After many days, Shua’s daughter, the wife of Judah, died. Judah was comforted, and went up to his sheepshearers to Timnah, he and his friend Hirah, the Adullamite. It was told Tamar, saying, “Behold, your father-in-law is going up to Timnah to shear his sheep.” She took off of her the garments of her widowhood, and covered herself with her veil, and wrapped herself, and sat in the gate of Enaim, which is by the way to Timnah; for she saw that Shelah was grown up, and she wasn’t given to him as a wife. When Judah saw her, he thought that she was a prostitute, for she had covered her face. He turned to her by the way, and said, “Please come, let me come in to you,” for he didn’t know that she was his daughter-in-law.
She said, “What will you give me, that you may come in to me?”
He said, “I will send you a young goat from the flock.”
She said, “Will you give me a pledge, until you send it?”
He said, “What pledge will I give you?”
She said, “Your signet and your cord, and your staff that is in your hand.”
He gave them to her, and came in to her, and she conceived by him. She arose, and went away, and put off her veil from her, and put on the garments of her widowhood. Judah sent the young goat by the hand of his friend, the Adullamite, to receive the pledge from the woman’s hand, but he didn’t find her. Then he asked the men of her place, saying, “Where is the prostitute, that was at Enaim by the road?”
They said, “There has been no prostitute here.”
He returned to Judah, and said, “I haven’t found her; and also the men of the place said, ‘There has been no prostitute here.’” Judah said, “Let her keep it, lest we be shamed. Behold, I sent this young goat, and you haven’t found her.”
Evidently, Judah decided to trust his own feelings more than he trusted the God of his fathers. Perhaps, he thought that Tamar was bad luck after two of his sons died as her husband. God tells us that no matter what Judah thought, he was wrong to distrust her and wrong to keep his son away from her. Tamar didn’t bring bad luck. God tells us that Judah’s sons were to blame because they were wicked.
To this very day, some cultures blame women for the things that happen to their husbands. This is a horrible thing that we know that God does not approve of. God knows who is to blame and He doesn’t put blame on those who don’t deserve it. In this case Tamar was not to blame. I don’t think that Tamar’s prostitution was good, though. I am sure that had she had faith in the God of Israel, that God could have given her instructions to follow. The Bible doesn’t say that she asked God for help. What we do know is that she was to be in the family line of Jesus through Judah and this was God’s plan. God was able to use Judah and Tamar in spite of all of the sin and wickedness that He had to work with. We should never underestimate God’s ability to work in spite of the circumstances.