Friday, January 12, 2024

The Vision (1.12.24): Noah's Failure


Image: Noah's Drunkenness, French manuscript illumination, c. 1250.

Note: Devotional based on last Sunday's sermon on Genesis 9:18-29.

Genesis 9:20 And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard: 21 And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent.

The Lord graciously preserved the life of Noah and his sons from the flood. He then blessed them and made a covenant with them, promising never to destroy the earth again by means of a flood, and he set the bow in the clouds as a token of that covenant (Genesis 8:1, 11).

The world after the flood was a time of hope and promise, but in Genesis 9:18-29 we read, to our dismay, of Noah’s failure. He becomes drunken and uncovered in shame.

What application can we draw from this description of Noah’s failure?

We are reminded of a reality for all men, even redeemed men, as Noah was. There are remaining corruptions within us. Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord (Genesis 6:8). He was a just (justified) man (6:9). But after the flood he fell into grievous sin.

Noah anticipates one who will come after him from his line, King David, the man after God’s own heart, the sweet Psalmist of Israel. But David fell into adultery with Bathsheba (see 2 Samuel 11). He arranged the death of her husband. He was a murderer. And yet when confronted by Nathan the prophet, he repented in sackcloth and ashes, penned Psalm 51, and pleaded with the LORD, “Create in me a clean heart O God; and renew a right spirit within me” (v. 10).

Even the great apostle Paul would write of a struggle within him in Romans 7 when he spoke of doing that which he knew was not right and failing to do what he knew was right, because of sin dwelling in him (see Romans 7:15-20). He cried out, “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” (v. 24). He then declared, “I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord” (v. 25).

For every Noah who truly knows and loves the Lord but who succumbs to sin, whether drunkenness or lasciviousness or a thousand other sins, his only hope is the righteous life of Christ given to him by grace through faith. This does not permit him to excuse his sin, but it allows him to repent of his sin and to strive after new obedience.

Noah’s failure, like all our spiritual failures, in the end, only shines greater light upon Christ’s victory.

Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle

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