‘And Noah began to be a farmer, and he planted a vineyard.
Then he drank of the wine and was drunk, and became uncovered in his tent.
And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brothers outside. But Shem and Japheth took a garment, laid it on both their shoulders, and went backward and covered the nakedness of their father. Their faces were turned away, and they did not see their father’s nakedness. So Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done to him. Then he said: “Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants he shall be to his brethren.” And he said: “Blessed be the LORD, the God of Shem, and may Canaan be his servant. May God enlarge Japheth, and may he dwell in the tents of Shem; and may Canaan be his servant.”‘
At first, this doesn’t seem to be such a serious incident, and many have wondered why the punishment for a young man seeing his father in a naked condition was so serious. After all, they were both men. This was a family issue. Also, this Scripture seems especially odd since the punishment seems to have been passed directly on to Noah’s grandson (rather than his son). The text is not as clear as we’d probably like, so we have to work with various clues – including other passages of Scripture. Overall, Bible commentators feel that something else may have occurred which the text never specifically spells out.
I’m not going there.
Instead, consider… nakedness. The concept of being… uncovered. Disrobed. Exposed. On public display, and not in the most optimal light, so to speak. Private parts on view, in view, for anyone to view. The consequence of an error in judgment. This came as the result of Noah drinking too much wine, but do we know for sure that he realized the consequences of such prior to doing it? I don’t know for sure. At least I don’t see it spelled out in God’s Word. He may not have known that too much of the good thing (wine) could lead to very bad consequences of impaired judgment. God’s Word is clear to us about not drinking wine to excess, but Noah didn’t have God’s Word and he may not have had a clue. This passage tells us that he began to be a farmer, planted a vineyard, and then drank juice from the harvested fruit. This may have been the first time anyone got drunk – ever! 😮
How often do we become naked due to errors in judgment? “I didn’t realize…” then… OOPS! Exposure of our human-ness! 😳
How often do we “OOPS!” each and every day? Perhaps you’ll find a spelling or grammatical error in this writing – it wouldn’t be the first time! How many times have you noticed someone saying or doing something that… you know you could be done better? How often do you find fault in others?
I do. A lot. Perfectionism in writing is a curse for me; a blessing if I bless through the words I say, but a curse as errors can GLARE and GRIND at me like fingernails running down a chalkboard. Eeeeeee-yowwwwwwww… I am a self-perceived and self-proclaimed Grammaphobic Typochondriac. I’m so tempted to correct the foibles of others when I see them. Do you see them too? Do you see the failures – the downside – the errors of others?
What do you do? How do you react?
Do you have to pointedly point out the error to the offender without hesitation? God’s Word is clear that we are accountable to one another and, if we see something, we are to go to them in love with Scriptural truth for their good and for the good of the body of Christ. None of us has arrived in God’s eyes. Each of us is human. Each of us can say “OOPS!”… a lot… if and when we’re honest with ourselves.
But are you quick to uncover their nakedness? Noah’s son, Ham, was. “Ah HA! LOOK! He’s naked! Brothers! Come quickly and LOOK! Look and SEE! Our father is NAKED!” 😯
What is your motive in pointing out someone’s error? To help them? To enable them to grow to be more like their Savior? To build them up towards a closer walk with God? Or is it to show that they have a weakness – you do not – you can correct their weakness – and in doing so, you can uncover their nakedness for the world to look at, to point at, to show that you know better?
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged.” God’s Word is clear. By whatever motive and means you judge someone – you will be judged. So if you believe you have to point out someone’s fault publicly…
Be ready to have your own nakedness uncovered.
Love does not uncover nakedness. Love turns its head away and does what it can to lovingly correct the error. Love is patient. It is KIND. Kindness does not uncover another person’s faults or errors for the world to smile at. Love covers another’s nakedness. 🙂
Follow the way of love, unless you want to awaken to the curse of being uncovered too.