Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Well-Plastered Faith

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. Genesis 9:20-21

Noah, that hero of the faith, passed out drunk and naked in his tent. Is this a skeleton uncovered in the closet of Christianity? We easily put a lot of context on this event that is not stated in the Bible. The Word does not say that Noah intended it, made a habit of it, or couldn't get through a weekend without it. It is indeed quite likely that this was an accident.

Noah had been on his best behavior for a couple of years, what with the tendency of the cheetahs to swiftly spread rumors around the Ark and all. He tended to the needs of the animals with his family and listened for the absence of sound which would mean the rain had stopped. By faith, Noah knew that the land would rise again from the watery depths. When God sealed the Ark behind him, Noah also took it on faith that the rain would stop at some point. Noah couldn't know in the usual way because it had never rained before and has never rained like that since. After things dried out a bit, Noah took up farming and tried out that vine and grape thing he had seen before things got so wet. He squeezed his ripe grapes and put up the juice in bottles. Then fermentation happened.

Before the Flood, the world was a different place. With the waters above divided by the firmament from the waters below and all. Perhaps this fermentation thing was entirely new and unexpected. Whatever the case may have been, Noah imbibed in some of his grape juice and got well plastered. We make a big deal out of this because back many books and chapters, or centuries and millennia if you want to get technical, Noah got his name listed in the Faith Hall of Fame in Hebrews 11. Why that particular drunk? Not because of his behavior, but because he believed God - in other words, he had faith!

Each of us has a past full of those behavior problems known as sin too, perhaps even sharing one in common with Noah. However, faith in God is what counts in the end.


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