Here I sit Saturday morning after a battle with self-pity. Things aren't in the best shape here, I won't lie. They also could be a lot worse, again I won't lie. Trying to figure out how this and that will get paid for with no money coming in, trying to find help when every help site seems more interested in those who come to help THEM. (Charities, I get it, but where are the "if you need help" pages on their sites?) Even tried to apply for a loan and was rejected because they said I put my monthly gross income as $0.01. (I mentioned that one might say, "That's gotta be a mistake", and contacting the applicant before denying.) It really seems that to get any help you either have to have enough money that you don't really need it, or else be broke, homeless, and fighting addiction.
One thing that hit me in the head, as Laurie sought to lift my growing depression, was her mentioning using all this as "a perfect opportunity to work on relying on my faith." After noting that it was somewhat difficult in my current frame of mind to view this as an opportunity, I agreed that that's what is needed. I told her that part of the problem today has been trying to make sense of the 3-chapter readings this week (Ruth through 1 Chronicles), and that indeed, my little voice has been yelling, "Apply it, idiot!"
Even as she spoke, I was looking at the chapters in that light. In Ruth, she had a chance to live off her birth family, but instead followed Naomi to a place where they had NO men, NO money, NO food, NO land- but did it anyway, following the harvesters for gleanings, because of Faith ("...and your God shall be my God..."). In 1 Samuel, Hannah used her faith to trust in God, even to the point of giving up the most precious thing in her life to God- and God rewarded not only her but all Israel. In giving up the child Samuel, she received more children. In 2 Samuel, David kept the faith in not approving the actions of his nephew Joab, choosing to honor God instead of man- and not only was his house blessed, but eventually God repaid those who acted sinfully. In 1 Kings, Solomon had the opportunity to enrich himself, but instead through faith humbled himself, asking only the ability to do what God had assigned him. For that, he was granted his request, AND was enriched.
But 1 Chronicles was a mashup of genealogy so confusing that people were being mentioned by two different names, generations were skipped and backtracked, and most of the people who had a mention beyond "he begat" were questionable at the very best: Nimrod, the first to exalt himself above God; the Canaanites, so evil their individual members weren't even mentioned; Hezron, who at 60 years old, raped a girl, got her pregnant, and LATER married her; Achon, called the Troubler of Israel; And a figure we mentioned before, Er son of Judah. He was wicked, and God killed him. Why? A little speculation here. We know God intended the Messiah to come through the line of Judah. Judah had to "take" a wife (Tamar) for Er, giving us the impression that Er wasn't hot on finding one himself. Was Er homosexual? We don't know, because apparently it was just one of his many problems, but regardless he was refusing his honor of being part of the line that led to Christ. So God "slew him", and the honor went to Onan. And as you recall, Onan declined the offer by "emitting his seed into the ground"- because with Er dead, he had the birthright, and if he had a son by Tamar, that son would assume the birthright. So God killed him, too.
At this point, Judah was unable or unwilling to see the evil in his boys, and rather than give Tamar to his next son (who was just a boy) just to see him dead (which he thought Tamar was doing), he told her to "wait until the boy grows up", and then ignored her. So she dressed up as a harlot, got pregnant by Judah without his knowing who she was, and when Judah found out, he had to admit "she was more righteous in this than I was". So the line to the Messiah led through Tamar's child, Perez. And where do you find faithfulness in this mess?
Because God was faithful. The line was going to go through Judah; and if Satan was going to intercept the plan of Salvation, stopping the line right here would be the way. But God was determined that the line was going to go through Judah, through Tamar, and despite every stupidity Satan could through at the situation, GOD WAS FAITHFUL. And that, in the end, is the most important faithfulness of all.
Oh, I just got an e-mail. I gave the reason on my loan application, "laid off till September", which is pretty close to what we're looking at. Their response was, since you are going to be laid off that long,
We are unable to extend loans out even if it is a temporary layoff. Because of
this we are unable to verify income.
So like I said, if I didn't need the money, they'd give it to me. Okay, God. Your turn. I'm out of kids to give Tamar to.