Bible+Theology

The Story of Judah

In our final message of This is Us, Pastor Charles Yu shares about the story of Judah.

In his sermon, Charles fast-forwards through Genesis 38, which is a chapter about Judah’s transformation.

Genesis 38 is not easy to understand. There are some R-rated portions. There are multiple deaths, prostitution and some social practices that’s just not part of our world.

Basically what happens is this: In Genesis 38, Judah leaves home, and starts his own family. He marries. He raises three boys, Er, Onan and Shelah. Years go by, and then disaster. Er dies. Then Onan dies, right after that.  And the story gets complicated at this point, but what it boils down to is Judah breaks the rules, he does what it takes to protect the only son he has left. That’s Judah Genesis 38. It is filled with death and loss. He loses two of his three boys. Then his wife dies. It’s like boom, boom, boom. One after another after another. Tragedy just keeps hitting Judah. He loses almost everyone in his family.

The question remains: how is Judah transformed? 

Judah now understands his father’s heart. He knows what his Dad feels like in losing Joseph. And Judah also gets a glimpse into the heart of God. God is a parent who has lost children. And God will do what it takes to bring them back. Judah is a different person. He has something in common with his father and with his heavenly father. Tragedy is the spark that begins a profound transformation.

If you’d like to dig deeper into that part of Judah’s story, watch this sermon from Pastor Chris in the God and Israel: Origins series.