Bible stories can be quite interesting,
and can also be kind of confounding,
but Genesis 9, starting at verse 18,
shares a story that is quite disconcerting.
The scripture says,
“Now the sons of Noah
who went out of the ark
were Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
And Ham was the father of Canaan.”
Immediately I thought,
“Why mention Noah’s grandson?”
“What is the significance of Canaan?”
I know that everything in scripture
is mentioned for a reason -
so as I read on,
I will need to pay close attention
to the understanding
and importance of Canaan.
“These three were the sons of Noah,
and from these three sons
the whole earth was populated.”
I wonder why it doesn’t say “repopulated”
once again, after the Great Flood?
“And Noah began to be a farmer” -
This is quite different
from the construction worker
that God had skilled him with
when making the boat!
“Noah planted a vineyard.
Then he drank of the wine and was drunk,
and became uncovered in his tent.”
Well, I have to admit...
in my youth there were several times
when I did the same thing,
but it didn't happen in a tent,
it happened in my house.
“And Ham, the father of Canaan,
saw the nakedness of his father,
and told his two brothers outside.”
Now that’s a bit weird, don’t you think?
A grown man, telling his brothers
that his dad was naked in his own tent.
What’s the big deal about that?
Why would Ham have cared
about seeing his father naked
when he was drunk?
You would think
if he was going to report something,
it would be that his dad was drunk -
not that his father was naked.
“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.”
Shem and Japheth showed some respect
They gave Noah
some mercy and grace,
by not looking at what was exposed -
instead they covered him with their garments.
“So Noah awoke from his wine,
and knew what his younger son
had done to him.”
The scripture does not say
how Noah knew
that Ham saw him naked.
It just says Noah knew
what his younger son
had done to him.
From this passage, we can deduce
that Ham was the youngest son,
the last born son of Noah.
And we can assume
that Ham lacked respect,
and maybe even turned things into a joke -
maybe that is why Noah lashed out at Ham?
I really do not know.
“Then Noah said:
“Cursed be Canaan; A servant of servants
He shall be to his brethren.”
And he 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.”
Man, Noah was not playing!
A cursing came through his scolding.
Because of Ham’s decision,
Canaan would suffer.
There was a generational curse
attached to the lineage of Ham.
Instead of giving
a momentary consequence to Ham,
Noah cursed Canaan -
and said he would be a servant of servants.
“And Noah lived after the flood
three hundred and fifty years.
So all the days of Noah
were nine hundred and fifty years;
and he died.”
Noah lived almost as long as Methuselah -
the oldest man to ever live!
Methuselah lived 969 years,
and Noah lived 950 years -
that’s only a 19 year difference.
This is just another interesting fact.