Day 12

Judah’s Promised Inheritance

from the Joshua reading plan

Joshua 15:1-63, Joshua 16:1-10, 1 Peter 1:3-5, John 10:7-18

BY Guest Writer

Text: Joshua 15:1-63, Joshua 16:1-10, 1 Peter 1:3-5, John 10:7-18

Growing up, Judah’s prospects looked pretty dim. Dysfunction? His family had it in spades. With all that family drama, it’s no wonder Judah ran away. Nor is it surprising that his problems continued to follow him.

After marrying and having three sons of his own, the generational sin and chaos just perpetuated. Scripture tells us the first two were wicked and died young. The remaining son refused to care for his brother’s widow, Tamar; and while Judah was also responsible for her welfare, he refused to act on her behalf (Genesis 38:6-11). Eventually, Tamar used deceit to force his hand. Would Judah honor his responsibilities or run from them once again?

When we look at Judah’s background, the answer seems obvious: Judah is not one of the “good guys.” He comes from one sinful mess and jumps right into another. Isn’t his course already set?

Thank God, the answer to that question is a resounding NO. Redemption is a constant refrain in the Bible: Your past does not define you (see Rahab). Your sin does not define you (see King David). Your family does not define you (see Ruth). Because of God’s love and mercy, Jesus Christ defines you. He calls you by name, and you are His (Isaiah 43:1). He alone created us, loves us perfectly, and saves us from our sin.

Judah was not doomed by his past any more than you or me. God had great plans for himplans to open his eyes to his own sinfulness (Genesis 38:26), plans to give him a new heart that could love well (Ezekiel 36:26), and even plans to reconcile his family and turn it into a great nation (Genesis 12:2).

Tamar’s trap became the turning point in Judah’s life. After he chose to take care of her, Judah returned to his father’s household, but this time as a sacrificial leader. By the time Judah received a final word from his father, it was a prophetic blessing: the future for his descendants would be long and bright (Genesis 49:10). This is the blessing we see unfolding in Joshua 15. Judah had become a tribe numbering in the thousands, and that tribe had arrived at the promised land to receive its inheritance.

In Ephesians, Paul wrote that God “is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us” (Ephesians 3:20). Do we really believe that? Or do we think it’s too late for us? Deep down, have we believed the lie that there are places God’s redemptive grasp can’t reach?

When you feel stuck in dysfunction, or hounded by your past, remember Who defined Judah and his future. The tribe of Judah brought forth Jesus Christ, the “Lion of Judah” and the anchor of our true identity (John 1:12-13). He has an eternal inheritance for us beyond what we can imagine.


Carolyn Denny dabbled in the Navy, politics, business, and publishing before she discovered her true calling: household management. Today she is raising three boys and a baby girl with her husband Josh in Nashville, Tennessee. In those precious moments tucked between bedtimes and carpools, Carolyn loves to teach the Bible and write about how God shows up in her messy world.

Post Comments (34)

34 thoughts on "Judah’s Promised Inheritance"

  1. Jodi says:

    Can you give me the scripture where it talks about Judah running away? I’m having trouble locating it.

  2. Darinda says:

    I’m so thankful God defines us and not this world!!!! Praise the Lord!!!!

  3. So thankful my identity comes from who Jesus says I am!!

  4. Theresa says:

    “When you feel stuck in dysfunction, or hounded by your past, remember Who defined Judah and his future. ” Powerful. That is what I needed to remember today as I woke up feeling a little down about myself and my inability to get things done (at least that is how I felt about myself this morning). Thank you for reminding me that is not how my Father sees me and He can get me back on track each time I stray. Thank You Lord, I love you so and need You always more than I can ever put in words.

    1. Lindsay Prater says:

      Amen. SO thankful He doesn’t see me as I see me!! I can never be reminded of that enough. I am not my failures. SO POWERFUL!

  5. Caroline says:

    Amazing. I love how God redeems everything about your story, including our past. So thankful that we are defined by who we are in HIM!

  6. Lindsay Prater says:

    As others have said, I am also very encouraged by this today! I have wrestled with frustration over feeling as though certain dysfunction or sin is “engrained” in us. I loose hope too easily in God’s redemptive power in my life and my family! My prayers can even become half hearted so quickly. But, God is merciful to remind me of truth and hope. In light of those reminders I MUST grab hold of Him, spend time with Him, and act on my faith and on His love. Our response to and fellowship with the Lord is essential to this battle of faith. There is no fight unless we FIGHT!

    1. Aimee says:

      I totally understand that. One thing i will share that has transformed my prayer life is praying scripture. The Bible says His word does not return void. I have started writing out scriptures in a journal for every situation i am praying over. I just grab my journal and pray those scriptures over my family. It gives me the strength to fight because they are God’s words not mine. Stormy Omartian has a series of books where she gives you scriptures to pray. Blessings

      1. Lindsay Prater says:

        That’s awesome! I have done that off and on through the years so this is a good reminder. It’s helpful not only in what to pray but how to pray, also. I will definitely be incorporating this idea again in my prayers. Thank you for sharing!

      2. Naomi says:

        Aimee, I have started to do this, too. I will share one scripture that I specifically pray over my children and unsaved loved ones. It is Acts 20:32
        And now I commend you to God and to the Word of His grace, which is able to build you and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.

        1. Aimee says:

          Love that scripture Naomi! I will be adding that to my prayers!

  7. Keri McCue says:

    One of my favorite passages in the Bible is that of Tamar and Judah! I love Tamar’s story. It’s so amazing how Judah ends up saying “She is more holy than I” when everyone else is saying she was wrong. Even though her method may not have been the best, God knew her heart was to honor her first husband and carry on him name (as was done in that culture and time). Christ ended up being born from her lineage. I just love that!!!

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