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October 17, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“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.’ So Judah acknowledged them and said, ‘She has been more righteous than I, because I did not give her to Shelah my son.’ And he never knew her again. Now it came to pass, at the time for giving birth, that behold, twins were in her womb. And so it was, when she was giving birth, that the one put out his hand; and the midwife took a scarlet thread and bound it on his hand, saying, ‘This one came out first.’ Then it happened, as he drew back his hand, that his brother came out unexpectedly; and she said, ‘How did you break through? This breach be upon you!’ Therefore his name was called Perez. Afterward his brother came out who had the scarlet thread on his hand. And his name was called Zerah.”—Genesis 38:25-30 (NKJV)
Pastor D. James Kennedy of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church shared a powerful story: “I admire people who display great courage. One man in history known for his courage was Alexander the Great. One day, Alexander held court in Nebuchadnezzar's great palace in Babylon. He sat upon the great golden throne, pronouncing sentences for the crimes charged to his soldiers. The sergeant-at-arms brought in one soldier after another and read their crimes. No one could deliver them from Alexander's severe judgments. Finally, the sergeant-at-arms brought in a young soldier and read his crime: fleeing in the face of the enemy. This cowardice Alexander could not tolerate. As he looked on this young soldier, Alexander's countenance changed from stern to soft. He said to the lad, ‘Son, what is your name?’ The boy said softly, ‘Alexander.’ The smile left the king's face. He said, ‘What did you say?’ The young man snapped to attention. ‘Alexander, sir.’ The king shouted, ‘WHAT IS YOUR NAME?’ The boy stammered and said, “Al . . . Alex . . . Alexander, sir.’ The king grabbed the young man by the tunic, stared him in the face, threw him on the ground and said, ‘Soldier, change your conduct or change your name!’
What is that name for us? Christian! And we need to live our lives in a manner worthy of that name. In Proverbs 22:1 (NKJV) we read, “A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches . . .”
Obey the Lord. Allow God to give you courage in Him, courage to do what God has told you to do, courage to avoid the things God has told you not to do, and the courage to stand up for Christ.
Your life tells your story. Unfortunately, Judah’s life tells a very mixed up story. However, God still used Judah. His name is described in our Lord Jesus’ glorious titles: Lion of the Tribe of Judah. And Judah’s son, Perez, is in the lineage of the Messianic birth (Matthew 1:3; Luke 3:33).
David Guzik writes, “God took the son of this ungodly situation and put him in the family line of the Messiah, despite the fact that neither Judah nor Tamar were examples of godliness. By His grace, God chose them to be in the line of the Messiah and to have their role in God’s plan of redemption.”
God renews and restores our brokenness and rewrites our story. Hebrews 8:12 (NLT) says, “And I will forgive their wickedness, and I will never again remember their sins.” Friends, no matter what your previous track record is, God gives you a new name—Christian—that when honored can bring an amazing legacy!
DIG: What does your name say about you? What would people say about your life and example?
DISCOVER: How are you being used by God?
DO: Ask yourself: How does God want to use you to glorify Him and be a blessing to others?