Friday, October 19, 2012

Ham-nature? Dealing with a naked father?

We all go through trails and temptations. Most times, we are not in anyway responsible for what happen to us or what happen around us. But we are responsible for how we respond to the situation.

A few years ago I heard a powerful message, which was taken from the book of Genisis 9 (I can't remember what Church I heard it). I'll like to share what I took out of it.

We are most familiar with the story of Noah, the man who built the ark and help repopulate the earth after the flood receded.

In Genesis 6, we are told about a world gone wrong. "The Lord observed the extent of human wickedness on earth, and he saw that everything they thought or imagined was consistently and totally evil." This broke God's heart. We are told God was going to wipe all the human race from the earth... but Noah found favor with God.

"...Noah was a righteous man, the only blameless person living on earth at the time and he walked in close fellowship with God." Gen 6:9. Wow! at his CV! Impeccable!

The account goes on to narrate how God had a heart-to-heart talk with Noah and instructed him to build a large boat (an ark). When God sent flood to cover the earth Noah, his family and a pair of every animal he selected into the Ark were spared.

After 150 days, five months from the time the flood began, it receded. But the flood did not dry up immediately. It took some additional 12months plus. Then God instructed Noah to leave the boat, along with all others so that they can be fruitful and multiply throughout the earth (Gen 8:15-17).

God kept His covenant with Noah. He blessed him and his sons (Genesis 9:1-3). So they all started life afresh! :-)

"After the flood, Noah began to cultivate the ground, and he planted a vineyard." Yeah he did not sit on his hands waiting for manna to fall from heaven. He took the initiative to farm. He worked hard. What can we learn from this?

"One day he (Noah) drank some wine he had made, and he became drunk and lay naked inside his tent." Okay, someone had too much wine.

"Ham (one of his 3 sons), the father of Canaan, saw that his father was naked and went outside and told his brothers." Sometimes we do this right? We see something and our first reaction is to tell someone. We play amebor. We gossip about it. Easier to do abi?

"Then Shem and Japheth (Noah's other sons) took a robe, held it over their shouders and backed into the tent to cover their father. As they did this they looked the other way so they would not see him naked." (Genesis 9:20-23).

Why did Ham not just do this? Why did he spread the news and humiliate his father when he could have just as well covered his nakedness?

Many of us like Ham have had the privilege of entering our father's tents. We know where he keeps everything, how he lays to rest or rise at dawn. When Ham saw his father drunk and naked that day, he could have as well covered him. Or maybe the shock of seeing a righteous man in a state of stupor was too much to let him think rationally. So he did what we most often do these days- he went and announced the news to his brothers. But those ones took a different, wiser approach. They covered their father up and looked the other way while they did so.

We are told in the rest of the Chapter that Noah woke up and heard what happened. He blessed Shem and Japheth. He cursed Canaan,the son of Ham. Yeah, when I read this portion of my Bible, I was like "why curse Canaan for his father's offence?"

This Ham-nature still exist today. Many of us are quick to react like Ham when we find great men at their weakest point. We are quick to whisper, tweet, blog or broadcast the news about our fathers (or those we meet) nakedness to the rest of the world. After basking in the pleasure of humiliating them, we find ourselves in our own stupidity, which extends to our own sons.

We see a christian sister or brother at the wrong spot and we quickly tweet about it. We are the first to start the "have you heard..." tale over the fall of our brethren or those entrusted in our care.

Are you dealing with a similar situation right now? Are you opportune to have access to sensitive information or privileged to know the weak areas of those who others hold in high regard? What are you going to do? Announce it to others? Use it to blackmail? Be judgemetal? or call the person aside and help them overcome it/cover their nakedness?

We must always remember the fall of a man is not the end of his life. Those we see in a state of stupor today will always wake up. God extends his mercy to the weak and vindicates them. So never glory in a fall of any man.

I write this as a reminder to myself. I need to control my big mouth :-). I hope this blogpost blesses you too. We might not be resposible for what happen to us or around us but may God always grant us the wisdom to respond appropriately. May God help us tame the Ham-nature in us. May God be merciful unto us for times we fall short.

Keep growing in faith.


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