Why Do You Escape?
18 The sons of Noah who went forth from the ark were Shem, Ham, and Japheth. (Ham was the father of Canaan.) 19 These three were the sons of Noah, and from these the people of the whole earth were dispersed.
20 Noah began to be a man of the soil, and he planted a vineyard. 21 He drank of the wine and became drunk and lay uncovered in his tent. 22 And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father and told his two brothers outside. 23 Then Shem and Japheth took a garment, laid it on both their shoulders, and walked backward and covered the nakedness of their father. Their faces were turned backward, and they did not see their father’s nakedness. 24 When Noah awoke from his wine and knew what his youngest son had done to him, 25 he said,
“Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be to his brothers.”
26 He also said,
“Blessed be the Lord, the God of Shem; and let Canaan be his servant. 27 May God enlarge Japheth, and let him dwell in the tents of Shem, and let Canaan be his servant.”
28 After the flood Noah lived 350 years. 29 All the days of Noah were 950 years, and he died. GENESIS 9:18-29 ESV
Reject the lies of escapism
Common ways we justify our escapism:
• If I avoid being close with people, I can avoid more pain.
• If I just numb my pain, it will heal on its own.
• I can manage my own medication.
• I deserve to get away.
• Checking out won’t hurt anyone.
Resist reacting to the sin of others with my own sin
Whoever covers an offense seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates close friends. PROVERBS 17:9 ESV
Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man against whom the LORD counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit. PSALMS 32:1-2 ESV
God will give me real escape when I cover others in forgiveness
Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. COLOSSIANS 3:13 NLT
Community Group Discussion Guide
- Reflect back on the passage and discuss why you think Noah wanted to turn to something like getting drunk alone? What significant changes in his life from the chapter before may have led him to do this?
- What is the difference between our hobbies or resting (Sabbath) and escapism?
- What are some of the things that you find yourself turning to in order to relax, escape or just zone-out after a difficult day?
- Has there been a time that something you did just to unwind or relax turned out hurting you or others? Did it go too far?
- What motivates you to escape? Can you identify at least one thing, especially a painful or uncomfortable thing, that may drive feelings of insecurity, fear, pain, guilt or sadness?
- Shem and Japheth both carried the covering for Noah and sometimes we need help from others in our healing. Take a moment to pray for someone else in the group, specifically for something they shared that they need help in covering and forgiving.
Personal Reflection Guide
Find a quiet place to be alone with God. Take a few moments to settle your mind, body and heart. Next, start a conversation with God about relationships in your life that routinely provoke a sinful response in you. Maybe it’s feelings of jealousy, gossip, anger or lust. Ask God some questions like, “What relationships in my life lead me to sin? What does that look like in me? How does that impact that relationships and other relationships around me?” Let these questions simply be a guide. Be open to the Holy Spirit to lead you in your reflection time with God.
If you feel stuck, Sandals Church has people who are ready to help you move past your escapism. If you want help or would like to learn how to help others heal from destructive behavior, go to move.sc/help