Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Unveiled, Tamar's Story

I was late starting A Lineage of Grace because of other books I was in the middle of and trying to get through. But I have to say that doesn't seem to be a problem as I am flying through the book. This is the second book I have read from Francine Rivers and I have to say that it is just as good as the first, Redeeming Love. The first novella in A Lineage of Grace is, Unveiled. It can be purchased as a separate book or together with the 4 other novella's in this months book. This is a story about Tamar from the Old Testament, "Betrayed by the men who controlled her future, she fought for her right to believe in a loving God." Here is the description off Amazon of this book:

Her name meant "date palm," and like her namesake, Tamar hoped to survive the harsh environment she was placed in: to bend but not to break. Rubbed with scented oil and arrayed in wedding finery, 14-year-old Tamar is thrust into a world of abuse, betrayal, and disillusionment when she is given in marriage to an evil, idol-worshiping man. In the face of her suffering, she must make choices: Will she let her new husband, Er, destroy her innocence and corrupt her? Will she leave the religion of the Canaanites and embrace the God of the Hebrews despite the life of misery she is cast into? Or will she fall into despair and become as wicked as her husband and his brothers? (end quote)

You can find Tamar's story briefly mentioned in the book of Genesis but Rivers is such an amazing author that she weaves detail into a story that makes you believe you KNOW this woman. Here God used a women who was not a Hebrew to be used for the benefit of his Kingdom. Jesus came from the line of Judah, through the son that Tamar had with him. What a cool idea for Rivers to highlight these women who had such an impact in God's kingdom. It's one of those duh moments when you think... why didn't I think of that?! haha! I had heard Tamar's story so many times before but always looked over it. When I read the story the first thing I would see is the deceit done to Judah... not that what Judah did in his actions to her were okay.. but after reading the story it definitely changes my perspective. These times and customs were not like the ones we have today but Rivers weaves the story in a way that helps us identify with their emotions, doubts, prayers and feelings.

I enjoy the "Seek and Find" section of the book that includes lots of thought provoking questions and scripture for review. It would be interesting to do a short bible study and go over these questions with others in depth. Because of time constraints we will only highlight so much during our meeting and I won't begin to transfer all this knowledge on here. It's so overwhelming and so abundant in information that I don't even know where to begin. I urge you to really spend time in this section of the book. The author did not go to all of this trouble for you just to skim on over it. Think about Judah and Tamar's story... have you ever felt God left you with no other options? What did you do about it? Are you willing to wait on God to do what is right by you? Do you care more about the opinions and guidance of those around you than God's?

Like so many parts of the Bible and in each of our daily lives, God uses the sins of a repentant people to bring about great things for his kingdom. I leave you with the last line of this book, "May God's word always produce the fruit of obedience and accomplish much in you."

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