The flood recedes and Noah and his family depart the ark. The first thing they do is worship. Noah built an altar and offers sacrifices unto God. They have seen God’s judgment but also His protection. They have seen His power but also His provision.
God establishes a covenant with them, much like Adam and Eve. Now they must go be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth. God gives them the rainbow as a symbol of His covenant to never destroy the earth through flooding again.
God let’s us have a visible reminder. Not only do we have His word but we have a visible symbol to hold onto. He wants us to rest in His promises. We often pray for God to give us signs. Sometimes we must simply hold onto the promises and signs He has already given through time knowing that He hasn’t changed.
Noah and Ham have a strange encounter. Noah has gotten drunk and has uncovered himself and is naked. Ham walks in and see Noah but disrespects Noah by simply telling his brothers about it. Shem and Japheth instead back into where Noah is carrying a covering on their shoulders and cover Noah. When Noah awakens he pronounces a curse on Ham and all his descendants because of the disrespect shown.
The point I take away from this is that like Ham we can find ourselves in situations where we have the opportunity to cover or shame others. Ham chose to shame Noah by talking about his father’s nakedness instead of covering him. It is important to handle other people’s truths, mistakes, and even poor choices carefully. We should hold other people’s reputations gingerly.
The Tower of Babel. The people come together in an effort to display their own power and prowess. They have started to think more highly of themselves than they should. They are not being fruitful in all the earth as commissioned by God to do. Instead they are staying closely connected and using their abilities to glorify themselves.
God disrupts their efforts by confounding their language. God wants His mission accomplished. God doesn’t destroy them but disperse them. People were unified but in the wrong purpose. The purpose wasn’t to build a tower to but to obey God. The purpose was to glorify God not man. God will delight in our unity when it is done in His way not in our own efforts.
Multiple languages brought about the purpose of God: filing the earth and replenishing it.
How has God taken you away from a project you thought was good in order to fulfill His purpose and bring Him glory?
How has someone else’s’ reputation been in your care? How are you handling that?
How has God been showing you signs of His covenant and promises and is asking you to simply continue to trust His character?