20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works isdead? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? 22 Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? 23 And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God. 24 You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.
Richard: The “works” is the providence of Home Church.
13 If the household is worthy, let your peace come upon it. But if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. 14 And whoever will not receive you nor hear your words, when you depart from that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet. 15 Assuredly, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city!
Richard: Good advice for visiting your neighbors when doing Home Church.
Women of the Bible
Teachings of Rev. Sun Myung Moon
Tamar was one example of how God’s lineage developed through women with an unusual path of life. Why would God use women of questionable morals in the dispensation? Ordinary women who offer their bodies in love, as Eve did, belong to Satan and are 100 percent on Satan’s side. Women on God’s side must go the opposite way. Hence, God needed women who could deny love on Satan’s side and [offer their bodies] to return to God.
Since Tamar met this criterion, God selected her and worked through her to fulfill the providence. What exactly did Tamar do? She was a righteous woman who was willing to take on the role of a sinner as she strived to fulfill God’s will. As Eve lied to God and her husband-to-be at the time of the Fall, Tamar deceived her father-in-law and her husband to-be, the third son of Judah. Tamar did precisely what Eve did, risking her life, but she did it for God’s will. (92:286-88, April 18, 1977)
I am sure Tamar prayed like this, “O Lord God, I miss the realm of Thy blessing. I am doing this to continue Thy blessed lineage, so God, please forgive me. Even though I may die tens of thousands of times, if only I can continue the blessed lineage of Judah through this immoral act, I have no regret.”
With that desperate heart, Tamar did not mind facing even death in order to fulfill God’s Will and resolve His grief. Tamar’s filial piety and obedience to God’s will was truly amazing. Yet it was painful for God to have to work His providence of restoration through this kind of complicated situation. (110:222-23, November 18, 1980)
Satan sowed the seed of false love within the womb of Eve, which gave birth to evil life. Therefore, God needed to purify a mother’s womb from which the heavenly Son could be born. Despite Jacob’s victory in winning over Esau, the forty-year period from their birth to their reconciliation still remained to be separated from Satan. The great mother who assumed the responsibility to meet this condition was Tamar.
Tamar had the single-minded conviction that she would carry on the lineage of the chosen people. To that end, she disguised herself as a prostitute and slept with her father-in-law, Judah, and became pregnant with twins. At the time of birth, one of the twin sons, Zerah, stretched out his hand from the womb to be born first. But he was pulled back into the womb; and the second son, Perez, was born first, taking the position of the elder brother. Thus, within the womb of Tamar, the first and second sons fought, and their reversal of position separated them from Satan.
This became the condition for restoration in the womb. Upon this condition, the Messiah could be conceived within the blood lineage of the chosen people, on the base of the nation of Israel that could stand up to the Roman Empire two thousand years later. The victorious foundation on the national level could then be formed in the womb of a mother free of satanic accusation, prepared for the seed of the Son of God. On this foundation, the holy mother Mary emerged in the mainstream of God’s providence. (277:205-06, April 16, 1966)