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An Altar-Call

An Altar-Call

Genesis 38:24

About three months later Judah was told, “Tamar your daughter-in-law has been immoral. Moreover, she is pregnant by immorality.” And Judah said, “Bring her out, and let her be burned.”

From Jewish patriarchs to Greek heroes to Roman Caesars, men in the ancient world habitually excused their lust while holding women to a higher moral standard. Even through the Middle Ages, aided by errant views on Mariology, chastity was considered a female virtue. More modern writers like Alexander Pope criticized this double standard in his society through satires like, ‘The Rape of the Lock.’ But while men across history have excused their immorality, God hasn’t. And here, the inspired author of Genesis 38 calls out Judah’s hypocrisy explicitly. Effectively, he says, “Three months after Judah unashamedly committed immorality, he wants to burn a woman for doing the same.” See, Judah’s got a log in his eye as big as Texas—from selling his brother to lying to his father to sleeping with his daughter-in-law—but he can’t see it. And he’d rather throw Tamar on the altar than use that log as firewood.

Friend, today, don’t excuse the sins Christ died to redeem you from as ‘manly’ or ‘womanly’ weakness. See them as impediments to your spiritual well-being and let them burn.