SERMON: DRUNK AT A CRITICAL TIME
10:30 am Service | Sunday, January 17, 2021
(20) And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard; (21) And he drank of the wine, and was drunken: and he was uncovered within his tent.
God was totally appalled with the behavior of the people He had created. Evil and corruption ran rampant at every aspect of society. There existed an all-consuming depravity. God decided to send a massive flood and destroy all of humankind, except Noah and his family. Why Noah? Because he was the only righteous man left on the face of the earth. Special provisions were made for Noah to be spared. This special relationship with God would require Noah to do extraordinary things for a very long time. He had to build a big vessel- really a floating barn, fill it with breeding pairs of all the animals, and store food for the animals and his family. The construction of the ark itself was a monumental task. Remember there was no Home Depot or Lowe’s and his tools were very primitive. He had to cut down giant trees, saw them into planks, and construct the ark’s massive frame. He had to measure off the rooms, the cages, and the storage areas. Then he had to boil huge vats of tar and apply it to the exterior and interior surfaces of the ark. After the completion of the ark he had to hunt without harming a breeding pair of each species, including porcupines and skunks. He did all of this while preaching the same sermon over and over with no support from anyone else for one hundred twenty years. He was ridiculed day and night; no one took him seriously.
At the command of God, on the designated day, Noah and his family entered the ark and God shut them in. For two hundred fifty-one days Noah and his family dwelled in this big wooden box. Can you imagine what life was like in the ark? The noise and the smell of the animals and their waste must have been a challenge of endurance. Just being cooped up for that length of time could have caused a serious bout of depression? Through it all, Noah acted meritoriously. His faith never weakened.
When Noah and his family emerged from the ark, one of the first things he did was to build an altar and give God thanks for His saving grace. This was the first mention of an altar in the Bible. God also sent Noah a sign of assurance with the appearance of a rainbow. God made a covenant with Noah that he would never destroy the earth with a flood again. This again was another first-this was the first time the word “covenant” was used in the Bible.
Now here comes the part that a lot of the modern commentaries skip over. The entire Bible is instructive. The patriarchs were dedicated and faithful, but they were not perfect. We can learn from their successes and their failures. We can learn from their wise decisions and from their foolish choices. After all of his great accomplishments, Noah did something very unwise. He got drunk in a critical time. His mission was not over; He and his sons and their wives were charged with repopulating the earth and extending spiritual wisdom and intellectual knowledge to future generations. They were the only humans living. I can see it, to some degree, from Noah’s human perspective. “After all I have been through I deserve a few nips of the joy juice. A few sips won’t hurt.” His drunkenness had far reaching consequences. It brought division in his family. One of his grandsons was cursed and the incident was used for centuries by racist theologians to justify-erroneously- the enslavement of people of African descent.
As I analyze so many of the challenges of our society, I want to make sure we do not get drunk in these critical times. As we celebrate the life and the legacy of Marin Luther King, Jr. we must continue to pursue his “beloved community.” Let’s make sure we do not get drunk in this critical time. We all know what happens to intoxicated people. Their judgement is impaired, their equilibrium is lost, and simply put, they do stupid stuff they regret. Their actions, many times, easily lead to injury of themselves and others. Alcohol is not the only intoxicant. We all know that power, fame, and greed are intoxicating as well as addictive. Let’s look at a few intoxicants and make sure we avoid them.
1. Avoid Drunkenness from Past Success
2. Avoid Drunkenness from Past Failure
3. Avoid Drunkenness from Revenge and Resentment
(Personal and Historical)
4. Avoid Drunkenness from Dangerous Syndromes
Elder Brother Syndrome
(Don’t Like It When Grace Is Applied To Others)
The Lucifer Syndrome
(Jealous Of the Leader)
The Saul Syndrome
(Jealous Of a Subordinate)
5. Avoid Drunkenness from Heavy Theological Questions
I will close by quoting the last verse of Lift Every Voice and Sing, which is a prayer.
“God of our weary years,
God of our silent tears,
Thou who hast brought us thus far on the way;
Thou who hast by Thy might, Led us into the light,
Keep us for ever in the path, we pray.
Lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met Thee,
Lest our hearts, drunk with the wine of the world, we forget Thee;
Shadowed beneath Thy hand, May we for ever stand,
True to our God, True to our native land.”
Give God Glory! Give God all The Glory!
Copyright © 2021 by James C. Ward
All Rights Reserved