Divinely Sanctioned Detours on Life’s Road

Judah and Tamar (painting circa 1650–1660 by t...
Judah and Tamar (painting circa 1650–1660 by the school of Rembrandt) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tamar was aware that Shelah had grown up, but no arrangements had been made for her to come and marry him. So she changed out of her widow’s clothing and covered herself with a veil to disguise herself. Then she sat beside the road at the entrance to the village of Enaim, which is on the road to Timnah. Genesis 38:14 (NLT)

Interesting that as Joseph is taken off to Egypt and sold into service of the man in charge of Pharaoh’s  house guard, the writer of Genesis gives us a literary aside. As Joseph lives out his unintended exile, we now get a picture of what’s going on in the lives of one of Joseph’s brothers back home. It’s no surprise that we see a perpetuation of the back-dealing and deception that has marked the family system to this point. Judah deals falsely with his daughter-in-law and forces her to resort to her own deception to survive and force Judah to lawfully provide for her.

I am reminded this morning that sometimes when circumstances force us to make detours on life’s road, God can actually use them to protect and provide. No doubt Joseph had every reason to feel angry at his brothers, miss his home, and bemoan the difficult circumstances into which he was forced. At the same time, he was placed into one of the most prominent households in Egypt where he would have opportunity to be trained, educated and to become his own person. Had he not been removed from the family system at a relatively young age, one wonders what affect it would have had on him. As we will find, the “detour” on which his brothers forcibly sent him would arguably be the best thing that ever happened to him.

When life throws you a wicked curve ball, just wait for it. Time and time again I’ve witnessed God knock it out of the park.

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