Matthew Fitzsimmons

Respect

Some things my pastor said in a recent sermon made me stop and think about how little honor I've shown to my parents at times.

The passage we were looking at was Genesis 9:18-29. You can go read it now. I'll wait.

Basically Noah slipped up, got drunk, and passed out naked in his tent. One thing that is interesting is that the passage does nothing to condemn Noah for his drunkenness. Now we know that drunkenness is condemned other places, so this passage is not condoning Noah's drunkenness. But while this is important to give background to the rest of the narrative, the story is looking at other things.

Then his son Ham showed a lack of respect for him by mocking him. Some people assume there must have been something more sexual going on here, but it doesn't appear that this is really what's happening. The passage appears to be simply making the point that Ham disrespected his father and his son was cursed because of it.

Ham's older brothers were blessed, however. And why were they blessed? Instead of joining in on the mockery of their father, they covered him up, taking care to not look at him in his shame while doing so. So they were blessed for covering the sin of their father.

Now how does this compare to the way we treat our parents? I know I've been guilty of complaining about things my parents did when they raised me, or the way they have raised my younger siblings. Instead of treating them with honor and compassion, I treat them with disrespect. I often behave more like Ham than his brothers.

Despite the obvious failings of our parents, God demands that we respect them and, at times, cover for their failings. We are often too quick to judge others, and this carries over into our relationship with our parents.

There's much more to this passage, though. If you want to hear the rest, you can download the mp3 here. We also have an mp3 archive for most of the other sermons over the past couple of years here.