Normal Reaction

Daily Devotional – I’m Normal.™  I AM Ministries

“To promote Godly living in a culture committed to destroying it”

Normal I AM

Friday, May 20, 2016

Normal Reaction

Because of man’s fallen state, the world suffers from the evil of sin. It’s easy to spot, both in ourselves and others, for we are all guilty. Our reaction to the sin of others, however, is an important test God gives us each day. The story of Noah and his sons after the flood is a gift from God that helps teach us the normal reaction to discovery of sin in our fellow man.

Noah had been a faithful servant to God. In Genesis 6:9, we are told he “was blameless among the people of his time” or “perfect in his generations” (KJV). This accolade spoke of his sincerity, not an actual sinless perfection, which only Jesus Christ has achieved. We see here that Noah partook of the fruit of the vine in excess and became drunk. Passed out from too much wine, he lay uncovered and unclothed inside his tent. (Genesis 9:21).

While Noah was in this unfortunate exposure state, his son Ham saw him first. To come across his father and see him by accident is not in itself a sin, as any of us could stumble upon such a sight. It was Ham’s non-normal reaction to what he saw that caused him to accrue blame in God’s sight.

Ham had an impure and inappropriate fascination with the sight of his father. He may have been pleased to see his father in such a state of shame. Perhaps he himself had been drunk upon occasion and had received admonishment from his father. Now he could revel in the fact his father had succumbed to the very temptation that had trapped him. This is a common reaction – those who engage regularly in sin often celebrate when they see others following in their steps. Failing to terminate sin, however, is not a normal reaction. Charity demands we do not rejoice in iniquity or the sins of others. Rather, we should acknowledge the sin and do our best to see it is discontinued.

Instead of being appalled at the sight of his father’s nakedness and immediately taking steps to correct it by covering Noah, Ham elevated the event to a public issue. He made a circus of the sin and publicized this encounter to others rather than mourning internally and taking action promptly to assist his father in his time of need. If Ham were alive today, he might join the legion of paparazzi who are eager to publish photos of people’s compromising situations.

To publish the faults of others, especially our parents whom we are called to honor, is not the normal reaction God wants us to have to sin. The principle is especially true in this case, where Noah had been a good and faithful father. Noah deserved more respect than he was given by his son Ham.

In contrast to Ham, his brothers Shem and Japheth took pity on their father and set themselves immediately to cover their father’s shame. They were not interested in seeing it themselves, nor were they about to let anyone else gaze upon their father’s sin. It was an act of charity for them to conceal it rather than glorify it as their brother had done. They had enough love and respect for their father to react normally and to try to cover his fault. This does not imply they participated in the sin or failed to rebuke their father later for his sin, but they had pity on him and covered him with not only a garment (Genesis 9:23), but also a robe of reverence.

Do you have a normal reaction when you come across sin? Do you try to stop or mitigate the sin with respect for the sinner or do you let the sin continue? Do you show charity for others by rebuking them with kindness and love or do you broadcast the sin to others through gossip or other means? When it comes to reacting to sin, would you consider yourself like Ham, or like Shem and Japheth?

Our culture often encourages us to make sin a public spectacle so as many people as possible can enjoy the view. God tells us through this story of Noah how this is not the normal reaction He would call us to have. Encountering sin in inevitable; glorifying it is not. Each of us needs to examine our own life and actions to be sure we have a normal reaction to sin.

In His love and service,

Jeff Myers
A servant of Jesus Christ


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