“You, LORD, are my lamp; the LORD turns my darkness into light.”
– 2 Samuel 22:29 NIV
The darkness inside of me, the darkness surrounding me, the darkness that wants to swallow me – God turns it all into light.
There have been times in my past when I was so lost in the darkness that I couldn’t find my way. The light seemed so far away and so often I would stumble and fall. Living a life of bad choices, surrounded by people content to live in the darkness, I often looked over my shoulder to see the light, off in the distance, and wondered what it held for me.
“I can’t go back,” I thought. “It’s been too long, I’ve strayed too far away, I’ve made too many mistakes…” I thought that I was confined to the shadows and that I could never break away.
But His light has always been inside me. And as I draw nearer to Him, he has chased all the darkness away. I can stand up tall and walk in the light. I can see the path He has set for me.
As Noah’s story comes to a close, we learn of a clash between him and his youngest son. Noah has played the part of a hero in this story – God had mercy on him because of his tremendous faith and blessed him because of his show of respect and gratitude. But here we see a more human side to Noah, that is a little more relatable.
Despite being a righteous man and finding favor in the eyes of The Lord, Noah wasn’t perfect. He had a little too much wine and found himself in an embarrassing situation.
While he was passed out drunk inside his tent, his son, Ham, saw his nakedness. Rather than covering his father and trying to protect him from shame, Ham went to tell his brothers.
Shem and Japheth went into the tent and covered their father, walking backward with their faces turned away, out of love and respect for Noah.
When you love someone, you want to protect them from harm, not expose their faults. You don’t gossip with others about that person’s weakest moments. Gossip is hurtful. No one deserves to have someone taking delight in retelling their misfortunes or to have their faults exposed.
“Whoever would foster love covers over an offense, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.”
Proverbs 17:9 NIV
And that’s exactly what happened in Noah’s situation. His relationship with Ham was never the same. He became so angry with him, that he cursed his own grandson.
Our first instinct should be, “How can I help?” – Not, “Who can I tell about this?”
When I see someone in a distressful situation, please give me the courage to step up and protect them, in a respectful way, without hesitation. Remind me that it isn’t any of my business how they got into this mess and it is not my job to determine if their own poor choices led them to their current circumstances. I know that You want me to show them love and respect, and that by doing so, I will honor You. Please surround my daughter with people who have her best interest at heart and will shield her from harm or embarrassment when she makes mistakes.