So, blogging has become and infrequent occurrence. I get really good idea’s while I’m sitting in church listening to a sermon, or having a really good conversation. However, when I arrive home, and turn on my laptop, I’ve finished thinking about the topic, and the will to write on it has gone. Rather frustrating really.
Life is all good at the moment, university is going smoothly, I have a lot of work, yet it’s not overwhelming. I recently got engaged, and life with Eilidh, my fiancée is pretty good. We spend a lot of time together, and it’s wonderful. Life goes on, in a wonderful meandering fashion, and I enjoy it.
Yet my blog calls! It’s still sitting in my favourites bar, yet has slipped out of my top 8 most visited pages. So, a re-haul is in order! Either of my blog, or my habits. I feel that it’s the habits that need to change, since my blog still needs to be finished, I have Genesis to finish regardless of any of my other idea’s I want to post about.
Genesis 38 infact, now Genesis 38 is an interesting chapter, which focuses around sex and prostitutes. Who ever said the Bible isn’t interesting?
My brief paraphrase is below.
It follows on from just after Joseph was sold into slavery, the brothers are continuing their lives without him. We focus on Judah, who has moved out, got married and had a son called Er, and a few more besides him. Many years must have passed, because his son Er, is now of marrying age (IE in his teens).
Er gets married to a woman called Tamar. However, we’re told Er was evil, and he dies (put to death by the Lord). Tamar wasn’t preggers though, and custom dictated that she must have a child to carry on her husbands name. So, her brother in law, Onan (Judah’s second son) is told he has to knock her up.
However, he does the deed, in part, yet “lets his semen spill out on the ground” so she doesn’t get pregnant. Cultural no-no, God says not cool, and after a several occasions Onan also dies.
(This is uncool because by not getting Tamar pregnant, he has killed off his brother’s lineage, on purpose, so that he get’s a greater share of the inheritance from his father. Motivated by greed and seen as evil, he dies like his brother.)
Judah says “Tamar, come live with my until my third son, Shelah, grows up.”
Tamar hears later that Judah is on his way to oversee the shearing of his flocks, wool being a valuable raw goods. She travels ahead of him, and disguises herself, as a prostitute.
Judah doesn’t recognise her (Sounds like an episode of desperate housewives or whatever right?) and pays to sleep with her.
and like, OH MY GOODNESS, what’s even going on right now!? Everybody is sleeping with Tamar, and everybody is dying and I don’t even know.
Later, some men come to Judah and say “Your daughter in law is pregnant, and we’re charging her for solicitation.”
Judah “What a naughty girl. Burn her to death.”
She’s all like, “dude you’re the guy who got me pregnant, what are you doing?”
So Judah says “Don’t burn her to death, it’s my bad guys, and since I’m a man you can’t set me on fire.” *Facepalm*
Tamar gives births to twins (who would be half brothers to her dead husband and dead ex-lover).
So what kind of learning point can you take from that? It’s all sleeping around, dying and prostitutes. I’m reminded of Mean Girls “Don’t have sex, because you will get pregnant, and die.” Not quite the same, but the result is the same.
What actually is there to learn from this? I was tied up in the whole sex and death aspect of this for a while when I was trying to come to a conclusion. I was left looking at the line “Honour God in your relationships.”
That’s what this whole passage is about, Honouring God, evil(through neglect perhaps) and a lack of caring cause (directly or indirectly).
It leads me to think mostly about the essence of a relationship – two people who interact (through one forum of communication or another) with each other. Now, it could be a one of conversation, and that isn’t usually described as a relationship, yet, for the length of it’s existence, perhaps as short as 30 seconds there is a small bond between the two people. It could be a life time, friends from childhood for maybe a hundred years (should you be so lucky!)
In my short, 20 year period of life, I’ve had a lot of relationships, some have been romantic, and most have been platonic. I’ve found that three things make up the core of a relationship (of any kind) (ok I lied there are four. Don’t sue me)
Mutual interest in the relationship – if you don’t both want to be in the relationship (at the same depth, wanting to date somebody who only want’s to be your friend doesn’t work out so well.) then it won’t happen. You both have to put a bit of time and effort into talking and contacting each other.
(This would be Onan and Tamar, Onan didn’t have any interest in Tamar, he just used her, and mistreated her, and the memory of his brother.)
Time and effort – if you don’t communicate there is no relationship, end of. No cases of “Oh we follow each other on facebook AND twitter so we don’t need to talk, cause we always know what is going on with each other.” That’s stalking, it’s not a relationship. Personal interaction is required, effort is required to deal with falls outs, which most often happen when you don’t respect what the other person is saying…
(Judah didn’t put any time and effort into relating with his daughter in law, who went through the same loss he did, and look what happened)
Respect – if you don’t respect each other’s boundaries, you’ll end up upsetting each other. Respect is super important, imagine if I stopped respecting Eilidh’s point of view, everytime she said something I disregarded it, or said it was stupid, or just ignored it. How long would our relationship last before it became a dictatorship or she left me?
(Onan didn’t respect Er, and through his mistreatment of the memory of his brother he died.)
and Balance – Things need to be equal and fair. Now of course, certain relationships are skewed in someways. You don’t expect to be all chummy with your teacher at school or be able to tell them what to do, yet if you dot respect each other EQUALLY then you’re going to be able to teach, and/or learn from each other (yes teachers do learn from students.)
(There was no balance between any of the relationships here, and none of them really went well. What does that case study tell you?)
Where does honour of any sort tie into that one Andrew?
Well it’s part of all of those things, you can’t honour something you aren’t interested in.
You have to put time and effort into honouring something/one.
You have to respect what you are honouring.
There has to be balance as well, it might be skewed in some regards, but overall there has to be an equal back and forth.
As a Christian I believe that God is living and present in me (see Holy Spirit). Thus God must be in my relationships.
Follow that train of thought.
If God is in my relationships, which are all about showing respect and honour to another person, does that mean I have to respect and honour God to have a healthy relationship?
If you answer that question with a yes, and actually do it, then you probably don’t need to read my infrequent blogs. Ever. You get as much as I do, in fact you get it more than I do.
If you said Yes, and I sometimes/occasionally do this, and realise you need to work on doing it more, then you are in a similar place to me! I’m not perfect, I’ve only ever claimed (falsely to be),
If you answered with a no then we have a difference in our thinking somewhere, and I would love to chat about it. I learn best through discussion and bouncing ideas and concepts off people.
As always, thank you for reading (remember life isn’t really a mystery, it’s just a puzzle, that we can only solve together.)