In the list of the linage of Jesus found in Matthew chapter one many normal, and even questionable people and stories appear. One of these is the story of Tamar.
Tamar, daughter-in-law of Judah. When her husband dies she is given to his brother, as was the custom to be sure the family line would continue and the wife would have people to care for her in the future. However, due to sin the second son dies too. Judah unfortunately fears that Tamar is at fault, and will not give his last son to her, but sends her away as a young widow. This would be a disgrace in the time they lived. No, children to carry on the name, and no children to care for her when she became old.
Tamar takes some extreme measures to fill her need. After Judah’s wife dies she pretends to be a prostitute, and is given some of Judah’s personal items after he spends the night with her. The result is that she is found to be pregnant with no husband, a crime that could warrant death in this time. When Judah sends men to check on the situation they return with his personal items. Judah’s response: “She is more righteous than I,” (Genesis 38:26).
Many people seek hope, but as they seek it they go to some crazy and extreme measures. They may try to turn to alcohol or drugs to deaden the pain or loneliness. Others throw themselves into their work trying to keep their mind and body occupied. However, they try in the quiet times, the alone times, the feeling of hopelessness seem to invade and cripple their lives.
What is needed doesn’t come from extra work, a bottle, or even a good vacation. What is needed is the extreme love of God, which took him out of the perfection of heaven to live among the sinful world. The extreme love that brought Christ to the cross to pay the penalty of our sins. He gives us hope, because he loves us enough to die for us. He hears our cries even now. We are not alone, because God is always for us.
Hold on to hope in your life today. Give your needs to God in prayer, and let his Spirit fill you and give you the eternal hope that can only come in his Extreme measure of love.