When we are purchased by God, our lives ransomed with the life of His Son, we are eternally set free from the penalty that we deserve as a result of our sin. Furthermore, God is forgiving and the things which we have ruined here on earth can also be restored. For example, if we hurt people in relationships as a result of our sin, God can heal those hurts and restore the relationship.
Having said that, I have noticed that many times things are never truly the same. God desires to make all things new, but if feels at times that when he does, some vestige of sin remains – a reminder that this world is still broken until God truly restores everything to Him.
Such is the story of Noah in Genesis 9, which starts out with God renewing a blessing that He made when He first created man. That man would be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth. Everything that he made for the first generations of man would now be passed on to Noah’s family and be given for their enjoyment. In fact, perhaps for the first time it would appear that meat would be on the menu for dinner.
Yes everything seemed to be back in its place. Noah even took up gardening and planted a vineyard. Then, all of a sudden a moment of true humanity changes everything. Noah, enjoying the fruits of his labors has too much to drink. It was a moment of weakness and he was full of nothing but a desire for his own satisfaction. That’s really the root of all sin isn’t it? It’s about us and how to fulfill our own desires regardless of the consequences. The Bible is pretty clear that drinking to the point of drunkenness is sin but Noah indulges himself and does it anyway.
As a result, we have a scene that some of us may not fully understand. There are simply too many unanswered questions. Did Ham stumble mistakenly into his father’s tent and find him that way? Did he look on his father with disrespect or even lust? Did he do anything to him as some legends would suggest? We simply don’t know what the exact sinful action was here, so we can’t deem it to be important otherwise God would have told us. What we do know is what led to it and must assume that is important. Noah made a mistake, and as a result, a chain reaction was started which led to his family being torn apart. It would appear that this relationship was never restored, and the pleasure of a moment brought a lifetime of consequence.
I would summarize by saying this, that if we have been bought with a price, our eternity is secure in spite of any sin we may commit moving forward. I cannot stress this enough, You are forgiven. You are forgiven. You are forgiven. However, our motivation to abstain from sin should not come merely from a motivation to worship God and thank Him for what He has done. We must recognize that all sin, while being set free from eternal judgment is still subject to earthly consequence, and while this life is truly a vapor, it will only appear that way on the other side of eternity. Let’s not make the mistakes that cause us and the people we love so much pain.