The sons of Noah who went forth from the ark were Shem, Ham, and Japheth. (Ham was the father of Canaan.) These three were the sons of Noah, and from these the people of the whole earth were dispersed. Noah began to be a man of the soil, and he planted a vineyard. He drank of the wine and became drunk and lay uncovered in his tent. And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father and told his two brothers outside. 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. When Noah awoke from his wine and knew what his youngest son had done to him, he said, “Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be to his brothers.” He also said, “Blessed be the LORD, the God of Shem; and let Canaan be his servant. May God enlarge Japheth, and let him dwell in the tents of Shem, and let Canaan be his servant.” After the flood Noah lived 350 years. All the days of Noah were 950 years, and he died. (ESV)
Consider the following from the text:
- Noah’s Soil
This passage is about the state of humanity after God’s Flood. And it isn’t pretty. Why did Noah plant a vineyard? There was a plan there and it wasn’t good… But let him who is without sin cast the first stone. We all have character flaws. We are Christians because we are not good enough to not be Christians – we need a Saviour, which is why we need to be here, where the Word is preached.
- Noah’s Sons
See Noah’s sons, from whom we are all descended. They saw their father plant the vineyard, and probably wondered what he was up to. This was their father, the most righteous among them, and their leader. Can you imagine their thoughts?
- Noah’s Sin
And Noah sinned. He became drunk and lay naked in the tent. And Ham saw him.
- Noah’s Shame
Then Ham spoke to his brothers and told them of their father. Shem and Japheth then walked backwards and covered their father with a cloak. This is a sad thing. Father’s shouldn’t allow such a situation to occur.
- Noah’s Sentence
I’ve always thought that it was an overly severe punishment in cursing Ham’s offspring, as we read. Yet God also honoured this curse. So what was really going on? It seems to that Ham despised his father and the hierarchy that God had put in place. God has put hierarchies in place in Heaven and on Earth. Satan sought to overthrow that hierarchy in Heaven, and then tempted Eve to do the same on Earth. And this is what we see here. This is similar to what we see in many of the movements around us. Feminism, socialism, the alphabet (rainbow) people – all seek to overthrow God’s order. The “Patriarchy” is the enemy – a name for fathers.
But fathers too must not make it difficult to honour them. We should therefore be careful.
We may criticize a person, but we must be careful not to criticize the position. Honour the hierarchy, even when we criticize the person. May God help us with this, and may we help each other too!