Ham,Shem and Japheth
Today we are going to look at the affects of family on serving. Yes, that’s right, families can be servants to each other. After the flood waters had receded, Noah and his children set up shop to do what God said to do and repopulate the earth. You would think if there were only eight people left in the world that those eight people would all get along and everything would be peace and harmony. Unfortunately for Noah and his family, hard feelings and malcontent were still present in the world after everyone else was gone. Noah, before his career as a ship builder, must have been a farmer because there was no one on earth to teach him anything new. Scripture says he planted vineyard and became a husbandman. Not only did he plant a vineyard, but he made some wine to drink. Not only did he make some wine to drink, but he drank so much of his fresh wine that he got very very drunk. So drunk in fact that he took off all his clothes and just laid around his tent. Now before you go talking about drinking, lets discuss something. Being drunk is not a good thing. Noah being drunk was not good at all because he was the head of the family and the one whom God spoke to and found who found grace in the eyes of the Lord. However, this also illustrates that sometimes God’s servants do things that aren’t pleasing to God. We see two examples of how to serve God’s servants when they fail. The first example is Ham. Ham was apparently the younger of Noah’s sons. When he saw his fathers situation, he went and gossiped and laughed about it to his brothers. In essence, he made fun of his father and the situation he had gotten himself in. The other example is that of Shem and Japheth. Upon hearing about their father’s drunken condition, they took a blanket and held it between them. They then walked backward and covered their fathers nakedness. Not only did they cover him up, but they did not look at him in this position. When Noah awoke from his drunken state, he realized what his son had done he immediately cursed his family line. His next step was to bless the family line of Shem and Japheth.
Here beg’s the question. Wasn’t Noah wrong? Absolutely he was wrong. We don’t know how the affect of the new world was on plants and vegetables, but I believe that Noah became drunk because the wine was good and it made him feel good. Anything that makes you unconcerned about your life or your situation is not good for you. The one thing missing from scripture is that there is no mention of God punishing Noah personally. Do you think that maybe Noah’s punishment was the loss of fellowship with one of his sons? Do you think that Noah had to bear some of the blame because if he doesn’t get drunk, then the temptation is not there for Ham to do something like this and have Noah curse him. But Noah did and Ham did and that is that.
The reaction of Shem and Japheth showed more than just a desire to be blessed. It showed a genuine respect for their father and what he meant to them. Having seen a few drunk people over the years, I’m sure Noah was acting crazy and it might have been funny. But Shem and Japheth realized the man their father was. They saw that just because he had made a mistake, he still deserved their respect. Because they gave him respect even though he had failed, they received a blessing bigger than anything they could have realized.
The one thing today’s lesson proves is that our actions have consequences. If you have respect for God’s servants, don’t kick them while they are down. I’m not saying that Shem and Japheth should have gone and gotten a bottle of wine and joined their father, but what I am saying is that when you see someone who God has used and will use again, resist the temptation to kick them while they are down. Use the opportunity to aid them in regaining their dignity. Each of Noah’s sons had a choice to make on how they would react to their fathers failing. Ham reacted in a negative way and received negative consequences. Shem and Japheth reacted in a positive and uplifting way and received positive consequences. Always remember that when God chooses a servant, he protects them from the world even if they fail. As he told Abraham many years later and I believe it was the same principal for Noah. “I will bless those that bless you and curse those who curse you.” If you want to be blessed, be a blessing to God’s servants today, even when they fail.