Have you ever celebrated a victory in your life only to experience a setback in the days and weeks to follow? During my junior year in high school, our 2A football team triumphed in the playoffs over a team that was far superior to us. However, a week or two later, we succumbed to a team that we should have easily beaten. And, to add insult to injury, their fight song was “Frosty the Snowman.” Ouch.
That story reminds me of an oft forgotten scene in Genesis 9 in which Noah, the righteous hero of the Great Flood, behaved in a very uncharacteristic way. In verses 20 and 21, we read how he managed to get himself drunk on his own wine and leave himself exposed on the floor of his tent. How embarrassing!
We have to wonder how a man – whose faith in God saved him and his family from the destruction of the world – could act so carelessly. But then, we remember that he was human, and there is a constant struggle between the flesh and the spirit.
If we do not maintain a constant focus on God, then our spirits are in a weakened state and, like Noah, we leave ourselves exposed for temptation to enter our hearts. That’s why Jesus urged His apostles to be sober-minded. In Matthew 26:41 He said, “Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Although the Bible doesn’t provide us with the details surrounding Noah’s lapse in judgment, we know that it must have been at a time when he wasn’t focused on the finish line. What about you today? Have you temporarily lost sight of the goal like Noah did, or are you continuing to press forward through the pain and exhaustion until you’ve got the end in sight?