Respect God’s Image in Man!
18 Now the sons of Noah who came out of the ark were Shem and Ham and Japheth; and Ham was the father of Canaan. 19 These three were the sons of Noah, and from these the whole earth was populated.
20 Then Noah began farming and planted a vineyard. 21 He drank of the wine and became drunk, and uncovered himself inside his tent. 22 Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brothers outside. 23 But Shem and Japheth took a garment and laid it upon both their shoulders and walked backward and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were turned away, so that they did not see their father’s nakedness. 24 When Noah awoke from his wine, he knew what his youngest son had done to him. 25 So he said,
“Cursed be Canaan; A servant of servants He shall 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 Noah lived three hundred and fifty years after the flood. 29 So all the days of Noah were nine hundred and fifty years, and he died.
- Commands for Life
This is the background for the importance of this passage. The command of God for life is to respect His image in man!
In the beginning, God gave life and then the commands that keep life good! The COI are delivered from Egypt. God has given them life. Now, He has and is giving them His commands that keep life good. This is the fundamental premise, the motivating truth that will keep people who are in relationship with God full of life.
Acts 11: 18 When they heard these things they fell silent. And they glorified God, saying, “Then to the Gentiles also God has granted repentance that leads to life.”
- God, not man’s desire, is the expert
There is a natural conflict between wills when individuals think or feel different things. In order to move forward, there must be submission. Everybody submits at times. We are never to submit to sinful desires.
7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.
- God’s commands yield life if obeyed
Review the commands in Genesis3 and Genesis 9 connect these two commands to the great commandments.
Connect these two commands to the 10 commandments.
Connect these two commands to Exodus 19:3-6
Connect the brother’s behavior to Cain and Able.
“Sin is crouching at your door, you must master it!”
The sin crouching at Cain’s door came from where? What are the people in Genesis 6 corrupted (ruined) by? Sinful desires.
- God’s commands will always be true
They are like genetics! They do what they do.
Review the command in Genesis 2 it’s direction and what happens when it is ignored. The curse first, and then the spiral of sin.
Sin first separates us from God and the life of God. But we still desire life, so we chase after what we are missing in places where the tempter says it is. But Satan is a liar, a thief and a murderer. He desires to steal your life, to kill your life and will deceive you. Do not go along willingly!
- Noah is Not Perfect
- Drunk and naked in his tent
Everybody behaves in ways that do not reflect the image of God. Noah is here. If you are gonna be drunk, at least don’t be in public. Who would know of his shame here in his own tent?
- Attach shame to nakedness
When Adam and Eve are naked, and feel shame as a result, what does God do for them? What is the Godly thing to do with the shameful aspects of the behavior of others?
Is that easy? Gossip, slander, competition, pride
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
I John 1:
6 If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
III. Noah’s Sons React to Noah’s Shame
- Ham sees and exposes Noah’s shame
There are lots of crazy interpretations of this action of Ham. It amazes me that interpreters see the need to add to the story instead of discovering the issue within the context.
Compare the behavior of the brothers to see how to respect the image of God in man.
Ham: What might he be thinking, cause the story doesn’t say. That actually let’s us consider a broader scope of motivation that does not reflect respect.
What commandment is Ham breaking from the 10? Honor your father and mother.
Why would he go and announce his father’s sin?
- Shem and Japeth care for Noah’s shame
They don’t even dare to look at Noah. Noah doesn’t know any of this. They protect Noah’s reputation, his dignity, even when Noah does not! They are honoring the image of God in Noah! And they don’t even have any mental images of shame to overcome. Why rehearse the worst part of each other? Why compare the worst parts of each other. Why gossip about the worst parts of each other? Why tear others down. The other alternative is for us to actually do better ourselves! We can more accurately reflect the image of God by doing what is right and good!
- This sin bears a curse
Canaan= Canaanites= the people the Israelites are getting ready to go to war with. Judgement idea here, just as with the Amorites.
Ham will be a servant to his brothers. There is a natural consequence of this way of living. If we will improve ourselves instead of tearing others down, then we will actually be improving. We will be less addicted, more free, more full of life, more attractive to others, more self-controlled, of better use and service to others.
Just as Adam needs to not blame Eve, and Cain does not need to blame Abel, we need to not look at any other person when we are thinking about our own lives and our walk with God.