Before your mind goes on a roller coaster of possibilities based on the title of this post let me explain. Naked carries a dual definition. The first we are all familiar with. The second is what we will focus on.
- a person or part of the body without clothes
- undisguised; blatant, as relating to behavior or feeling
Some common synonyms for both definitions are as follows: nude, bare, exposed, undisguised, unadorned, plain, glaring, or apparent. We have all been physically and emotionally naked in our lives. Our feelings exposed to the world, all of our imperfections on full display. The biblical account of Noah and his sons will take us on a journey of both physical and emotional nakedness.
Some Bible scholars believe that Noah was on the ark for 370 days. I think cabin fever is an understatement in this case. Surely they kept busy tending to the animals but there were those moments where they would just sit at night, gaze at the ocean and contemplate their situation. A wide array of thoughts and emotions must have inundated them. They didn’t know when they would depart from the ark. No end in sight.
Fast-forward to the time frame after the family has disembarked from the ark. They now hold a secure covenant, a reminder every time a rainbow graces the sky. Their hearts may have been elated at the thought of a new start or they could have been overwhelmed from having to start over. Everyone reacts differently to change.
Let’s shift our focus to the account of Noah’s nakedness. We do know that he was drunk and uncovered in his own tent. He was in his own home, his comfort zone. But he was exposed physically and emotionally. Noah was vulnerable. His senses were scrambled from the influence of alcohol. How often though do we experience situations that cause our emotions to tail-spin? To be emotionally naked, bare. A full display of our inner struggles surfacing to be exposed. Only to have a Ham come to our tent.
When we our emotionally bare and struggling, we must be very cautious not to allow the enemy to use a Ham in our life. Someone who will see us at our lowest, stripped of our senses, only to run and shame us. No aid was offered from Ham, Noah’s own son. He saw his father’s compromising situation and failed to react. He chose to run and gossip about it. Ham was fully aware of Noah’s state. Divine intervention gave Ham an opportunity to intervene, but he didn’t. Noah was left naked and emotionally vulnerable in the confines of his home. Our minds can be viewed as our tent.
After shaming his father to his brothers, Shem and Japheth, decided to react. A discreet intervention was devised. A garment was used as a covering to shield Noah’s nakedness. They shouldered the covering and walked backwards to cover Noah. Their father’s vulnerability was shielded from outside eyes and influences. A reaction with the intent of helping their father, not shaming him any further. Literally walking backwards to help him during a low point in his life. Not only did they walk backwards, their faces were backward. Turned so as not to see their father exposed. They helped without looking and casting judgment.
Now the question can be asked, are you covering someone’s nakedness? When someone is emotionally bare, fully stripped, can you be counted on to intervene? At different times in our lives we will find ourselves down and unaware of our condition. At our lowest, Hams will come to our tents and try to shame us, to degrade us. We will need a Shem or Japheth to rescue us. God orchestrates situations everyday that require His children to be used in a helpful way. Ordinary people used in extraordinary ways. The Noahs of the world are everywhere, in tents and in plain sight. I promise that someone needs your help. The world needs you today. Somewhere, someone is emotionally exposed. Be willing and the Holy Spirit will guide you.
Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2