I love the story of Noah because it is so inspiring, until I come to the part where Noah gets drunk. It reminds me of a poem by Robertson McQuilkin that talks about finishing well, entitled,
“Let Me Get Home Before Dark”:
The darkness of a spirit
grown mean and small,
fruit shriveled on the vine,
bitter to the taste of my companions,
burden to be borne by those brave few
who love me still.
No, Lord. Let the fruit grow lush and sweet
A joy to all who taste;
Spirit-signof God at work,
stronger, fuller, brighter at the end.
Lord, let me get home before dark.[i]
I don’t think Noah got home before dark. This part of the story of Noah is one I would rather skip overbecause it is so pathetic. I am, however, grateful that the Bible tells the whole story, not just the beautiful part. Noah, the man who stood up for God for 120 years while he built the ark, now lies drunk and uncovered in his tent. This episode is a story of shame! It is a powerful commentary on the entrapment of strong drink to control our minds and render us utterly helpless. The term uncovered to me means addiction, loss, and shame.
I cannot forget the wretched sadness of grown men completely uncovered because of their addiction to drink. I found these men on the streets and tried to help them. Their bondage to drink was so intense; they had lost their families, reputations, jobs, assets, and even futures. They were indeed slaves to their addiction to alcohol.
Along the years I have witnessed fathers and mothers lose their children, husbands their wives, all because they found themselves uncovered. Their addictions controlled them, imprisoned them, and sentenced them.
How heartbreaking to see young men and women stain their records with felonies, lose their privilege to drive, limit their employment, and even kill and maim people with their automobiles or some weapon while in their drunken state. Some of them are forced to serve time in prison, and worst of all, they have to live with the regret of what they did.
It is lamentable to hear of men and women who wind up in the bed of someone they never knew only to find out they contracted a venereal disease. The next morning, when their disgrace was devastatingly apparent, they knew Noah’s shame of being uncovered.
Most distressing is to see adolescents play around with alcohol or drugs only to lose their way in life. With sadness, we watch as they miss their future opportunities for fulfillment and faithfulness.
The serpent of alcohol and drugs bites with deadly venom. I have no use for drinking, and I scorn the social standing that society gives alcohol and now marijuana. I hate what it does to people. I hate what it does to families. I hate the destruction it leaves in its wake.
stands as a witness to the deadly covert dangers that are in this world. The
sinful nature is present in all of us. We are in a predicament, and we need
help. Will we seek the help that is offered to us by God or will we deal with
it in our way and find ourselves shamefully uncovered.