a. The sin of Judah and Tamar. After the death of his two sons, Judah’s wife dies. After a period of mourning, he decided to hang out with his friend Hirah and the both of them decided to go to Timnah where his flock was to shear his sheep. This is a warning here to us because bad company and times of sorrow can often cloud our judgment. Many people have done things they wouldn’t normally do in times like these. By this time, Shelah was a young man and should have been married to Tamar but Judah did not arrange the marriage, which might have been Judah’s plan all along. Tamar hears that her father-in-law is going to Timnah and she devises a plan to force him to give her children. She pretends to be a prostitute and gets Judah to give her his signet, cord, and staff, all very personal and identifiable things to Judah, in pledge for the payment of a young goat from his flock. Judah agrees to the arrangement and sins with Tamar and she conceives. b. Judah’s fear of laughter. Judah and Hirah go to Timnah, to Judah’s flocks and he sends Hirah back to Enaim with the young goat for the payment. When Hirah gets there, Tamar is long gone. He asks about where the cult prostitute was and the men of the city say that they don’t have one in their city. So Hirah goes back to Judah and reports what happened. Judah says, “Let her keep the things as her own, or we shall be laughed at. You see, I sent this young goat, and you did not find her.” Judah is saying that he does not want to pursue this any further. They attempted to make the agreed payment, but she wasn’t there so the matter is done. Besides that, he mentions being laughed at. Why is he afraid of laughter? (Remember the different forms of laughter we have seen throughout Genesis. Here is another.) Judah is afraid of being a laughingstock. He does not want the laughter of shame and the despising of the people. Judah does not want the shame of the people. He is not repenting of his sin but just doesn’t want to be caught in it. Wanting to avoid shame is not the same a repentance. God wrote shame into the human conscience to lead to repentance but they are not the same.