a. She is more righteous. Three months pass and it is discovered that Tamar is pregnant. Since she is not married to Shelah it is assumed by the people, and rightfully so that she was immoral and has committed prostitution. The people sent word to Judah and he says that they should bring her out to burn her. There is some debate whether he is calling for her execution or branding. Often when we harbor sins in our hearts, we come down harder on those that commit the same sins. But Tamar does not remain silent. She brings out Judah’s ring, cord, and staff and says that “by the man to whom these belong, I am pregnant.” With this, what Judah has feared has happened. His shameful act has been put on public display. This is the real test of the heart of the person. We have seen a lot of public figures have their sins exposed and they deny and then when the proof is offered they resign to avoid further shame. This is not what Judah does. He identifies the items as his and then he says, “She is more righteous than I since I did not give her to my son Shelah.” Judah confesses his sin and recognizes that it was his sin that drove Tamar to her sinful actions. He could not throw the first stone at her (or burn her as he says) because he would condemn himself. How do we know that he repents? “And he did not know her again.” He turned from this sin. He did not pretend as if nothing was wrong. He confessed and he turned away. Is there a mustard seed of faith in the cruel heart of Judah after all? b. Twins again. The time comes for Tamar to give birth and she has an unusual birth like Rebekah. She has twins. And like Jacob and Esau, Perez and Zerah struggle in the womb. As Tamar is giving birth Zerah puts his hand out and the midwife places a scarlet thread on his hand which marked him as the firstborn. But then Perez pushes his way past his brother and his birthed first which is how he got his name “Breach”. Why is the birth of Perez and Zerah important? It shows the graciousness of God. We know from Jacob’s blessings at the end of the book that the kings that were promised to Jacob would come from Judah and his offspring. Reuben sinned with his father’s concubine and therefore lost his place in the family. But why Judah? Why was he chosen? That is the question that we all ask ourselves, isn’t it? We did God choose me and not my neighbor? Why did he choose me and not my other family members? Why me? The answer we are given is the free grace of God. His grace and his choice are not bound by his creation but in his sovereignty that lies above and beyond this universe. God took counsel with no one when it came to salvation. Salvation belongs to God and God alone. Judah was chosen, not because of who he was but because of God’s eternal purposes to praise of his glory alone.