Genesis 9:20-22 Noah, a man of the soil, proceeded to plant a vineyard. One day he drank some wine he had made, and he became drunk and lay naked inside 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 and laid it across their shoulders; then they walked in backward and covered their father’s naked body. Their faces were turned the other way so that they would not see their father naked.
The word “covered” there means to cover, conceal, hide to be covered, clothed, concealed, to cover for protection.
The word nakedness or naked there means nakedness, nudity, shame, pudenda (implying shameful exposure) nakedness of a thing, indecency, improper behavior, exposed, undefended
To cover or not to cover………….
The other day I was talked to sarcastically by a someone. This person, did this because they thought I had not followed their instructions, when in fact, if they had only taken the time to read the paper, they would have seen that I had. Once I was able to point out the error, I heard no more – not even an “oops, I’m sorry.” It was a little irritating, to say the least. Boy was I tempted to go and share this irritation with someone. But I heard – “Are you going to cover them?” And immediately, the Noah scripture came to mind.
As I began to think and ponder on this, the Lord began to reveal to me that we have many opportunities to “cover” or “uncover” a person. And I am talking about covering up something that needs to be corrected, or even covering for someone. Let me make that clear. I am talking about covering the sin or infraction.
How much better would it be if we covered our brother or sister in prayer when they slighted us? Oh but our flesh wants justification! Our flesh wants satisfaction! But, when my flesh wants gratification, giving into it, always produces a spiritual regret!
Noah made a mistake and he lay naked in his tent. Without going into other ramifications of this story, let’s just take it at face value. His son discovers it – and instead of helping his father out in his time of indiscretion, he instead chose to make it known. Ah, but his other brothers did not join in with the exposing of their father’s indiscretion. No, instead, they got a covering and walked in backwards, so they wouldn’t even look upon their father’s shame.
So let me ask you – think about the last time you stumbled upon someone’s sin. It may be someone you know, it may be someone you don’t know. But did you cover them or uncover them? ( I am saying ouch!)
I love this Scripture – 1 John 5:16 If you see any brother or sister commit a sin that does not lead to death, you should pray and God will give them life. I refer to those whose sin does not lead to death. There is a sin that leads to death. I am not saying that you should pray about that.
What if, the next time we learn of someone’s indiscretion, what if we prayed for the Lord to forgive that person and help them in their life to be convicted of their sin?
Take a look at what I found in Job –
“Submit to God and be at peace with him;
in this way prosperity will come to you.
22 Accept instruction from his mouth
and lay up his words in your heart.
23 If you return to the Almighty, you will be restored:
If you remove wickedness far from your tent
24 and assign your nuggets to the dust,
your gold of Ophir to the rocks in the ravines,
25 then the Almighty will be your gold,
the choicest silver for you.
26 Surely then you will find delight in the Almighty
and will lift up your face to God.
27 You will pray to him, and he will hear you,
and you will fulfill your vows.
28 What you decide on will be done,
and light will shine on your ways.
29 When people are brought low and you say, ‘Lift them up!’
then he will save the downcast.
30 He will deliver even one who is not innocent,
who will be delivered through the cleanness of your hands.”
To know that God gives us the privilege of covering our brother or sister’s sins! Isn’t that what Jesus did for us? Only on a grander scale that cannot be compared – but the word says in John 15:13 – Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. Sometimes laying down your life means – “laying down your right to be right.” – Sometimes it means laying down your right to be justified, or even vindicated – if your vindication will cause a casualty of another.
This Scripture says it so well – I Peter 4:8 – Above all, love each other deeply, because lovecovers over a multitude of sins.
The word “covers” there means to hide, veil, to hinder the knowledge of a thing.
And let me add a different angle on this too – many times we might feel more comfortable “not covering someone” when the person we talk to doesn’t know them. We figure, what is the harm, right? All this does is pet your flesh and come into agreement with what the enemy says about that particular situation! Now, I realize there are times we need prayer for situations. But, if you will ask the Lord, the Holy Spirit will convict you of when it is a proper request or a chance to vindicate yourself and incriminate another.
So the next time an injustice is done to you…..the next time you hear of a moral failure…..the next time you stumble upon someone else missing the mark – let love cover a multitude of sins through you. Pray for them that they will be forgiven and receive correction (by the Holy Spirit, not you). Pray that God will deliver them through the cleanness of your hands! Determine to cover them, determine that the missing of the mark will not go any further than from your lips to God’s ears, determine to lay down your life and your right to be right.
In doing this, not only will you be imitating Christ, but you are sowing valuable seed so that when you inevitably miss the mark, someone, in love, will cover you.
And let me mention one more scenario – Of course we know the ultimate covering is the shed blood of Jesus Christ. What a price He paid for us! The Lord showed me a long time ago, that when we remember a person’s past sin(s) or worse, share the person’s past sin(s) with someone, unless it is in the form of a testimony (with their permission of course!) we are pulling the knowledge of that sin out from under the blood! Now, thankfully the Lord leaves it there and forgets it, but when we ATTEMPT to do that to a person, He showed me that the sin we try to pull, reaches down and takes a hold of one of our sins that we have placed under the blood and pulls it out with it! The last point is this – when Jesus has covered the sin – WHO ARE WE TO PULL IT OUT??? Oh if we could get this! Love covers a multitude of sins but Jesus’ blood covers all!
I challenge you today, to let love cover a multitude of sins in your sphere of influence. I promise you, since you have read this article, you will have a chance to cover someone soon. Let love do the perfect work. The Bible says it is the goodness of God that draws men to repentance. It is not our part to punish or share, it is our part to pray and ask the Lord to have His way in their lives.
Father – we come to You and we ask You first, to forgive us for each and every time we have pulled someone’s sin out from under the blood and shared it for wrong reasons. We ask You to give us the heart of compassion for our friends and family and help us to walk in love and the goodness of God. Lord, when we see our brother or sister sin a sin that is not unto death, bring this teaching to mind so that we can cover them in prayer and walk in love. Jesus, we thank You for Your blood that was shed for us. Forgive us for ever mishandling it, or taking it for granted. Help us to lay down our right to be right and our right to be heard. Holy Spirit live through us today, in Jesus’ Name – Amen!
This article was written by Kelita Deems