“But Shem and Japheth took a garment and laid it upon both their shoulders and walked backward and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were turned away, so that they did not see their father’s nakedness.” Genesis 9:23
Shem and Japheth’s father, Noah, had gone too far with his drinking and was laying naked and drunk when his other son, Ham, walked in and found him. When Ham saw his father, he chose to expose him even further by telling his brothers, Shem and Japheth. These two, however, did not choose the same response as Ham. Instead, they took a blanket, walked backwards into the tent where their father lay, and covered their father’s shame and nakedness. When Noah awoke, he knew what had been done and he cursed Ham’s lineage! But for the sons who covered him, he proclaimed a blessing.
Noah was in the privacy of his own tent when his son walked in on him. This was not a matter to be discussed among the camp. Ham’s action reveals his heart. He had no desire to cover his father, only to expose him to others. Are we guilty of doing the same thing through gossip?
Gossip is a serious matter. It breaks trust in our relationships, it brings division among the group and can even bring a curse on us and our children. Because of the law of sowing and reaping, if we sow gossip about the mistakes of others, isn’t it true that it will come back to bite us? Every time we learn something negative about the private lives of our leaders, our brothers and sisters, or our parents, we are faced with a choice of what we will do with that information. Will we further expose one another through gossip or will we choose to cover that person with prayer, love and forgiveness?
“Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8
God is love and He set the prime example for us by sending His Son, Yeshua, who came through Shem’s lineage, to shed His blood not only to cover our sins, but to remove them far from us. As children of God, we cannot remove sin, but our hearts desire ought to be to keep personal matters private, to cover each other in love.
Luke 6:31 says; “Do unto others as you would want others to do unto you.”
We all make those mistakes, those slips of the tongue, but the important thing is to learn from mistakes. The word of God gives us plenty of examples of mistakes others have made before us so that we can learn from them and avoid those same pitfalls. If you struggle with gossip, or have exposed someone’s shame by telling it to another, today is the day to make it right. Turn to the Lord for forgiveness and go to your brother in humility. When we are right with God and each other, we walk in security and freedom and we reap His blessing on us and our children!
God bless you!