I (Dana) don’t know if this happens to anyone else, but sometimes when I’m cleaning the house or focused on work the Holy Spirit will smack me upside the head with a scripture verse that just puts me in my place. I usually don’t blog about these moments in my life (mostly because they are embarrassing and show my humanity and need for God’s grace due to sin in my life). Today, I figured what the heck…
I was doing the dishes when the Holy Spirit brought this verse to mind:
“After the flood, Noah began to cultivate the ground, and he planted a vineyard. One day he drank some wine he had made, and he became drunk and lay naked inside his tent. Ham, the father of Canaan, saw that his father was naked and went outside and told his brothers. Then Shem and Japheth took a robe, held it over their shoulders, and backed into the tent to cover their father. As they did this, they looked the other way so they would not see him naked.” Genesis 9:20-23
A few things that was brought to my attention by my dear friend…the Holy Spirit:
1. Ham saw that his father was naked, and upon seeing the state of his father, Ham immediately went out to share the news with the first person he could find (granted this was just after the flood, so his options for gossip were limited). To see his father accidentally and involuntarily would not have been a crime…but it was almost like Ham was rejoicing in the fact that he found his father in an unbecoming situation. The Holy Spirit impressed upon my heart how damaging it is to publish the faults of anyone. I’m not saying I go out and tell every juicy piece of information that comes my way, but in my lifetime I have leaked out thoughts that should have been “covered” with love instead of shared out of frustration or boredom. This is something I want to work on and change through the strength of the Holy Spirit. Because the Lord does not convict people of sin and then not offer a way to help. I am confident that He who began a good work in me will be faithful to work this character flaw out in a way that will glorify the One who created me.
“He who goes about as a talebearer reveals secrets, but he who is trustworthy and faithful in spirit keeps the matter hidden.” Proverbs 11:13
2. Also, notice the care of Shem and Japheth. They not only worked to avoid seeing their father’s nakedness themselves, but they also provided that no one else might see it….setting an example of love with reference to other men’s sin and shame. They were putting into practice what Peter said in the New Testament, “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8).
Matthew Henry’s Complete Commentary says, “The phrase ‘to cover’ in Peter’s gospel inclines people to forgive and forget offences against themselves and also to cover and conceal the sins of others rather than aggravate them and spread them abroad.” I find it interesting how he used the word “aggravate” (which means “cause to become worse”). It seems as though when you love someone, you try not to make things worse.
I guess that is what the Holy Spirit is trying to show me. “Don’t make things worse, Dana. I just want you to focus on loving people instead.”