Sometimes I forget how messed up some of my Old Testament heroes really were. When I hear the name Judah I think about the "Lion of Judah." I imagine Judah as a strong leader, a good speaker, and a man of integrity. But he made his fair share of mistakes...
15 When Judah saw her, he thought she was a prostitute, for she had covered her face. 16 He turned to her at the roadside and said, “Come, let me come in to you,” for he did not know that she was his daughter-in-law. She said, “What will you give me, that you may come in to me?” 17 He answered, “I will send you a young goat from the flock.” And she said, “If you give me a pledge, until you send it—” 18 He said, “What pledge shall I give you?” She replied, “Your signet and your cord and your staff that is in your hand.” So he gave them to her and went in to her, and she conceived by him.
He is at least honest enough to admit that Tamar was more righteous than he was. And he does not take her life. But this reminds me again that we are all marred and in need of grace.