Subtle Spice (Tamar)


I call her subtle spice. Tamar, a woman who refused to curl up and die, but went to great lengths to get what was rightfully hers. Her story is found in Genesis 38.

Desperate times called for desperate measures and Tamar pulled out all the stops to make her point. She was married to one of Judah’s three boys. Unfortunately, her husband died and made her a young widow. In order to continue his lineage, the culture of the day demanded that the closest male relative to the deceased would marry his widow so she could bear children on the dead man’s behalf. There was even a title for this man who would continue his relative’s lineage: kinsman-redeemer.

Judah’s second son stepped in, but apparently had his own agenda. Long story short, he died too. Judah, not wanting to lose his only remaining son, withheld him from his kinsman-redeemer duty, promising Tamar that the boy was too young and would marry her when he got older. Poor Tamar. She became a black widow through no fault of her own. What a stigma! As time went on, she realized Judah had no intention of fulfilling his promise, so she devised a plan. Judah himself had become a widower and one day as he was traveling from point A to point B, Tamar disguised herself as a prostitute and offered him her services, which he so willingly accepted. She became pregnant by him and cleverly produced evidence that he was indeed the father of her twins. At that point, Judah did the honorable thing and admitted that he had shirked his responsibility toward Tamar. He became her kinsman-redeemer and her honor was re-instated.

What a woman! It took guts back in those days to risk reproach and even death by doing what she did, but Tamar was a chick who knew what was rightfully hers and she was not going to let Judah steal it from her. Her spicy-ness was unveiled by the circumstances that prevailed in her life. Gotta love that subtle spice!


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. ash
    May 07, 2009 @ 13:35:27

    i’ve been reading each of your blurbs on these amazing women.

    and my thoughts come back to tamar.

    too many times in our lives, as women, we allow the world to steal away our dignity…society, men, advertising …whatever and we don’t take it back. tamar is a huge encouragement b/c she did take her right place back from judah- and that’s incredible. i think every woman can be encouraged here. we are strong enough, we are intelligent enough and even sly enough to know how, to stand up and tell the world when they take from us who we are that …they can’t have it, only God can

    He gives us dignity, praise and beauty. He created us for his purpose, planting passions and dreams in our heart. i love that


  2. solathompson
    May 07, 2009 @ 13:43:34

    I love that too, Ash. Thanks for sharing! 😉


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