Like Sons of Noah
At the outset of Hidden Manna’s healing prayer ministry, we sought the counsel of a local pastor. “May you be like the sons of Noah who covered their father’s nakedness and walked backwards out of his tent.” This was one of the most vital blessings we could have received. Our ministry – indeed most ministry within the body of Christ—involves the sharing of deep personal struggle, brokenness and human frailty, which we then bring to the feet of Jesus for healing and restoration.
This is the very nature of bearing one another’s burdens in Christ. It is a ministry of the many, rather than the few. How do we create space for the wounded, the broken, the hurting among us to experience the healing love of Jesus? And have we recognized the value of discretion in loving one another and carrying each other’s burdens?
Genesis 9 tells us that when the floodwaters receded, Noah planted a vineyard. He became drunk one night and lay uncovered in his tent. When his son Ham entered and saw the spectacle of his father’s condition, he went to his brothers to broadcast the sad state of affairs in Noah’s tent. In contrast, Shem and Japheth laid a garment across their shoulders, walked into the tent backwards, and covered their father’s nakedness, keeping their faces turned away so as not to see what they knew would dishonor their father.
Disdain looks with contempt upon the failings of others. It takes pictures and posts them on the internet. It amplifies, exposes, tweets and retweets. It gloats, boasts and gossips – commemorating sin, pandering to darkness, and celebrating indecency as news, content and even entertainment.
The world may do these things, but Christ does not. And neither may we.
Love refuses to gaze upon depravity. It does not gossip. It does not revel in iniquity, or prey on the vulnerabilities of others. It does not shame but chooses instead to fix its gaze on the Lord. Jesus, take this. What do you want to give in return?
In return, Ham received a curse from his father that enslaved his line for generations to follow. Japheth received a blessing of expansion and enlargement in his family line. And Shem, who became the ancestor of Abraham and later Christ, received the blessing of God’s favor upon his life and lineage.
Are you a safe place for others to share their burdens? What blessing may the Lord lavish upon you as you walk with love and discretion on behalf of those he puts in your path?