6th February: Genesis 9:20-29 – Yesterday’s victories can become today’s defeats, if we do not keep close to God.

What a sad episode this is! It teaches us that yesterday’s victories can become today’s defeats, if we do not keep close to God. We read, in Hebrews 11:7 of Noah the man of faith, but here we have a very different picture. The lesson is clear – ‘The arm of flesh will fail you; Ye dare not trust your own’. We must not look to our own strength to keep us in the way of faith and obedience. It cannot be done. We fail. ‘God can do anything but fail’. We must affirm our faith in God – ‘All my hope on God is founded’. In man, there is no sure foundation – only ‘change and chance’. There is nothing that will last – ‘only pride of man and earthly glory’ (Church Hymnary, 481,405). Can we be guided through change and chance? Yes, but we must learn from Noah’s fall – Past grace is no guarantee of present growth – , and we must keep our eyes on Jesus, ‘the Author and Finisher of our faith’ (Hebrews 12: 2).

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