in Judah's life)


V7  But Er, Judah's firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the LORD, and the LORD killed him         HEAVY

8  And Judah said to Onan, "Go in to your brother's wife and marry her, and raise up an heir to your brother." 9  But Onan knew that the heir would not be his; and it came to pass, when he went in to his brother's wife, that he emitted on the ground, lest he should give an heir to his brother.

10     And the thing which he did displeased the LORD; therefore He killed him also.


What we have here is one of 34 O.T. laws that have their Beginnings in the book of Gen. ( 34 laws in Law of Moses Lev. Duet. Found in Gen. )

A)   Certain things that take place in book of Gen. that are later incorporated into the law.


B) This is one of those things – for we read in Duet. 25 :5

 5 "If brothers dwell together, and one of them dies and has no son, the widow of the dead man shall not be married to a stranger outside the family; her husband's brother shall go in to her, take her as his wife, and perform the duty of a husband's brother to her.

6       "And it shall be that the firstborn son which she bears will succeed to the name of his dead brother, that his name may not be blotted out of Israel.


A)   See the idea was this because women married young – if a gals husband died – she was DEVAULED AS A WOMEN

1) Youth was GONE -    And not wanting her to be DEVOID OF BLESSING  the Lord instituted this program .


B)   That the Younger brother would marry the  sister & produce a son by her to carry on his Brothers name – raise up an heir to take care of his wife .

1)                 At this time in Israel the Medicare / Retirement Pension programs came from kids


A)   As you got older the kids would take care of mom & Dad ! –



Now what if the younger brother didn’t want to do this ?

7  "But if the man does not want to take his brother's wife, then let his brother's wife go up to the gate to the elders, and say, 'My husband's brother refuses to raise up a name to his brother in Israel; he will not perform the duty of my husband's brother.'

8"Then the elders of his city shall call him and speak to him. But if he stands firm and says, 'I do not want to take her,'


Now why were the Elders brought into this ? Well if the brother didn’t want to perform this duty – take care of his bros. wife

A)    Then she would end up being the responsibility of the Elders of the synagogue & the younger brother be disgraced


9  "then his brother's wife shall come to him in the presence of the elders, remove his sandal from his foot, spit in his face, and answer and say, 'So shall it be done to the man who will not build up his brother's house.'

10  "And his name shall be called in Israel, 'The house of him who had his sandal removed.'




Now what is the big deal w/ this – call me a lot of things but don’t call me the man who had his sandal removed .

A)   In Israel during that time the streets were not paved – so to have your sandal removed meant – you were exposed to all dirt & grime of world


B) And By removing the Sandal - & spitting in the face & saying his name shall be called in Israel, 'The house of him who had his sandal removed.'

1)                           his bros. wife would be declaring – Because you will not take care

    of me may God do the same for you –


C)May you walk through life unprotected / Add to that shame they spit in the 

      face .

1)                It was viewed as a very selfish thing – to not honor your brother in this way.


Back to Gen.


Now this was the issue w/ Onan – This is great selfishness on his part to not want to do this for his bro.

A)   What Onan is basically saying is I don’t want to honor my older dead brother in the way that my Father wants me to.


B)   So I am not going to do this – dishonor my Father & trample over the CASKET of my Brother   Why?


C)   Suggestion – I think that Onan had like Judah  had his own desire for more


D)   But Since Er was the First born if Onan was to produce a son for Er. / rightful inheritor / heir

1)                 I think Onan’s actions saying I want to be the top dog –


A)   It was a POWER PLAY & HAD EVERYTHING TO do w/ SELFISHNESS & for that reason – God slew Him !!!!




Now some people have tried to misuse v. 9,10 as a proof text against birth control –

A)   Look God killed this guy – for exercising a form of birth control .


B)   This carefully – not the context at all – this passage has nothing to do w/ Family planning & everything to do w/ family PLOTTING

1)                 ONAN’S selfishness is the issue & his perverted Desire for more for himself – that kept him from honoring his brother


A)   Sad illustration of what happens when people strive for more outside of the economy of God – always wind up w/ less

1)                 Now JUDAH IS MINUS 2 SONS – But it gets worse


10     Then Judah said to Tamar his daughter-in-law, "Remain a widow in your father's house till my son Shelah is grown." For he said, "Lest he also die like his brothers." And Tamar went and dwelt in her father's house.


A)    So Judah looks sees 2 boys married Tamar both – dead – I don’t know what you are cooking – go home -  wait for SHELAH


B)    But as the story progresses we find out that Judah really has no intention of giving Shelah to be married to Tamar –


C)    But what is also interesting is that as we shall see Tamar will have a Son & her son will end up being in the Lineage of Jesus the Messiah / Matt.1

1)                 The one  who came to SAVE SOULS


A)    Now we read of Shelah in 1 Chron. 4 :21 that Judah arranges for Shelah to marry someone else -  Shelah & his sons were Linen workers

1)                 In other words they made sheets – that is what they were known for .



A)    Here is the Point – Had Judah not spared his son from marrying Tamar – wants him to have more – ( she was older ) arranged for him to marry

1)                 Instead of being remembered in the Lineage of the one who came to save souls / they are only remembered as the ones who sell sheets



A) Some Parents DISCOURAGE – their kids from – ministry or from going on the mission field  ( No money hard life )


B) Trying to get more for their kids – be a doctor – ( SHANE )

1)                           Never seen him happier than on the mission field


C)If your kids are called to full time ministry – Don’t discourage them from 

     saving souls by – putting on the pressure to sell sheets





Now this doesn’t sound like the bible does it ? What is going on here – Lust / Deception / Jealousy & Intrigue -  ( Dynasty )

A)    Who needs to watch T.V.


B)    Reason I point this out however is to make note that I think this is a great proof text for the DIVINE  INSPIRATION OF THE SCRIPTURES


C)    If this was just a story written by men – I don’t think that it would cast the Key Characters in such horrible light

1)                 The main Characters would look a lot more favorable


A)    Judah wouldn’t be getting involved w/ a Prostitute & David wouldn’t fall w/ Bathsheba & Murder Uriah


But in doing so the H.S. is reminding us of 2 things

A)1st He is magnifying the sinfulness of  humanity that Jesus came to save

B) 2nd We are REMINDED of the Glorious grace of God. - 



Note significance of the signet ring/ cord & Staff

A)   Signet Ring spoke of Person – marked your IDENTITY Seal on

  Business deals stamp your ring in Wax or Clay – ( I am in agreement )


B)   It was a mark of your IDENTITY YOUR JOHN HENERY

1)                 Your signature


A)   CORD = BRACELETS OR OFTEN NECKLACE – spoke of your Possessions – your wealth – how much you were worth.


D) Staff – Spoke of your Position – Important -

1)                           Still does today – I will have my staff call your staff / my people your people & we will do lunch.



So Tamar asks for that which marks His person / His possessions & His Position .   Interesting

A)   Guys listen it is not by accident that the scriptures record this because that is exactly what happens when a man is given over to prostitution / immorality or an ADULTEROUS AFFAIR


B)   YOU LOSE YOUR PERSON -  1 COR. 6:18 He who sins in the area of sexual immorality sins against his own body


C)   Give away a part of you that you can never get back – You lose a part of your PERSON . POSSESSIONS – that of worth / POSITION

1) You are scarred so is the other person.





Prov. 5

5:1  My son, pay attention to my wisdom; Lend your ear to my understanding,

2  That you may preserve discretion, And your lips may keep knowledge.

3  For the lips of an immoral woman drip honey, And her mouth is smoother than oil;

4  But in the end she is bitter as wormwood, Sharp as a two-edged sword.

5  Her feet go down to death, Her steps lay hold of hell.

6  Lest you ponder her path of life; Her ways are unstable; You do not know them.

7  Therefore hear me now, my children, And do not depart from the words of my mouth. 8  Remove your way far from her, And do not go near the door of her house, 9  Lest you give your honor to others, And your years to the cruel one;

10  Lest aliens be filled with your wealth, And your labors go to the house of a foreigner; 11  And you mourn at last, When your flesh and your body are consumed, 12  And say: "How I have hated instruction, And my heart despised correction! 13  I have not obeyed the voice of my teachers, Nor inclined my ear to those who instructed me!

14  I was on the verge of total ruin, In the midst of the assembly and congregation."


Proverbs 6:27- 32 27  Can a man take fire to his bosom, And his clothes not be burned? 28  Can one walk on hot coals, And his feet not be seared?

29  So is he who goes in to his neighbor's wife; Whoever touches her shall not be innocent.  32  Whoever commits adultery with a woman lacks understanding; He who does so destroys his own soul.


Listen: For one moment of Pleasure Judah – gives away his Person / Position & His possessions -  ( WANTED MORE – GOT LESS)

A)   ( How many times has this scenario been repeated)


B)   What else is interesting is he thinks that he can get it BACK – WATCH WHAT HAPPENS V. 20



20  And Judah sent the young goat by the hand of his friend the Adullamite, to receive his pledge from the woman's hand, but he did not find her.

21  Then he asked the men of that place, saying, "Where is the harlot who was openly by the roadside?" And they said, "There was no harlot in this place."

22  So he returned to Judah and said, "I cannot find her. Also, the men of the place said there was no harlot in this place."

23     Then Judah said, "Let her take them for herself, lest we be shamed; for I sent this young goat and you have not found her."





24     And it came to pass, about three months after, that Judah was told, saying, "Tamar your daughter-in-law has played the harlot; furthermore she is with child by harlotry." So Judah said, "Bring her out and let her be burned!"


Interesting how my sin on someone else always looks worse than it does on me .

A)   When it is my sin – hey I am just struggling / need help / need to be forgiven – ( Someone else – BURN THEM.)


Q. Who made the following statement:
"Yes, the president should resign. He has lied to the American people,
> time and time again, and betrayed their trust. He is no longer an
> effective leader. Since he has admitted guilt, there is no reason to
> put the American people through an impeachment. He will serve
> absolutely no purpose in finishing out his term, the only possible
> solution is for the president to save some dignity and resign."

> A. 12th Congressional District hopeful -  William Jefferson Clinton during
> the Nixon investigations.


My sin looks a whole lot worse on someone else – watch what happens


23     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."


A)   Picture this – Tamar true played the Harlot – pregnant – Burn her


B) Before you start the fire dad – note that the man who did this to me left me some of his stuff – Dad do you recognize this Ring / Bracelet / Staff.




READ v.26-30 No time  to remark on Kids -  Line of Jesus


But I want to close by noting that our Heavenly Father devoted a whole Chapter To this Sorrid story right in the middle of story of Joseph in order to ILLUSTRATE A POINT –


A)    I think that he really wants us to get this – You can either be a Judah or a Joseph -  Purity that leads to SUCCESS


B)    Or immorality that leads to Burn out & Destruction (After this story Judah DISAPPEARS – not really scene anymore – no significance)


C)    You can pursue more in an effort to satisfy your flesh & end up w/ less or you can pursue God & His righteousness & end up w/ more

1) Seek first the Kingdom ……