Day 4: Genesis 9-11; Matthew 4

Genesis 9:20-23 has both fascinated and perplexed me at the same time, every time I read it. Last year I attended the dedication of a new church building for a ministry that deals with people in their most broken condition...usually addiction. As it turned out, a fitting passage. The preacher, I don't remember his name, made an interesting application I had not before considered. Ham saw his father in his shame and failure, did nothing to restore his dignity (help him), turned his back on his dad and walked away, went out of his presence and talked about him to others. Shem and Japheth did not engage in gossip...would not talk about his failure to others before engaging him with respect. In the biblical account they said nothing. They would not disrespect their father in his shame and failure, rather without focusing on that, they covered him, restoring his dignity. Ham was cursed. His brothers were blessed, and Shem became the father (ancestor) of Abraham, who became our 'father in the faith.'

That message was one that I listened to and said, "Ouch!" This year I want to be present to the broken in their failure, respecting their dignity (made in the image of God), covering their brokenness with grace, and helping restore them to Jesus, in Jesus. I don't want to see, turn my back, gossip and do nothing...which ultimately tears a person down, shames them and may drive them away from grace.

"Lord, help me be like You! You looked on a broken world, wept over their lostness and offered them grace, a gift they did not deserve that cost You Your life, that they may be restored to dignity, to belonging. Help me never to use someone's failure and shame to promote my own spiritual superiority, for but by the grace of God, there go I. I need You! I need Your Holy Spirit. Help me to be like You. In Your Name I ask this. Amen"
Posted for Pastor Jonathan while we work through the upgrade transition.
Photo by Maja Petric on Unsplash.


natalie barringer - January 4th, 2023 at 9:12am

I have done my share of gossiping. This is something I need to focus on. Prayerfully.

Kim Eisenberg - January 4th, 2023 at 9:57pm

Thank you for that vantage point of this passage Walt. Sometimes when things or things about others bother or upset us we can go to others and talk, which can end up being gossiping. Talking out of our frustrations and our own failures in these times/situations. I am guilty. Help me Lord to own my part of things and grow to be able to help others in their trying times, I pray.

Walt - January 5th, 2023 at 5:21am

That post is all Pastor Jonathan, Kim. I was copying and pasting while we worked through the transition and some sign in issues. In my quickness I missed the extra lines for author and photo credit. I’ll fix that oversight!

In terms of the post content, I agree! It can be so easy to choose the Ham path in these situations. I pray that this insight about this passage sticks with us and convicts us in those moments.