Just in case you’re not up to speed on the sneaky emu here’s a post to catch up real quick… CLICK HERE.

The basic idea is the Sneaky Emu represents the giant glaring ideas or thoughts or things that are sometimes right in front of us that we’ve overlooked.

There are a lot of sneaky emu’s in the Bible.

The one I want to look at today is concerning the lineage and the family of Jesus. The lineage of Jesus in an incredibly diverse and eclectic list of people.

You could almost liken it to the island of misfit toys, but for people. It’s a list of all the people who are weird and broken and messed up and who wouldn’t normally make the cut.

One of these characters goes by the name Tamar and her story can be found in Genesis 38.

Her’s is a long weird story.

Here’s the hyper summary.

Tamar is widowed twice and promised a third husband.

This promise is not upheld.

Tamar takes matters into her own hands and tricks her father in law to sleeping with her.

She has twins and one of them carries the lineage of Jesus.

So there’s that.

But what’s really interesting about this story, other than the fact that it’s got more drama than an episode of Grey’s Anatomy, is its placement in the Bible.

Chapter 38 is sandwiched right between chapter 37 and chapter 39 … pretty crazy right?

Ok maybe not, but what’s in those chapters makes chapter 38 interesting.

Chapter 37 is the story of Joseph and the coat of many colors and Joseph’s brothers selling him into slavery.

Chapter 39 is the story of Joseph at Potiphar’s house when he evades the sexual advances of Potiphar’s wife.

Do you see what I mean?

Why is the story of Tamar right there in the middle of Josephs story?

Here’s Why?

The Bible is a revolutionary book that has the ability to bring people together and encourage them to rise up and challenge cultural and societal norms for the sake of the good of humanity.

It’s because of this that the Bible doesn’t behave the way that people want it to. 

The stories don’t always do what you want them to do.

Here’s what I mean.

If you’re putting together a list of the people that you want as the ancestry of the one who would become the savior of all creation. 

Joseph is the guy that you’d want on the list. He’s honest, he’s upstanding, he helped the Hebrew people out in Egypt. That’s the kind of guy we would all want on our team.

So the story looks like everything is headed in Joseph’s direction, because the lineage of the Savior should run through a guy like that.

But the story shifts and goes in a whole new direction. 

Right there in the middle of the story of Joseph is this super weird story about Tamar who was widowed twice and has twins by her father in law one of whom will carry on and be included in the line of Jesus.

See what I mean? Human wisdom would say Joseph is the guy to pick but God says no no no I’m doing something different.

Paul talks about this in the New Testament so we shouldn’t be that surprised…..

1 Corinthians 1:27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him.

How great is that? 

For all of us who weren’t captain of the football team and the head cheerleader and for all of us who had acne and braces and for all of us who got picked last in dodgeball and for all us who didn’t get asked to homecoming ……

There is hope!

This God of the Bible is up to something. And what it looks like is that he wants to invite everyone to the dance and everyone gets to be the homecoming queen, zits and braces and all.

This is the sneaky emu, the giant thing in front of us that we some how managed to over look.

From some of the very first ancestors of the savior of the world we get glimpses and tastes of how loving and accepting and inclusive the creator and sustainer of all things is.

We see the God who is love putting the depths of his love on display based on who is included in the family.

Apparently it’s anybody.

– affirm the good.

-s