Clothing Those who Need to be Clothed (Matthew 25:36a, 38b, 40)

My family in Christ,

In my recent blog on creation I claimed that God’s nurturing of His chosen people started at Genesis 9:22. Maybe I could have referred to something further toward the beginning of the book; although 9:22 may be seen as a good foundation on which to ‘build’ this blog. Israel’s roots are generally held to have originated with God calling the elderly, childless Abram (later known as Abraham) out of Harran to journey to a place which would be given to his descendents (12:1-5).

Looking back into the previous chapter, one learns that Abram is descended from Shem, one of Noah’s 3 sons. 9:21 presents us with Noah (who saved his family and many animals of different kinds from the ‘groundbreaking’ Flood) lying naked in his tent, drunk. Verses 22-23 are extremely significant, I believe, for they show one of the reasons why Shem was chosen over his two brothers to father a great dynasty:

“Ham, the father of Canaan, saw his father naked and told his two brothers outside. But Shem and Japheth took a garment and laid it across their shoulders; then they walked in backward and covered their father’s naked body. Their faces were turned the other way so that they would not see their father naked” (NIV)

My friends, at one time being naked was perfectly ok (1-3:6). But between then and the time of Noah sin had entered into the world. And honestly I know what it’s like to see the naked body of a non-biological relative with a head and heart full of sin. [1] In a sinful world, clothes are a necessary commodity, and Shem and Japheth did the right thing to prevent any hint of sin being stirred up between father and sons (or even worse if Noah had remained unclothed for longer and been seen by anyone else).

Usually I would read about clothing the unclothed and just take it literally without seeing any deeper meaning in it. But today God has enabled me to look further into this and hopefully this is of help to you too.

God bless you.

Endnotes

[1] The negative feelings aroused are enough to drive a person crazy! So far, at least, God has spared me from seeing such a sight among my relatives.

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