By Joe Slater
Noah wasn’t celebrating a holiday, but the account of his intoxication (Genesis 9:20-27) shows the danger and consequences of what some call holiday cheer. How ironic, that this man of faith became drunk! Men have made all sorts of excuses to minimize his sin, but they are useless. One mark of Biblical inspiration is that its heroes are presented “warts and all.” It makes no attempt to hide the flaws of great people like Noah, Abraham, Moses, and David. These men were not sinless; they needed God’s grace. But in the overall sense, they were faithful.
Noah’s episode of drunkenness had far-reaching consequences. While “sleeping it off”, he let his nakedness become exposed in his tent. His son Ham, rather than respectfully covering his father, looked at him and then went and told his brothers. When Noah awakened, he pronounced a curse upon Ham’s son, Canaan: “a servant of servants he shall be to his brethren” (9:25).
But why curse the son for the father’s offense? Let us realize that the curse was not placed upon Canaan personally, but upon the nations that would descend from Ham through Canaan. Noah made this pronouncement by the spirit of prophecy. The Lord certainly knew what kind of people the Canaanites would become. By the time Moses wrote about this event, the Israelites were in the wilderness headed toward the promised land of Canaan. True to Noah’s prediction, they largely exterminated or subjugated the Canaanites. No doubt this prophecy would have encouraged them as they came nearer to the time of conquest.
Our nation is drowning in beverage alcohol. Let this episode with Noah be a warning to us of the danger and consequences of consuming it! Happy Holidays!
- Joe Slater serves as minister of the Church of Christ in Justin, TX. He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://justinchurchofchrist.com