Over the last decade, social media sites like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter have been launched online by their founders to help people to interact with one another over the internet. These various sites would allow old friends or family members who had lost touch with one another to once again reconnect though they may be living in different states or another part of the world. A person could also share their thoughts about how they felt, post a picture of themselves or a recent place they had visited. However, what I have noticed over the last year on these social sites are people uploading videos or pictures about other people to expose their shortcomings either in their personal or professional lives. They post these videos or pictures as a way to share what is wrong in the world today but at the same time doing it to bring themselves pleasure at the misfortune of others. A person who feels the need to post these items may even see themselves as a type of social media TMZ or Paparazzi reporter.
Not only have I seen this disturbing behavior from people in the world but I have also seen it from people in the church with their own social media pages. However, if we as the Body of Christ are going to win the lost to Jesus, we have to live our lives as a reflection of being Christ-like and not behaving like the world. As men and women of God, we should not seek to expose the weaknesses of our brother or sister by gossiping, backbiting or slandering them because they have done something to disgrace themselves. The word of God tells us that in Romans 3:10, that “There is none righteous, no not one”. We have the responsibility to not violate a person trust by exposing their weakness to others but to cover them in love and prayer. If we are the person that has fallen into sin and trust has been violated, we should not be quick to retaliate but to seek the Lord on how to deal with the person who hurt us.
And Noah began to be a farmer, and he planted a vineyard. Then he drank of the wine and was drunk, and became uncovered in his tent. And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brothers outside. But Shem and Japheth took a garment, laid it on both their shoulders, and went backward and covered the nakedness of their father. Their faces were turned away, and they did not see their father’s nakedness. (Genesis 9:20-23 NKJV).
Do not violate your brother’s trust
Now you may ask Elder Strong, how did Ham violate his father’s trust? The way that Ham violated his father trust was by him watching what his father did and never once tried to prevent him from exposing himself and being in a drunken stupor. Instead of trying to help cover his father he chose to uncover his nakedness by seeing it as an opportunity to tear his father down before his brothers. Not only did he seek to tear his father down by damaging his reputation but some theologians believe that there was some type of immoral act that Ham committed against his father. In Galatians 6:1, the Apostle Paul told us that “if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted”. The word of God is not clear of what Ham’s motives were for what he did to his father but what was clear was that Ham did not have his father best intentions at hand.
As members of the Body of Christ, the word of God commands us in Galatians 6:1 to demonstrate spiritual maturity when we see a brother overtaken in a fault. The way that this spiritual maturity would manifest itself is by us speaking to the person with our words seasoned by grace, not being judgmental but having a heart of compassion toward them. We are also to restore our brother with a spirit of meekness which means we have at one point struggled and sub come to a shortcoming that did not please God. However, by the grace of God, the Father gave us the strength to overcome what we were struggling with and it is that strength that we must now impart to our brother or sister. The word meekness means strength under control and if we fail to restore that person in meekness, The Apostle Paul warns us that we too can also be tempted to fall to our own shortcoming.
Covering Your Brother in Prayer
A very important question that we must ask ourselves is what does it mean to cover our brother or sister in prayer? When a person asks you or me to pray for them do we really understand what we are being asked by that person and do we truly know how to do it? In verse 23 of Genesis 9, I believe this scripture gives us a clear example of how to pray for someone just as Shem and Japheth covered their father’s nakedness. Once Shem and Japheth learned from Ham about the condition of their father, the word of God tells us that “And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father”. To cover our brother in prayer means we pray what God’s word says about them and that God’s will for their lives will come to pass. We pray for them that the same mercy and forgiveness that God has given us, they will also receive God’s mercy for their lives. In this passage of scriptures Noah also represents to us, our leaders who we must also cover in prayer so that if they fall publicly, the Lord will restore them. We have the responsibility to pray for our leaders in our country, in our churches and our leaders in the home. In the home or our family, a child parents are his first leaders who we must also cover in prayer so that God’s will give them the wisdom to raise their children in the nurture and the admonition of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4). We pray that God will raise up a generation that will want to be held accountable to Him, to the others and that we live a godly and quiet and peaceable life (2 Timothy 1:1-2).
The second portion of Genesis 9:23 says that Shem and Japheth, “faces were backward, and they saw not their father’s nakedness”. The reason I believe they did this is that they did not want the image of how they saw their father be changed. They knew that their father was not a perfect man but I believe they knew that their father was a godly man who heard from the Lord. They knew that the Lord God Almighty had used him to save their family from the judgment of the world being destroyed by the flood. When all other people had ignored the message the Lord had given their father, Noah kept building the ark despite how people had ridiculed and mock him. The image of a godly man is what Shem and Japheth had as they covered their father in prayer, for according to 2 Peter 2:5 Noah was known as a Preacher of Righteousness.
When we cover one another in prayer, we should pray what the Lord shows us about one another in His word. The word of God says to you my brother when I pray for you that you are the head and not the tail, you are above only and not beneath. When I pray for you my sister the word of the Lord says that you are not a victim but you are victorious. You are more than a conqueror and because God is for you, there is no one, nothing or circumstance that can stand against you (Romans 8:31).
Pray before you retaliate
So Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done to him. Then he said: “Cursed be Canaan; A servant of servants He shall be to his brethren” (Genesis 9:24-25 NKJV).
When Noah awoke from his drunken stupor and lying uncovered, the word of God tells us that he was aware of what his son Ham had done to him. The word does not give us specific details on how Noah came to the conclusion but he was convinced that Ham was the one that had done something to him. In verses 24 and 25 immediately Noah cursed his son to be a “servant or servants to his brothers”. However, what concerned me about Noah rush to curse his son Ham was that nothing in the scripture mentions about Noah consulting the Lord about Ham’s transgression. The word of God does not even make mention on how Noah repented before the Lord of his own shortcoming of uncovering himself and his lack of self-restraint in him becoming drunk and passing out.
The lesson I believe the Holy Spirit would want us to take from the reaction of Noah toward his son is that our words have power. When we open our mouths and speak, life and death is in the power of our tongue. It is important that when we speak over someone life a word of rebuke or correction, that word should not come from our personal feelings but it should come from the direction of the Spirit of God. If we fail to do this we could not only cause damage to the person life but to the generations to come after the person. A woman says to her son out of her pain and feeling abandon by the man, your father was no good and you are no good just like your father. It is important that in everything we do that we acknowledge the Lord in all our ways, for He will direct our path (Proverbs 3:6). When a person does something to offend us, abuse us or even betray us, the word of God in Romans 12:19 still says “avenge not yourself, vengeance is mine says the Lord I will repay”.
But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers. And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:7-8 NKJV).