June 26, 2011: The Ultimate Taboo

Posted on : Jun 21st, 2011 | By | Category: This Sunday's Service

“The Ultimate Taboo” – The Story of Tamar

Dan and I are in the midst of a fun series of sermons called “Bad Boys and Bad Girls of the Bible – and the Gifts of Faith They Have Given Us.”

It’s kind of a “reality-show version of the Bible” but the truth is, the Bible is full of stories of less-than-stellar characters! There are a lot of “Bad Boyz and Bad Gurls” in the Bible, and they give us wonderful gifts of faith.   What’s more amazing and assuring for those of us who are “less-than-perfect Christians” is that God, yes God, is able to use us and our lives for good.

Dan preached on the adulterous woman who the men of the town wanted to stone to death and last week it was the arrogant Joseph whose brothers wanted kill him but in the end sold him off into slavery. Well, this week we read about the woman the townsfolk wanted to burn at the stake. Her transgression? She committed the ultimate taboo. It is the story of Tamar – an outsider who was involved in an act of sexual impropriety. If you have never heard of her before, I would not be surprised – pastors have a tendency to avoid her story when choosing a text to preach on. It’s a shame – her story is both radical and profound.

Tamar has quite a reputation: she has been described as a vindictive schemer, a wicked woman, evil temptress, and in some other illustrious language I care not to repeat here. You see, she is guilty of the ultimate taboo: she dressed up as a prostitute to seduce her father-in-law in order to become pregnant. Hah! Now, I have your attention.

What possible redeeming quality could this story have except for its entertainment value? Hmm… we’ll talk about that on Sunday. All is not as it seems – it’s not a story of heroes or villains, but of complex characters making the best of a flawed world.

More about this on Sunday,