If you’ve begun to read Tamar’s story, you probably realized that she’s unfortunately a victim of cultural imbalances towards women that have existed for most of history. There are a LOT of things in history that can be a bit shocking to those of us who have grown up here in the modern and free world. Today, we’ll see another such example of strange cultural practices in the life of another of Tamar’s distance in-laws... great-grandfather Isaac.
We learned yesterday that Isaac was the gift that Abraham and Sarah waited for and the beginning of God’s promise being fulfilled through them. However, despite being the fulfillment of God’s promise, Isaac’s life wasn’t completely ideal... from the very start. Read Genesis 22:1-19.
1. What was Abraham asked to do with Isaac, and why do you think God tested him in this way?
2. Also reflecting back to yesterday, what was Issac’s relationship like with his half-brother Ishmael?
3. Read Genesis 25:19-34. What other relationship faced great strife in Isaac’s life? If you don’t know the story of the stolen blessing, you can scan Genesis 27. Things are a mess on so many levels in his family!
4. Lastly, how did Issac handle adversity in his own family? Do you see him seeking the Lord for wisdom or him taking any action?
Isaac seemed to always be in the middle of tough family situations, poor guy. Sometimes he was the innocent victim, sometimes he played the victim, and sometimes he caused people to be hurt by his actions or lack there of!
I’m not going to have you identify the person in your family tree who embodies someone like Isaac, but rather, I want you to examine this aspect in your own life. Chances are, we each have been a victim, played the victim, and even caused hurt to others during our different life seasons. So where do we go from here when we need to let go and move forward? Let’s take a look...
CONNECT: Identify 3 areas in your life, from the past or present, where you recognize falling into each category below. After naming it, ask the Lord to reveal a truth to you about it. Record the truth, then pray asking Him to help you let go of the pattern of behavior or regret and take the next right step toward embracing healing and a new season.
Being a Victim -
Playing the Victim -
Causing the Hurt -
I can’t wait for you to peek into Tamar’s hurts and heart. Her response is strong and beautiful and even surprising at times, but she did not let her circumstances define or destroy her. She dug deeper in hope and clung to what she knew was truth. She was on a mission for something greater - as you and I are right now!
Yes, life is full of what may seem unfair or impossible to overcome, but we must not let that define us. We have much to live for in the grace of our Redeemer!