And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brothers outside. (Gen 9:22)
Anyone who has authority over your life has been allowed by God to be in that position and therefore should be honoured. Your biological parents, husband, pastors, coordinators of fellowships, team leader, boss and others in leadership positions should be honoured irrespective of their ages or weaknesses. When you do, you honour God who put them there and attract blessings. Despising or criticizing them can lead to many disadvantages.
What offence did Ham commit? He didn’t abuse his father or curse him. He wasn’t even rude to his father. All he did was to tell his brothers the nakedness of his father. He had never seen his father in such a strange drunk state before and might have been lost but that did not prevent the curse.
Ham was Noah’s second son and Noah was a righteous man in His generation. Noah was so righteous that he was the only man God considered worthy to be spared from the flood destruction that came on the whole world in His days. His sons and their wives were spared just because of him. He was not just secretly righteous like Joseph of Arimathea; he was a preacher of righteousness in his days. (2 Peter 2:5)
Noah walked with God and heard his voice clearly. How could a man build an ark (for 100 years) for protection from rain in a situation where it had never rained before that time? He must have been hearing from God continuously. An average person who was not close to God would have given up after the first few years; there was no encouragement from any human being. After staying with few people and many animals in the ark for several months, this man also waited to hear God’s voice before leaving the ark. He was indeed a man of God.
After coming out of the ark with a few animals, he gave God a sacrifice of representatives of all the clean animals. He did not offer God the bad ones. He was not afraid of sacrificing from the few survivors. This burnt offering excited God to warrant a covenant saying “I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake, although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; nor will I again destroy every living thing as I have done. While the earth remains, Seedtime and harvest, Cold and heat, Winter and summer, and day and night Shall not cease.” In other words, Noah, in a sense, initiated the covenant of seedtime and harvest.
This man walked with God! He was not a bad man. However, a time came in his life that he was too relaxed and drank wine from his vineyard to the extent of getting drunk. Unfortunately for his second son, he was the first person to see him and did not handle it well. He went to tell his brothers.
The brothers were wise! Shem and Japheth took a garment, laid it on both their shoulders, and went backward and covered their father’s nakedness. Their faces were turned away, and they did not see their father’s nakedness. When their father woke up from his drunken state, he blessed Shem and Japheth and cursed Ham. That curse made his descendants to be behind their brothers for several generations. Notice how the prayer of a drunk who had just recovered from a state of stupor can affect people for several generations until Jesus Christ came many centuries later to redeem the whole of mankind. Be careful in dealing with your parents, pastors and other leaders. Get their blessings not their curses.
Are you wise? How do you handle your parents’ weaknesses? Do you gloat over them and become rude to them? If you are a wife, how do you handle your husband’s weaknesses? Do you despise him in your heart or tell other people the wrong things he does? How do you react to the weaknesses of your pastor or other ministers of the gospel? Do you despise, criticize or gossip about them? This scripture was written for our learning (Rom 15:4). Two wrongs do not make a right. Behave like Shem and Japheth, cover them by praying for them.
Honour men of God irrespective of age
Now if Timothy comes, see that he may be with you without fear; for he does the work of the Lord, as I also do. Therefore, let no one despise him. But send him on his journey in peace, that he may come to me; for I am waiting for him with the brethren. (1 Corinthians 16:10-11)
The people were encouraged to treat Timothy with the same respect for Paul because he was doing God’s work just like him. People who are doing the Lord’s work are supposed to be treated with great respect regardless of age. There’s an honour due to anyone doing God’s work; don’t rob them of that honour because of age, physical stature, financial status, level of education, weakness, or any reason at all. Remember that even when Saul wanted to kill David, he still honoured him, calling him father.
The level of value determines the flow of virtue
God wants us to place high value on the men of God in our lives so that we can get the maximum benefit from what God has placed on them. If you don’t place high value on someone, you cannot get virtue from that person’s life flowing to you because a river cannot flow uphill. If you feel above someone, you cannot receive from the person.
How do you see the ministers that God in his divine providence and wisdom has placed in your life? Do you feel you are better than them or are you busy scornfully assessing their messages or activities whenever they are ministering? If you do, you cannot receive maximum benefit from them; you would cheat yourself and waste God’s resources. Be careful how you relate with ministers!
Who should be more careful?
The people who need to be more careful are spouses, children and those who live with or work closely with ministers like wardens, church administrators, board members, personal assistants, associate pastors, drivers, domestic help and others. Such people are exposed to the ministers’ weaknesses more than others and if not careful, may compare themselves with them and feel there’s little or no difference. That was the experience of Aaron and Miriam with Moses in the wilderness. They doted on his weakness and set themselves as judges.
Focus on your assigned role
Ministers may make mistakes or fail to handle their weaknesses properly but it is not the business of anyone to judge them or despise them. It doesn’t mean that you would condone their wrongs or encourage evil but if they are in positions of authority whose blessings or curse can matter in your life, be careful. God guards anyone who has surrendered his life for his service jealousy; he knows how to handle them and their weaknesses. Let Him handle their weaknesses. He can send colleagues or older people to them. The Holy Spirit can deal with them directly.
Obey the word of God; pray for everyone who is in authority over your life regularly so that you can live a peaceable life. Paul says in 1 Timothy 2, “ Therefore, I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior. “
You cannot be praying and gossiping about someone at the same time. That you find it easy to despise, complain, criticize or gossip about your parents, husband, pastor or boss is a sign that you are not praying for him or her. Start the lifestyle of praying for all your leaders today.