READ THE BIBLE IN 2022: This past week, ending January 15, we read from Genesis 27-45. Jacob’s son Joseph is an important part of the narrative. I find this week’s key verse, however, in Genesis 38:29. There we read that Tamar had twin sons, Perez and Zerah. We also learn in chapter 38 that Judah had three sons by a Canaanite woman. Judah chose Tamar for a wife for his oldest son, but the Lord put him to death. Judah’s second son was to have a child with Tamar for the sake of his older brother, but God also put him to death. Then, Judah withheld his third son from Tamar. Some years later Tamar, playing the role of a prostitute, deceived Judah and became pregnant through him so that Perez and Zerah are of Judah’s lineage. Judah, Tamar and Perez, are mentioned in Ruth 4:12 and Matthew 1:3, for King David and Christ come from Perez’s line. It’s easy to concentrate on God’s work through Joseph, but the break-away events in chapter 38 bring the covenant relationship God made with Abraham (Gen 22:18) and Isaac (26:4) and Jacob (28: 14), to bless all nations into focus. Thus, when we read throughout the Bible, "I am the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob," we can understand it to mean, "I am the Covenant God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob who blesses all nations through their Promised Offspring, who is My Incarnate Son, Christ the Lord!" So we see, in His mercy, God used a son born of Judah’s unfaithfulness, Perez, who was of the lineage of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to bless the world.