When Judah takes a wife from the tribes of the Canaanites, he opened the door for scandal, drama, and chaos in his family. He allowed the emotion of the moment to overrule wise decision-making and ended up making a mess. These are God's chosen people, and the Messiah's lineage will flow through Judah. While there was no law on the books saying he could not marry a Canaanite, his father and grandfather set strong examples of the importance of finding a wife outside the land in which they lived. His decision led to the deaths of his first two sons, and his wife eventually followed them to the grave. Judah continues with the emotional decisions in his dealings with a veiled Tamar. I cannot help but wonder if God's reputation was being destroyed by the actions of His people. Did those nations surrounding Israel laugh at the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob because He seems to make no difference in their lives? I admit those same questions bombard my mind when I think of our current state as the church. Are we showing people the difference that Jesus makes, or are we just following the crowd and adding Jesus' name to the mix? People have no respect for any god who has no power or authority over its people. Have you given God that power and authority over your life? Have you decided to follow Him and not the world? When God transforms our lives, people start to notice and ask questions.

Help me, Lord, to follow You by taking the time to seek Your will before I make a decision. Help me to surrender in such a manner that others can see You at work in me.