WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
OCTOBER 17, 2022
TOPIC: TAKE HEED LEST YOU FALL
BY T. O. BANSO
“Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:12-13 New King James Version).
Noah was a just or righteous man, perfect or blameless among the people of his time; he walked with God (Genesis 6:9). Also in Genesis 7:1, God said that He had seen that Noah was righteous before Him in this generation. In contrast, the earth was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence (Genesis 6:11).
But the good record of Noah was stained after the flood. Noah became drunk from the wine he produced from the vineyard he had planted. Genesis 9:20-24 says, “And Noah began to be a farmer, and he planted a vineyard. Then he drank of the wine and was drunk, and became uncovered in his tent. And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brothers outside. But Shem and Japheth took a garment, laid it on both their shoulders, and went backward and covered the nakedness of their father. Their faces were turned away, and they did not see their father’s nakedness. So Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done to him” (New King James Version).
Habakkuk 2:15 says, “Woe to him who gives drink to his neighbor, Pressing him to your bottle, Even to make him drunk, That you may look on his nakedness!” (New King James Version). But nobody gave Noah wine to drink; he drank it himself and exposed his nakedness.
Ephesians 5:18 says believers should not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery but should be filled with the Spirit. When people get drunk, they are no longer themselves. They lose control and do what they, ordinarily, would not do. That was why in 1 Samuel 1:13, when Hannah spoke in her heart and only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard, Eli the Priest thought that she was drunk. He told her, “How long will you be drunk? Put your wine away from you!” (Verse 14 New King James Version). But Hannah answered, “No, my lord, I am a woman of sorrowful spirit. I have drunk neither wine nor intoxicating drink, but have poured out my soul before the LORD” (verse 15 New King James Version).
Noah got drunk, uncovered himself, and Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father. Instead of covering his nakedness, he went to tell his two brothers outside. They took a garment, put it over their shoulders, and, walking backward, went in and covered their naked father.
Because of what Ham did, Noah cursed Canaan, the son of Ham, and blessed Shem and Japheth. In Genesis 9:26-27, Noah said, “Blessed be the LORD, the God of Shem, and may Canaan be his servant. May God enlarge Japheth, And may he dwell in the tents of Shem; and may Canaan be his servant” (New King James Version). This came to pass. The land of Canaan was later given to the Israelites who were the descendants of Shem. Shem was an ancestor of Jesus Christ (Luke 3:36).
Noah succeeded in building the ark which took him many years in the midst of wicked people. He also survived the flood with his immediate family together with the animals he took inside. 2 Peter 2:5 says that God did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly. However, later, the preacher of righteousness drank the wine of the vineyard that he planted and was drunk.
Nevertheless, the book of Hebrews records Noah as one of the heroes of faith. His drunkenness after the flood is a lesson that even great people of faith can also stumble or fall. “By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith” (Hebrews 11:7 New King James Version).
Genesis 17:1 says when Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless.” I pray that you will strive to walk before God and be blameless. I also pray that you will you won’t engage in any wrong activity that will rubbish or stain your good record before men. You will not do anything negative that will make people not remember the good that you did in the past or do anything that will diminish it. You must be careful what you do, especially after a season or series of success because it can spoil, stain, or discredit your achievements. Even during the celebration of your success, be careful how you celebrate. Don’t engage in sinful pleasures.
1 Corinthians 10:12-13 says, “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it” (New King James Version).
The New International Version renders the passage thus: “So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”
Take heed lest you fall. Samson didn’t take heed to avoid a fall. An undisciplined lifestyle led him to love a woman in the Valley of Sorek, called Delilah. She brought down this great man. The Philistines seized him, gouged out his eyes, and humiliated him. Eventually, he died with his enemy (Judges 16:4-30). Nevertheless, he is listed among the heroes of faith in Hebrews 11:32. We must learn from his failure that a man of faith must also take heed lest he falls.
King David, before he committed adultery with Bathsheba, the wife of one of his soldiers, Uriah, and got him killed, had a good record. At the time when kings went out to battle, David sent Joab out with the king’s men and the whole Israelite army. While they succeeded in destroying the people of Ammon and besieged Rabbah, David, who remained in Jerusalem, was losing the battle to adultery!
When David saw the nakedness of Bathsheba from the roof of his palace as she was bathing, he didn’t take heed lest he should fall. Adultery led David to commit murder to cover up. The story is recorded in 2 Samuel 11. Nevertheless, God exposed David’s sins to the Prophet Nathan. Today, just as David is still being remembered for killing Goliath, he is also not forgotten for killing Uriah whose wife he impregnated and married! If you think you’re standing firm, you had better be careful lest you fall.
King Uzziah of Judah was a very successful king. God marvelously helped him. His fame spread as far as the entrance of Egypt, for he became exceedingly strong. But his success went to his head. He was unfaithful to God and intruded into the office of a priest by entering the Temple of the LORD to burn incense on the altar of incense.
Azariah the priest and eighty other priests of the LORD followed him in and confronted him that it was not right for him to burn incense to the LORD but for the priests, the descendants of Aaron, who have been consecrated to burn incense. They told him to leave the sanctuary because he had been unfaithful and would not be honoured by God (2 Chronicles 26:16-18).
But Uzziah didn’t heed their warning. With a censer in his hand ready to burn incense, he became angry. While he was angry at the priests before the incense altar in the Temple, leprosy broke out on his forehead. Azariah the chief priest and the other priests hurried him out of the Temple when they saw that he had leprosy on his forehead (verses 19-20).
God afflicted him with leprosy even though Uzziah was a good king for the most part of his fifty two years’ reign. 2 Chronicles 27:2 says about Jotham, Uzziah’s son who succeeded him, that he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, just as his father Uzziah had done, but unlike him he did not enter the temple of the Lord. Despite Uzziah’s previous good record, he went astray towards the end of his reign. If you think you’re standing, take heed lest you fall.
Uzziah died a leper; his son took over from him while he was still alive. 2 Chronicles 26:23 says, “So Uzziah slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the burial field of the kings [outside the royal tombs], for they said, He is a leper. Jotham his son reigned in his stead” (Amplified Bible).
You must avoid whatever will stain your character or become a blemish on your record as a Christian or in your business, career, or profession. Strive to finish the Christian race well.
Proverbs 22:1a says a good name is to be chosen rather than great riches. Similarly, Ecclesiastes 7:1a says a good name is better than precious ointment. Avoid any behaviour or action that will spoil your name. God’s plan is that you rise and rise, not rise and fall. You’ll not only arise, shine (Isaiah 60:1) but you’ll also arise and continue to shine in Jesus’ name. Your path shall be like the shining sun that shines ever brighter unto the perfect day (Proverbs 4:18). Take heed lest you fall.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Holy Spirit, help me to avoid whatever will stain my character or become a blemish on my record. I shall finish well in Jesus’ name. My path shall be like the shining sun that shines ever brighter unto the perfect day. I receive the grace to overcome every temptation in Jesus’ name. Father, I pray that you will restore all those who have fallen and uphold all those standing so that they will not fall but finish well.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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