50 | 40 | 10 | Devotions Series: April 2, 2020 – Rev. Tammy Craker

Devotions for the week of: April 2, 2020


Genesis 38: 24-26 (NRSV)

About three months later Judah was told, ‘Your daughter-in-law Tamar has played the whore; moreover she is pregnant as a result of whoredom.’ And Judah said, ‘Bring her out, and let her be burned.’ 25As she was being brought out, she sent word to her father-in-law, ‘It was the owner of these who made me pregnant.’ And she said, ‘Take note, please, whose these are, the signet and the cord and the staff.’ 26Then Judah acknowledged them and said, ‘She is more in the right than I, since I did not give her to my son Shelah.’ And he did not lie with her again.

Even though I go by the name Tammy, my birth name is Tamara.  Mom told me she liked the name from the song, “Tammy,” in the Debbie Reynold’s movie named “Tammy and the Bachelor” from 1957. But mom wanted her children to have formal names, thus, I was named Tamara.

As a kid, I found out the name “Tamar” meant palm tree. How disappointing!  Couldn’t I have been named Sara and be a princess? But, then, my mom told me my name was in the Bible and I was thrilled. Mom showed me my name was in the genealogy of Jesus in Matthew 1:3, “And Judah the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, and Perez the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of Aram.”

Not only was my name in the Bible, but Tamar was directly related to Jesus.  I thought that was pretty special. I told anyone who would listen that my name was in the Bible.  However, my mom didn’t show me this story in Genesis. I may not have been as excited to share that story.

That was then and this is now. Now when I read the story of Tamar, I see a woman who didn’t let the world stop her from what she had to do.  She was even threatened with death, and still she knew what was right and she was bold enough to do it.

As people, redeemed through Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, we too are called to be bold.  Bold to do what is right and just in God’s eyes. Turns out Tamar is not just a palm tree, Tamar and Tamara are strong, bold women who will proclaim God’s saving grace for all people, despite the threats.


God, you call us all by name.  May we always praise yours. Amen.

Reverend Tamara “Tammy” Craker  
Salem Lutheran Church, Parkston

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