Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Noah's Notorious Hissy Fit - Devotion on Genesis 9

Scripture: Genesis 9:20-25
Noah, a man of the soil, proceeded to plant a vineyard. 21 When he drank some of its wine, he became drunk and lay uncovered inside his tent. 22 Ham, the father of Canaan, saw his father naked and told his two brothers outside. 23 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.

24 When Noah awoke from his wine and found out what his youngest son had done to him, 25 he said,

“Cursed be Canaan!
    The lowest of slaves
    will he be to his brothers.”

How do you react when someone catches you making a mistake? Do you get defensive? Do you get embarrassed? Do you lash out at them? Or do you humbly admit your fault and move on?

Noah worked patiently on the ark for years but quickly lost his patience when his youngest son, Ham, made fun of him to his brothers as Noah lay naked in a drunken stupor. In fact, Noah becomes so angry with Ham that he curses Ham's descendants (Canaan was Ham's oldest son) to be slaves to the rest of the family.

How is that fair? Canaan didn't have anything to do with it and yet he's the one Noah curses! And laying down a curse on someone just because they laughed at you when you made a mistake?

No doubt that Ham should have shown more respect for his father, but Noah's reaction is certainly blowing the situation out of proportion.

What would have happened if Noah had given Ham a firm look and a few stern words instead? What would have happened if he had admitted his own fault in the affair and resolved to be more careful in the future?

When we make a mistake, let's not further it by becoming defensive or lashing out at those who witness it. Instead, let us fix our spirits toward humility and grace as we seek to resolve our fault.

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