You Don’t Have to be Perfect

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. (Ge 9:20–21)

4 So Abram went, as the LORD had told him, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. 5 And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother’s son, and all their possessions that they had gathered, and the people that they had acquired in Haran, and they set out to go to the land of Canaan. When they came to the land of Canaan, 6 Abram passed through the land to the place at Shechem, to the oak of Moreh. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. 7 Then the LORD appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built there an altar to the LORD, who had appeared to him. (Ge 12:4–7)

God preserved humanity with Noah, who God found righteous. And what happens with Noah? He builds the ark. He saves humanity. He gets off the ark. He plants a vineyard. And he gets naked (nekkid for those of you reading this in the South) and drunk.

This is the guy by whom God saved all of us. We are all descended from the drunk, naked guy.

Then look at Abraham back while he was still Abram.

God told him to “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.” (Gen. 12:1). Got that? Leave your kin, God tells Abram. God is pretty clear on that. If he wasn’t clear enough, he then tells Abram to leave his “father’s house.” Precisely three verses later we read, “So Abram went, as the LORD had told him, and Lot went with him.

Wait. What? Did not the Lord of all creation just tell him to leave his kin. And now Lot is going with him?!

In fact, over the next couple of chapters Lot following Abram arguably causes some issues, to put it mildly. But look what happens right after we’re told Abram is taking Lot with him in contradiction to what God told him.

Just after verse 4, God tells Abram to leave his kin behind. Abram takes his kin with him. Still God says “To your offspring I will give this land.” Even though Abram was not perfect and was not perfectly obedient, God still provides blessings. God still cares for Abram.

We are all descended as humans from Noah and we are all descended from Abram into the covenant promises of our Lord. God does not want you perfect. He wants you. And he does not expect you to be perfectly obedient, but to try your very best and repent when you are not.

We all, like sheep, have gone astray. We all fall short of the glory of God. Still, he loves us. Still, he keeps his promises to us. As the hymn says, “Here is love, vast as the ocean. Lovingkindness as the flood.”