When I read this verse I think And Noah. Genesis 9:20-27 20 (AMP) Noah began to cultivate the ground, and he planted a vineyard.21 And he drank of the wine and became drunk, and he was uncovered and lay naked in his tent.22 And Ham, the father of Canaan, glanced at and saw the nakedness of his father and told his two brothers outside.23 So Shem and Japheth took a garment, laid it upon the shoulders of both, and went backward and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they did not see their father’s nakedness.
What a striking example between his sons. Ham shows no compassion for his father but runs to expose his father’s nakedness to his brothers. How sad when “family” does not respond in love. This has happened to some of you. A moment of weakness, a poor decision, and you were left exposed. Instead of a loving response there was criticism, gossip, judgment, etc. What you needed was to be covered!
I love Matthew Henry’s commentary on verse Proverbs 17:9. “The way to preserve peace among relations and neighbors is to make the best of everything, not to tell others what has been said or done against them when it is not at all necessary to their safety, nor to take notice of what has been said or done against them when it is not at all necessary to their safety, nor to take notice of what has been said or done against ourselves, but to excuse both, and put the best construction upon them. "It was an oversight; therefore overlook it. It was done through forgetfulness; therefore forget it. It perhaps made nothing of you; do you make nothing of it. The ripping up of faults is the ripping out of love, and nothing tends more to the separating of friends, and setting them at variance, than the repeating of matters that have been in variance; for they commonly lose nothing in the repetition, but the things themselves are aggravated and the passions about them revived and exasperated. The best method of peace is by an amnesty or act of oblivion.”
-- Matthew Henry Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible
1 Peter 4:8 (AMP) Above all things have intense and unfailing love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins [forgives and disregards the offenses of others].
It is a wise and loving person who seeks to “forgive and cover” transgressions. It is a choice we make to resist our fallen nature and to follow God’s example. Psalm 32:1 (NASB) 1 How blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, Whose sin is covered!
As passionate followers of Jesus Christ endeavor “. . . to walk (lead a life) worthy of the [divine] calling to which you have been called [with behavior that is a credit to the summons to God’s service, Living as becomes you] with complete lowliness of mind (humility) and meekness (unselfishness, gentleness, mildness), with patience, bearing with one another and making allowances because you love one another.” Ephesians 4:1b-2 (AMP)
When we see a fellow Christian in spiritual trouble we do not idly stand by. With humility we reach out to them with God’s love, with a sincere desire to bring them to repentance.
James 5:19-20 (NASB) 19 My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth and one turns him back,20 let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.
Father God, how thankful I am that You have not dealt with me as my sins deserve. I am COVERED by Your love! Help me to model your compassion, to convince others of your kindness that they may be covered too. Amen.