March 6, 2016
How do we handle weakness in others? Do we expose it, gossip about it, or as Pastor Eric Ludy suggests, carry a blanket backwards and cover it? It sounds a bit odd, sure, but in this fascinating and convicting message from Genesis 9, Pastor Ludy discusses two options for handling the weaknesses in others. Using a story from Noah’s life, we discover a biblical principle for dealing with weakness, and a profound insight into how Jesus approaches and covers our weaknesses. If you have been struggling with the problems, weaknesses, and frustrations in other people, this is a message you need to hear.
A Study in a Christian’s Approach to Weaknesses in Others
And the sons of Noah, that went forth of the ark, were Shem, and Ham, and Japheth: and Ham is the father of Canaan. These are the three sons of Noah: and of them was the whole earth overspread. And Noah began to be
THE TWO OPTIONS FOR HANDLING THE WEAKNESSES OF OTHERS
The Ham Method
See the nakedness (Ham . . . saw the nakedness of his father)
Tell your brothers about the nakedness (Ham . . . told his two brothers)
The Shem and Japheth Method
Hear of the nakedness (Ham . . . told his two brothers)
Take a garment (Shem and Japheth took a garment)
Go backward toward the vulnerable individual (they went backward)
Cover the nakedness (they covered the nakedness)
With faces backward, not seeing the nakedness the whole while (and their faces were backward and they saw not the nakedness)
He that covers a transgression seeks
You can be aware of nakedness without looking upon it and inspecting the nakedness
A talebearer reveals secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit conceals the matter.
Moving Forward, but Doing it Backward
In order to show honor
In order to seek love
To not look upon weakness
But rather, to cover over the weakness
Hatred stirs up strifes: but love covers all sins.
The High Priest of Israel
Did He Enter Backward?
THE LOVE THAT SEEKS TO COVER
. . . Above all things have fervent love for one another, for love will cover a multitude of sins.
1 Peter 4:8
Introducing an Important Hebrew Word
Kaphar – Kä·far’(a verb)
To cover, to atone, to reconcile, to cover as with pitch, to pardon, to cover
And Aaron shall make an atonement upon the horns of it once in a year with the blood of the sin offering of atonements: once in the year shall he make atonement upon it throughout your generations: it is most holy unto the LORD.
A cover; a village (as a people covered in); pitch (as used for coating), and the henna plant (as used for dyeing); figuratively, a redemption-price: a ransom, satisfaction, sum of money.
Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt Kaphar it within and without with
A dwelling (a village)
Pitch (that which seals out the judgment)
Cyprus (the powder of a leaf that when combined with water, is used by women to lacquer a red ornamental coating over their fingernails)
The Price paid for Reconciliation, for Covering, for atonement (the redemption price of his life)
Kippur – Kip·pür’
Atonement, many redemptions, many reconciled, many made right, many covered, many forgiven, many purged of their sin, many pardoned, many ransomed
Kapporeth – Kap·pō’·reth
Mercy-seat, place of atonement, the golden plate of propitiation on which the High Priest sprinkled the seat 7 times on the Day of Atonement symbolically reconciling Jehovah and His chosen people; the slab of gold on top of the ark of the covenant which measured 2.5 by 1.5 cubits; on it and part of it were the two golden cherubim facing each other whose outstretched wings came together above and constituted the throne of God.
THE BLANKET OF LOVE AND GRACE
And He bearing His cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha . . .
And He said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.
And whosoever does not bear his
And whosoever does not (humbly back into the splintery wood of a self-sacrificing, loving lifestyle), and come after me (walking backward with the garment of grace poised upon their shoulders to cover the weakness of others), cannot be my disciple.
LET’S PICK UP OUR CROSS
Go Forward, Backward (go forward with self-sacrificing, forbearing love)
I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace . . . Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.
Ephesians 4:1-3; 29-32
Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.
THE WORM AND THE WOOD
I am a worm and no man.
Usually in the Bible, the Hebrew word for a worm is “rimmah”, which means a maggot – but the Hebrew word Jesus used here for worm, is TOLA’ATH, which means “Crimson worm” or “Scarlet worm”. Both scarlet and crimson are the colors of blood – deep red.
The Crimson worm [coccus ilicis] is a very special worm that looks more like a grub than a worm. When it is time for the female or mother Crimson worm to have babies (which she does only one time in her life), she finds the trunk of a tree, a wooden fencepost or a stick. She then attaches her body to that wood and makes a hard crimson shell. She is so strongly and permanently stuck to the wood that the shell can never be removed without tearing her body completely apart and killing her.
The Crimson worm then lays her eggs under her body and the protective shell. When the baby worms (or larvae) hatch, they stay under the shell. Not only does the mother’s body give protection for her babies, but it also provides them with food – the babies feed on the LIVING body of the mother!
After just a few days, when the young worms grow to the point that they are able to take care of themselves, the mother dies. As the mother Crimson worm dies, she oozes a crimson or scarlet red dye which not only stains the wood she is attached to, but also her young children. They are colored scarlet red for the rest of their lives.
After three days, the dead mother Crimson worm’s body loses its crimson color and turns into a white wax which falls to the ground like snow.
Alpha Omega Institute
THE BLANKET CARRIERS
(Noah) was uncovered within his tent. And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his
“When I passed by you and saw you squirming in your blood, I said to you while you were in your blood, ‘Live!’ Yes, I said to you while you were in your blood, ‘Live!’ … “Then I passed by you and saw you, and behold, you were at the time for love; so I spread My skirt over you and covered your nakedness. I also swore to you and entered into a covenant with you so that you became Mine,” declares the Lord GOD.
Ezekiel 16:6, 8