01/03/15 Even the Righteous Can Fall

READING: Genesis 8-11

I suspect that all of us have at least one hero of the faith. Perhaps it's a parent, a grandparent, a pastor, or a small group leader. We remember their faithfulness, their commitment, their sacrifice, and their love. 

Noah is generally one of those Old Testament heroes of the faith; in fact, he's included in Hebrews 11 as a man of faith and holy fear.  But, today’s reading reminds us that nobody—even the most righteous person today—is immune from sin tomorrow. Several times in the story of Noah, the scriptures speak of his obedience to God. He was “a righteous man, blameless among his contemporaries” (Gen. 6:9). Four times, the text says Noah did whatever the Lord commanded him (Gen. 6:22; 7:5, 9, 16). All of his faithfulness, though, did not keep him from getting drunk: “He drank some of the wine, became drunk, and uncovered himself inside his tent” (Gen. 9:21). Our temptations may be different, but this truth remains the same. Faithfulness today is no guarantee of our victory tomorrow.

At the same time, we learn that a powerful movement of God does not always keep us from sin. Think about it – God showed favor to Noah by personally communicating with him, warning him about the flood, giving him direction about the ark, and then safeguarding him and his family through the deluge. In fact, Noah’s first recorded act when his family left the ark was to build an altar to the God who had provided divine guidance and protection (Gen. 8:20). Still, that history of the undeniable work of God did not keep Noah from making momentary choices that brought shame on himself. 

Regardless of what miracles God has worked in our past, our very real enemy still seeks to devour us (1 Peter 5:8).  We, too, can still fall today.

ACTION STEPS:  None of us is immune from a fall, so . . .  

  • Admit the potential for your fall today. If you believe it won’t happen to you, you’ve allowed the enemy to deceive you.  
  • If you lean at all toward sin today, quickly run instead to God. Submit to Him, and flee quickly from temptation. 

PRAYER: “God, thank You that Your Word speaks truth to us, even when the story of one of Your own is negative. Help me to live today so I bring no shame on You or on others.” 

TOMORROW’S READING:  Genesis 12-15