This is a reminder that you can find the daily Bible Readings here.
Warning: Today’s reading and tomorrow’s reading are genealogies. That means they are long lists of names that trace the family line of Noah’s sons. Not really exciting stuff.
So, I’m going to reflect on yesterday’s reading, which is found in Genesis 9:18-28.
Here’s the simple version of the story. Noah gets drunk and passes out naked. Ham sees his Dad naked (nasty). Noah curses Ham for seeing him naked and condemns his offspring to be the servants of his brothers families for the rest of history. Can’t you just hear Ham saying to Shem and Japheth, “Dad always did like you best!”
Let’s be honest. That’s messed up.
Remember, this was not God’s curse on Ham (later to be known as the Canaanites). This was Noah’s anger that flared up and led him to curse one of his own sons.
There are two things we need to remember from this story (and the bigger story of Noah):
First, there is no such thing as a perfect family. Not one family in the entire Bible (including Jesus’ family) was perfect. Here we have Noah, the guy that just saved all life on the planet, who totally messes up the lives of millions of people by cursing his son out of anger. Not cool.
I know that isn’t exactly an encouraging word, but, here’s my point. You have probably been really irritated, embarrassed, or disappointed with your family at one time or another. You probably have good reason to be. Do you know why? Because your family is human…just like you. We need to cut each other some slack.
Here’s the second thing to remember. God’s promise still stands, even though we mess things up. God promised to never destroy the earth, and he promised to redeem the earth. As we go through this journey of God’s promises this year, we will see that God works with really messed up people to do amazing things.
God loves you. Even though Noah got mad and cursed his son, that doesn’t mean God will act that way. The challenge for us is to learn from the mistakes of our ancestors and live into the promises of God today.