DSG | Discipleship Study Guide | Vineyard Boise

Archive for August, 2013

Let the play begin… | Genesis 11.27-12.3

Genesis 1_11FRIDAY
Reflection 55 of 55

REFLECT
Now these are the generations of Terah. Terah fathered Abram, Nahor, and Haran; and Haran fathered Lot. Haran died in the presence of his father Terah in the land of his kindred, in Ur of the Chaldeans. And Abram and Nahor took wives. The name of Abram’s wife was Sarai, and the name of Nahor’s wife, Milcah, the daughter of Haran the father of Milcah and Iscah. Now Sarai was barren; she had no child.

Terah took Abram his son and Lot the son of Haran, his grandson, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son Abram’s wife, and they went forth together from Ur of the Chaldeans to go into the land of Canaan, but when they came to Haran, they settled there. The days of Terah were 205 years, and Terah died in Haran.

Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” Genesis 11:27-12:3 | ESV

RECEIVE
“God’s division of the world into nations (Genesis 10) provides the backdrop for God’s innovation to elect one particular nation from Shem’s lineage (Genesis 12) to bring universal salvation.” So summarizes Waltke. With the words, “This is the account of Terah” we now embark on the main story. The prelude is done, the preliminaries finished, the opening overture complete. The curtain has been raised, and now the play commences. The next “book” of Genesis launches the first act of the Play of Salvation, taking us through the story of Abraham (right up through Genesis 22). For us, the introductory title can be misleading. “This is the account of Terah.” So Terah is the one! He’s the one who will do it! After all the mess and sin and confusion, he is the one through whom God will bring redemption. He even has three sons just like Adam. Just like Noah. Yes, we recognize this pattern. We have seen this. We then watch Terah move his family, including his son Abram, the one with the barren wife (loser!), and he heads towards what we know is the Promised Land – center stage, yes! We watch as Terah approaches center stage, poised for what we are sure will be a decisive moment in salvation history…and he dies. Right before he gets there. Dies. Death resurgent. Has the play been stopped? No, wait. It wasn’t Terah at all. Well, it was, but it wasn’t. It was his son. Which one? The one with the barren wife. The one with no kids. The one with the name filled with bitter irony and pain: Abram. “Exalted Father.” The father with no children. Yes, God says. That’s the one through whom I will do this. Go, Abram, Go. Journey on to the land I will show you. Nimrod the Rebel thought his name was great; humanity in building their pathetic tower thought they could make their name great, those builders who shall remain unnamed. But I will make your name great. Those who curse you I will curse; those who bless you I will bless. And everyone – every family, every tribe, every clan, every nation, every generation – everyone will be blessed through you. Go on, Abram, Go. Leave the cities of man. Go to the land I will show you. And you will see it all go into motion through each step of faith you take. Go on, Abram, Go.

And the exalted father with no kids steps onto center stage.

And the play begins…

RELATE
Abram is an awesome example of an unlikely hero. What other unlikely heroes can you think of from the biblical tale – or from life in general? How can you be sure not to miss your cue to step out center stage and play the role for which you were created?

RESPOND
Lord, you have purposed me, formed me, named me and called me into this moment at this place, at this time. Help me to see the moments you have for me, to be present to the roles your heart intends for me to play. Remind me that as the powerful play goes on that I may contribute a verse. Empower me to make that contribution with passion and clarity, allowing you to direct me as you will. Through Christ.

For all of this week’s resources for this new series on Spiritual Disciplines including this week’s DG video, check out the Vineyard website.

curtain rises


Curtain Call | Genesis 11.10-26

Genesis 1_11THURSDAY
Reflection 54 of 55

REFLECT
These are the generations of Shem. When Shem was 100 years old, he fathered Arpachshad two years after the flood. And Shem lived after he fathered Arpachshad 500 years and had other sons and daughters. When Arpachshad had lived 35 years, he fathered Shelah. And Arpachshad lived after he fathered Shelah 403 years and had other sons and daughters.When Shelah had lived 30 years, he fathered Eber. And Shelah lived after he fathered Eber 403 years and had other sons and daughters.When Eber had lived 34 years, he fathered Peleg. And Eber lived after he fathered Peleg 430 years and had other sons and daughters.When Peleg had lived 30 years, he fathered Reu. And Peleg lived after he fathered Reu 209 years and had other sons and daughters.When Reu had lived 32 years, he fathered Serug. And Reu lived after he fathered Serug 207 years and had other sons and daughters.When Serug had lived 30 years, he fathered Nahor. And Serug lived after he fathered Nahor 200 years and had other sons and daughters. When Nahor had lived 29 years, he fathered Terah. And Nahor lived after he fathered Terah 119 years and had other sons and daughters. When Terah had lived 70 years, he fathered Abram, Nahor, and Haran. Genesis 11:10-26 | ESV

RECEIVE
Ten more generations of names. Though this list is evidently streamlined a bit. First, scholars note that this genealogy has been “schematized” or simplified to the number ten, just like the genealogy from Adam to Noah in Genesis 5 – ten being a number of completeness signifying a full cycle (it also aids in memorization; yes, they would memorize these!). Ten generations from Adam to the hero Noah; ten generations from Noah after the flood to the one who is, finally, well, the one. So Archbishop Ussher and others who try to calculate the age of the earth by a simple tally of Genesis genealogical figures is trying to make a complete puzzle with a good number of missing pieces. This list is also streamlined in that it omits the bell-tolling refrain that appears after each named generation in Genesis 5 – “and he died.” He lived, he had a son, he lived more and he had more sons and daughters, and then he lived, he had a son, he lived some more, he had more sons and daughters, etc. etc. It makes for a less gloomy list without the intonations of death and leaves us with a growing sense of hope. And perhaps that’s another factor in this list of ten, whether consciously or unconsciously, the narrator may just being trying to cut to the chase after so much delay, so many detours through tales of tyrants and towers, to get to him. The one. The one who’s family will birth the seed of the woman who will crush the serpent’s head and through whom the great rescue of humanity will be effected; the one through whom the planet will be “ruled” under the reign of God. As one scholar puts it, “The cadenced, highly structured format again communicates a sense of restored order, in contrast to the structurally (and thematically) fractured preceding unit (Genesis 10:1-11:9). This sense of well being is confirmed by the unit’s positive conclusion: the birth of Abraham, Israel’s revered ancestor.” Waltke adds, “Although before the Flood tyrants transgressed the marriage ordinance and after the Flood humanity collectively breached the boundary separating earth and heaven, God’s program to save humanity cannot be stopped.” Whereas to us this is probably just another tedious list of names, to that audience it was a life-giving, breath-restoring recitation. When the Narrator reaches the end of this list with the words, “Terah fathered Abram, Nahor, and Haran,” there is a collective sigh of relief and a shout of joy. “There he is! And here we go. Everything will be okay now.”

RELATE
Do you tend to view history as an ordered flow of events with underlying purpose, or do you see it as random cycles of random events that randomly results in good or bad? Why do view it this way? If you were to explore the ten generations leading up to your arrival, what purposes might you see being carried out?

RESPOND
Lord, help me to trust your hand in all the events that transpire or befall humanity and this world; help me to hold on for purposes I can’t even begin to fathom or discern; and to find my place within them. Through Christ.

For all of this week’s resources for this new series on Spiritual Disciplines including this week’s DG video, check out the Vineyard website.

curtain-call


Tower | Genesis 11.1-9

Genesis 1_11WEDNESDAY
Reflection 53 of 55

REFLECT
Now the whole earth had one language and the same words. And as people migrated from the east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. And they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks, and burn them thoroughly.” And they had brick for stone, and bitumen for mortar. Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.” And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of man had built. And the Lord said, “Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language, and this is only the beginning of what they will do. And nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and there confuse their language, so that they may not understand one another’s speech.” So the Lord dispersed them from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city. Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of all the earth. And from there the Lord dispersed them over the face of all the earth.
Genesis 11:1-9 | ESV 

RECEIVE
“Do you think what happened at Babel was a curse?” The question caught me by surprise. There I sat with 24 eager young minds, listening to a discussion about text and context, subtext and pretext, along with high- and low-context cultures, totally loving every minute of it. Then comes the question to me as visiting “pastor type.” “Do you think what happened at Babel was a curse?” I honestly hadn’t thought of the judgment at Babel that way. Think about it. If we were cursed with different languages leading to different cultures and tribes, customs and traditions, waiting for Pentecost to undo it all, where would that leave us? What would that say about God? No, I said. That’s not the point of the story. Diversity of culture and color and custom and language were not a curse or an afterthought on God’s part. It was one of the ultimate fruits of his direction for humanity to fill the earth. As one Hebraist has pointed out, the Hebrew word we translate “create” in Genesis literally means to “make fat.” The God of Genesis 1 “fattened” creation with a huge, swirling, swarming diversity of creatures and critters. One basic model simply wouldn’t do. The Creator entity at the center of all things thrives on diversity of shape, size and form. He was no Henry Ford. If anyone is prone to boring sameness it is a humanity that has lost touch with the Creator heart and thrives instead on homogeneity and sameness. One tongue. One speech. One culture. One party. One religion. One tower. Yay. Can you pass the Grey Poupon? Seen in this light, Babel becomes a judgment on our universal tendencies towards tameness, sameness, the bland blending of all colors into an ugly, lifeless gray. At Babel, God merely jumpstarts the process humanity had/has failed to embrace: to spread out, to develop their own cultures, identity and potential. To develop and relish our own unique voice in the wide world. Of course, even this we have failed to do right. The rest of the biblical tale is one of increasing alienation and otherness – a hostile moving away from each other in our diversities. Enter Jesus. Enter Pentecost. Pentecost isn’t about eliminating diverse tongues. The apostolic speech was not monochrome utterance. “We hear them speak in own our tongues the wonderful works of God.” All languages are uttered here, all cultures acknowledged. Diversity is not leveled; rather the hostile momentum of otherness is reversed. The crowd gathers rather than scatters. Humanity comes home to a diverse and colorful home that we call in its ultimate form the new heavens and the new earth.

How very tragic to still be playing Babel on our religious, political, and cultural tableaus, feeding our deep, adamic dysfunction and momentum towards a dehumanizing sameness. A tableau of external conformity masquerading as unity or harmony or love, while souls scatter to their isolated closets to once again catch a glimpse of the unique glory placed within them. How long before we wake up and embrace the blessing of Babel at the dawning of Pentecost? What a question…

RELATE
Does diversity on a human level distract, annoy, and alienate, or does it delight and invite you? Why?

RESPOND
Lord, give me a fresh appreciation for the wide and diverse splashes of color you with you have and continue to paint and adorn humanity – and all of creation. Give me eyes to see you in all of it – and in all of us. Through Christ.

For all of this week’s resources for this new series on Spiritual Disciplines including this week’s DG video, check out the Vineyard website.

babel


Shemite Thread | Genesis 10.21-32

Genesis 1_11TUESDAY
Reflection 52 of 55

REFLECT
To Shem also, the father of all the children of Eber, the elder brother of Japheth, children were born. The sons of Shem: Elam, Asshur, Arpachshad, Lud, and Aram. The sons of Aram: Uz, Hul, Gether, and Mash. Arpachshad fathered Shelah; and Shelah fathered Eber. To Eber were born two sons: the name of the one was Peleg, for in his days the earth was divided, and his brother’s name was Joktan. Joktan fathered Almodad, Sheleph, Hazarmaveth, Jerah, Hadoram, Uzal, Diklah, Obal, Abimael, Sheba, Ophir, Havilah, and Jobab; all these were the sons of Joktan. The territory in which they lived extended from Mesha in the direction of Sephar to the hill country of the east. These are the sons of Shem, by their clans, their languages, their lands, and their nations.

These are the clans of the sons of Noah, according to their genealogies, in their nations, and from these the nations spread abroad on the earth after the flood.  Genesis 10:21-32 | ESV

RECEIVE
“This segmented and linear genealogy is a highly stylized account of Israel’s known world. Seventy nations are given: fourteen from Japheth, thirty from Ham, twenty-six from Shem.” So Waltke sums up the “table of nations.” Interesting that the previously repeated order of “Shem, Ham and Japheth” is here inverted. Was Shem the firstborn and does the narrator here simply save the best for last? Or was Shem the last-born and the traditional “Shem, Ham and Japheth” orders them in subsequent historical importance? Personally I favor Genesis 10 representing a chronological placing of the three sons – throughout this Story God always seems to favor the last and the least! Note that in the setting forth of these twenty-six nations of the Shemite thread of humanity, another crucial thread/splitting takes place in a second narrated short story in the midst of all the names. When the list of names reaches Eber (the originator of “Hebrew”? Perhaps.) the Narrator notes that Eber has two sons, Peleg and Joktan. Foreshadowing the explaining story of Genesis 11, it is noted that in the days of Peleg (“Division”) earth was divided – including brother from brother in Eber’s family. The rest of the story (spoiler!) in Genesis 11 picks up the Peleg thread and as he tugs it we see it leads right to Abraham and beyond him to Israel, and from them ultimately to Christ. Some divisions are happy divisions! Or at least they end up having many happy returns later. For this thread of Peleg, split off Shem’s overall thread, leads to the family thread of Abraham, who, by the end of this Genesis tale, ends up with seventy descendants of his own, mirroring the seventy nations in the table of nations; a microcosm of humanity that will, in turn and time, bring blessing to the macrocosm of us all.

RELATE
How do you deal with loose ends in movies, in stories, in life? Do you find them annoying and frustrating, or do you see them more as adventurous opportunities inviting further exploration in time? Why?

RESPOND
Lord, thank you that all the multicolored, frayed, and splayed threads of humanity and my existence are not just in your hands, but that you are weaving something beautiful through them. One glorious, beauteous tapestry incorporating both the darker and lighter colors of our unfolding history. Help me to see life so. And help me to surrender the thread of my existence this day into your weaving hands. Through Christ.

For all of this week’s resources for this new series on Spiritual Disciplines including this week’s DG video, check out the Vineyard website.

thread


Names, Names, Names | Genesis 10.1-20

Genesis 1_11MONDAY
Reflection 51 of 55

REFLECT
These are the generations of the sons of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Sons were born to them after the flood. The sons of Japheth: Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshech, and Tiras. The sons of Gomer: Ashkenaz, Riphath, and Togarmah. The sons of Javan: Elishah, Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim. From these the coastland peoples spread in their lands, each with his own language, by their clans, in their nations. The sons of Ham: Cush, Egypt, Put, and Canaan. The sons of Cush: Seba, Havilah, Sabtah, Raamah, and Sabteca. The sons of Raamah: Sheba and Dedan. Cush fathered Nimrod; he was the first on earth to be a mighty man. He was a mighty hunter before the Lord. Therefore it is said, “Like Nimrod a mighty hunter before the Lord.” The beginning of his kingdom was Babel, Erech, Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar. From that land he went into Assyria and built Nineveh, Rehoboth-Ir, Calah, and Resen between Nineveh and Calah; that is the great city. Egypt fathered Ludim, Anamim, Lehabim, Naphtuhim, Pathrusim, Casluhim (from whom the Philistines came), and Caphtorim.

Canaan fathered Sidon his firstborn and Heth, and the Jebusites, the Amorites, the Girgashites, the Hivites, the Arkites, the Sinites, the Arvadites, the Zemarites, and the Hamathites. Afterward the clans of the Canaanites dispersed. And the territory of the Canaanites extended from Sidon in the direction of Gerar as far as Gaza, and in the direction of Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboiim, as far as Lasha. These are the sons of Ham, by their clans, their languages, their lands, and their nations.  Genesis 10:1-20 | ESV

RECEIVE
Yes, it’s that time again. Time for another genealogy, for names, names, and more names. Goody. Actually, Genesis 10 is a unique document among all ancient literature. There is simply nothing else like  it. Nothing so all encompassing, so broad in vision, so comprehensive in scope. Genesis 10 and 11 are meant to be read as a single book, a single unit. Genesis 10 provides the big picture – a sweeping view of the ancient milieu, the ancient world in which Israel found itself laid out, significantly in a “table” of seventy nations – while Genesis 11 serves as a chronological flashback explaining the ultimate scattered layout of the Genesis 10 “table of nations” – and, significantly, finally, showing where Israel fits into these massively unfolding threads of humanity. Indeed, stepping up onto this table of Nations in Genesis 10, Israel is the great omission. All of her neighbors are mentioned, but she is conspicuously absent. Since this is a story being told by Israelites to Israelites, you know at this point the listeners are crying out, “So where are we?” “Right here,” the Storyteller would seem to be saying, “right here in the midst of a humanity multiplying under the blessing of God, even though scattered for the moment under his wrath.” Seventy nations. Each named and known by God; each placed by his hand right where he wants them. As we move into Abraham’s story in Genesis 12, we will see him, the great Shemite, building altars everywhere after leaving the city. So against the grain of humanity. The seventy nations are epitomized in the one great hero singled out for notice in the midst of this sea of names, this sea of humanity. Nimrod (“Rebel” – good name for your kid! Wonder what his teen years were like?). Mighty hunter (even God clicks “like” posting, “Uh, yeah! Be afraid. Be very afraid!”). Tyrant ruler. Builder. Builder of cities. Cain revisited. In fact, “Rebel” builds the two cities (Babylon and Ninevah) that end up terrorizing all the ancient world and ultimately (spoiler!) subjugating Israel and carting her off to captivity. Captive Israelites in later generations could at least smile in their misery, “Yes, God is sovereign even over these seemingly unbeatable rebel cities!” This in fact is the ultimate serving meant to be taken from this table. Connection. All these nations are connected. There is symmetry, completeness, wholeness – demonstrated in the repeated occurrence of “seven” and its multiples in the groupings of names and nations. The one exception is the asymmetrical listing of the Canaanite clans and nations. This point may be lost on us, but you can be sure it wasn’t on the Israelites. Still. One God. One diverse sea of humanity. And one family to emerge from that sea that would bless all other families, turning what could have ended up a dead-end Dead Sea into an ocean teaming with Divine Life.

RELATE
Do you tend to experience humanity as a disconnected rivalry or as a united family? How can we move from the former to more of the latter? What part can you play in this right where you are?

RESPOND
Lord, bind us together. Melt ethnic and racial barriers into flowing, intermingled rivers of friendship and fellowship. Give birth to deepening intimacies even in the midst of our diversities. Bind us together, Lord. Through Christ.

For all of this week’s resources for this new series on Spiritual Disciplines including this week’s DG video, check out the Vineyard website.

names word cloud


Cursing and Blessings | Genesis 9.24-29

Genesis 1_11FRIDAY
Reflection 50 of 55

REFLECT
When Noah awoke from his wine and knew what his youngest son had done to him, he said,

“Cursed be Canaan;
a servant of servants shall he be to his brothers.”

He also said,

“Blessed be the Lord, the God of Shem;
and let Canaan be his servant.
May God enlarge Japheth,
and let him dwell in the tents of Shem,
and let Canaan be his servant.”

After the flood Noah lived 350 years. All the days of Noah were 950 years, and he died.
Genesis 9:24-29 |  ESV

RECEIVE
It had to happen. Noah sobered up. And he knew what Ham had done – did Ham’s brothers tell him? While covering their father’s shame did they fully expose their brother’s? Regardless, dad is not pleased. And he utters what essentially functions as his last will and testament – in poetic verse. It’s a song of cursing and blessing on his three sons – a song which probably shouldn’t be taken so much as causative but rather as prophetic and predictive. Ham saw his father’s nakedness, and Noah now sees far and wide just where and how the lines of his three sons and their families will move forward, separate, and ultimately intersect. The three stanzas of his last will and testament succinctly lay out the flow of redemptive history through the entire sweep of the biblical narrative. Curiously, Noah doesn’t even mention Ham’s name Was he too angry? or does he not curse Ham because Ham had been included in the divine blessing when they left the ark? or is there something else at work here? Regardless, this would be highly significant to the Hebrew slaves telling and hearing this story, for their primary adversaries were the Canaanites. It would also speak volumes to them that their political oppressors throughout their history were primarily descendants of Ham: Egyptians, Assyrians, Persians, Babylonians. Clearly, if Ham is cursed through his son Canaan as the “lowest of slaves” to his brothers, it was a bitter irony that the Shemite Hebrews were political vassals to dominating Hamite powers through most of their history. Seen from the higher vantage point of Christ in the Gospels, we realize that Noah’s words didn’t ultimately have anything to do with race, ethnicity or politics. As well summarized by Bruce Waltke,

The biblical Shemites politically never subjugate Egypt and Babylon. God’s victory through Shem over degraded moral practices is ultimately spiritual and fulfilled in the messianic age, which is inaugurated by the greatest of the Shemites, Jesus Christ. In that age, both Egypt and Babylon find new birth in Jerusalem and are numbered with the people of God. Moreover, in the messianic kingdom, the Japhethites are enlarged and displace the Shemites as the victors over evil…Today the seed of the woman and the heirs of Abraham’s covenants are mostly Gentiles, who originally inhabited Anatolia, Greece, and Rome…We are all Japhethites dwelling in the tents of Shem. Today his church includes the Ethiopian eunuch (Ham), Peter and Paul (Shem), and Cornelius (Japheth).”

While some zero in on Noah’s curse and use it to justify ongoing racial prejudices and religious, social and cultural hostilities, God brings a much better result through Christ: all of us are included. The family is reunited. We all come home.

RELATE
Whom are you strongly inclined (and rightfully so!) to curse? How can this be turned into an occasion for blessing instead?

RESPOND
Lord, enlarge your grace in me and let me dwell in your tents, O God. Bring us all home. Through Christ.

For all of this week’s resources for this new series on Spiritual Disciplines including this week’s DG video, check out the Vineyard website.

open hands_tears


exposed | Genesis 9.20-23

Genesis 1_11THURSDAY
Reflection 49 of 55

REFLECT
Noah began to be a man of the soil, and he planted a vineyard. He drank of the wine and became drunk and lay uncovered in his tent. And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father and told his two brothers outside. Then Shem and Japheth took a garment, laid it on both their shoulders, and walked backward and covered the nakedness of their father. Their faces were turned backward, and they did not see their father’s nakedness.  Genesis 9:20-23 | ESV

RECEIVE
It’s another repeated theme – from Genesis to Jurassic Park. Advances in culture and technology always end up twisted and contorted by human frailty and depravity. Since the “fall,” the soil had only produced thorns and thistles, and useful bread to eat through much pain and sweat. Noah begins something new. He invents “viniculture.” Noah discovers wine. Knowing that Noah lives another 350 years or so, we have to track forward a bit in our imagination. Time has lapsed and Noah’s three sons and wives have started having their own kids, one of whom is named (Ham’s son Canaan). We probably need to imagine them as grown as well, cousins marrying cousins, and so forth. But like the apostles in the wake of Christ’s resurrection, these families are refusing to spread out just yet – were they lingering close to the shadow of the ark just in case, a worried look over their shoulders at each gathering storm cloud? Maybe. But what we do know is that Noah started playing with grapes. He became the first vintner. Biblically, wine is viewed as a gift from God to “cheer the hearts of men.” But like all gifts, this one can be abused. Wine was and is found on every table in the Near East (we keep ours tucked away in cabinets – or in bars) and a little bit of daily cheer was seen as a good thing. Overdoing on the occasion of great celebration, such as a wedding feast, was even culturally embraced. But to get so plastered that one lost his inhibitions, particularly his sense of sexual propriety – and especially to do so habitually – was seen as shameful depravity. Hebrew youth just didn’t do the whole Spring Break thing at Joppa. So, culturally, Noah planting a vineyard would be met with, “Ahhhh. Thank you, Noah.” Noah getting drunk would prompt a “He must have stumbled into some really good fortune!” Noah getting drunk and then exposing himself would leave them shaking their heads. “What happened to Noah? How could he fall so low?” At least he was inside his tent. The fallout is minimized. But then enters Ham. Was he just checking on dad, or was he looking for something? Regardless of what brought him there, he sees. Rabbis later discussing the story would speak of homosexuality, of rape and sodomy. But all the text says is that Ham saw, with the implication of not a glance, but an unaverted, searching gaze. And then he invites his brothers to join him. A grown man, with a wife, and his own grown son (more than likely) ogling his naked passed out father and then posting the picture on Facebook. More is exposed here than Noah’s nakedness. If we had or have any doubts about it, human depravity is intact. You can flush the world, but our fractured fallen-ness remains fixed in our un-flushed hearts. But it’s not all bad news. Noah’s other two sons walk backward into the tent and do what their father and other brother did not – cover his shame. We remain a mixed bag, we humans. Beauty and beast, angel and ape. Our challenge is to, with Noah, learn how to say “when” – and how to tap into the better angel of our nature.

RELATE
How often do you find yourself leering – if even just through “harmless” gossip – at the shame and faults of others? How often instead of posting others shame for all to see do you loving cover it instead?

RESPOND
Lord, “love covers a multitude of sins.” Thank you for covering mine. Daily. Give me your heart of covering grace to return the favor for others today. Through Jesus.

For all of this week’s resources for this new series on Spiritual Disciplines including this week’s DG video, check out the Vineyard website.

broken-mirror