In the last article, we started discussing about the Christian response when a man of God is in the news for the wrong reasons. Today we will continue that discussion with lessons from Noah and his children.
“The sons of Noah who came out of the ark were Shem, Ham and Japheth. (Ham was the father of Canaan.) These were the three sons of Noah, and from them came the people who were scattered over the whole earth. Noah, a man of the soil, proceeded to plant a vineyard. When he drank some of its wine, he became drunk and lay uncovered inside his tent. Ham, the father of Canaan, saw his father naked and told his two brothers outside. But Shem and Japheth took a garment and laid it across their shoulders; then they walked in backward and covered their father’s naked body. Their faces were turned the other way so that they would not see their father naked.When Noah awoke from his wine and found out what his youngest son had done to him, he said,“Cursed be Canaan! The lowest of slaves will he be to his brothers.” He also said, “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Shem! May Canaan be the slave of Shem. May God extend Japheth’s territory; may Japheth live in the tents of Shem, and may Canaan be the slave of Japheth.” Genesis 9:18-27
This is an incredible story. After the epic that was the great flood, we see Noah planting a vineyard, drinking its wine and getting drunk. Of course drunk people do drunk things, so we find Noah Naked. The response of Noah’s son’s to their father’s situation is highly instructive. Lets take a look at a few lessons from this story.
Noah was a Man of God
Of course he was! What do you call the only man that found grace and favour in the sight of God (Genesis 6:8). One man out of the entire human population found Grace in God’s sight! He is definitely a man of God. This was a man that heard the voice of God, got clear and precise directions for the building of an engineering masterpiece, received supernatural ability to gather all kinds of animals together, even the wild ones! What else would you call that kind of man? If our 3 piece-suited Pastors of this generation are men of God, then Noah was surely one. The one beautiful thing about Noah was that he “…did everything as the LORD commanded him” Genesis 7:5. What better way to define a Man of God is there? Noah, a man who was chosen by God, who heard from God, who was empowered by God and who was obedient to God, is the perfect definition of a Man of God.
This Man of God made a huge blunder
Many of the scandals our “current men of God” are embroiled in are cases of ‘he-said-she-said’. The scandal Noah found himself was a true life, legitimate and confirmed story. It was not a maybe or maybe not situation, he actually DID IT! Our picturesque Man of God got badly drunk and lost his clothes. Nothing could be more shameful than that. We can go into speculations of what could have come over him and what could have made him do it, but that is not necessary. Was it the right thing for him to do? Of course not. I mean, we can all agree that wrong is wrong and no excuse can make what is wrong acceptable in God’s sight. At the risk of being seen as making excuses for men of God, if Noah could make a mistake, other men of God could as well. So the attitude of many believers seeing their ‘father in Lord’ as above mistake is just plain naive and silly. Noah the powerful man of God found himself in the middle of a crises of character.
When a Man of God makes a mistake, accept the mistake for what it is. Sin does not change its definition based on who commits it. Sin does not also change its definition because a crowd of people wish it isn’t true.
Ham updated his Facebook Status
Yeah yeah I know, there was no Facebook in the time of Noah; but you get my point. The Bible says “Ham, the father of Canaan, saw his father naked and told his two brothers outside” Genesis 9:22. That was like telling a third of the entire population of the human race! Ham saw his ‘man-of-God’ father naked, and the first thing that jumped into his mind was to broadcast it. Mind you, this was his father we are talking about.
Do you know this is akin to what many of us do as Christians? We catch a fellow Christian in an error and boom, we update our Facebook status. Even though Noah and these Men of God are guilty of the accusations leveled against them, it is absolutely un-Christlike to publicly ridicule them. We do this in so many ways today. We share articles online, post videos, write blogs, discuss with friends and colleagues, with the intention to shame. Even if you do not like the man of God, it is not your place as a Christian to chastise another Christian, that is God’s duty!
Shem and Japhet are good guys, be like them
“But Shem and Japheth took a garment and laid it across their shoulders; then they walked in backward and covered their father’s naked body. Their faces were turned the other way so that they would not see their father naked” Genesis 9:23. This warms my heart a great deal. Was it true that Noah got himself into this mess? Yes! Was it anybody’s fault that Noah threw self control out the window? Absolutely not! Was that enough to make Shem and Japhet giggle and salivate at the juicy story? No! When they saw the video Ham uploaded to Twitter, they did not retweet it, they did not share it, they deleted it. Please notice they did not deny the fact that their father had made a fool of himself, they just refused to participate in making a fool of him. They held a garment over their shoulders and turned their face the other way so they do not see their father naked! Wow!
Can Christians be like this? Can we cover each other’s nakedness? Can we rebuke each other in private and support each other in public? Can we denounce the sin without tearing our brother or sister apart?
Noah awoke from His wine
Thank goodness the drunken sleep of Noah did not last forever. He awoke from his wine. This is for you Mr Man of God: Awake from your wine. You will not be able to repent and awake from your misdeed if you keep making excuses and explaining things away. Of course it is the right thing for your fellow Christians to be supportive in this trying time, but our support means nothing if you are not repentant. Remember, reputation and prestige are not essentials in the Kingdom of God. Admit your drunkenness and awake from your wine.
There are consequences for our actions
Noah “…found out what his youngest son had done to him, he said,“Cursed be Canaan! The lowest of slaves will he be to his brothers.” He also said, “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Shem! May Canaan be the slave of Shem. May God extend Japheth’s territory; may Japheth live in the tents of Shem, and may Canaan be the slave of Japheth” Genesis 9:25-27.
What looked like a joke to Ham in the morning became a generational curse in the evening! There are consequences for our actions. When David used ‘he is God’s anointed’ as an excuse not to kill Saul even when he knew the Lord had departed from him, he knew what he was doing. You may think you are harmlessly exercising your fundamental human right to free speech. Well, may free speech not make you screech down the highway of destruction.
Shem and Ham on the other hand just wanted to cover their father’s nakedness, nothing else. At the end of the day, a blessing of expansion was released upon them. The little things we do that may look like nothing may make the difference in our lives.
Noah’s carelessness put Ham in harm’s way. It was his duty to protect and shield his sons from these kinds of things. Dear Mr Man of God, some of your sheep are weak. Your actions have consequences. Stop being an Alpha, and stop strutting around like the Omega. Take care of your Sheep.
God bless you.