•  2 min. read  •  grade level: 9
Few there are who have been so greatly honored as Noah. Like his great-grandfather, it is recorded of him that he walked with God. He, by faith, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house. His grandfather’s name and presence must have been a daily reminder of the judgment that was daily drawing nearer. We can well believe that those last five years between the death of his father and grandfather, years in which the ark was nearing completion, must also have been years of very earnest testifying, by that ancient “preacher of righteousness”. And then came that death which opened the way for the flood. And then the flood itself, with the utter destruction of friends, acquaintances, and all the world they knew. Noah’s three sons and their wives passed through these solemn and terrible years. Those years should have left an imprint of solemnity on all that little family. But what is almost the first spectacle on which we gaze after freedom from the long confinement of the ark? We see Noah drunk in his tent, uncovered, and his son Ham mocking him. And one of those three favored sons, delivered through the waters of the flood, now falls under a curse which lasts to the present day.
Who was to blame? Why did the son of such an honored servant of God as Noah, fall under such a terrible condemnation? What he had seen and heard since childhood in his father’s house and especially the last few years should have hindered him following such a wicked course. But, truly, who was to blame? How often must it have been forced home to Noah’s conscience, “Had I not been guilty of that self-indulgence which made me drunk, then I would not have behaved in that shameful manner that subjected my son to the temptation that caused his ruin.” Bitter, bitter regrets must often have filled Noah’s heart, but they were vain regrets, and the bitter fruit of that day’s self-indulgence lasts to the present moment. And Ham’s second son Mizraim evidently went further than his father in the paths of wickedness, for an old writer says of him, “Mizraim was the inventor of those wicked arts named astrology and magic, and was the same person whom the Greeks named Zoroaster.”
Oh, my dear ones, take heed to self-indulgence! It is so easy to slip into it, and we find it so much more pleasant than enduring hardness as good soldiers of Jesus Christ; soldiers on duty, not, off duty. We will hear more of the bitter fruits of self-indulgence as we continue to meditate on the parents of Scripture: but meanwhile let us remember that “Temperate in all things”, no matter whether chocolates, a book, or a hobby —as well as that in which Noah failed —is a good motto for every one of us parents.