Faithlife Sermons

It's Not All Rainbows

The Book of Genesis  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Last week we saw a new beginning. A family getting a new start in a new world, with a promise sealed by a rainbow. But with this new world, we have a problem. It still has sinners.
** Currently the big news is that a COVID-19 vaccine might be in the works. I’m thankful for vaccines - measles, polio, mumps, etc. It’d be nice to be immune to all diseases! But there’s one disease that no one is immune to - sin.
Today we’ll see how sin can infect anyone and the damage it causes when it does.

1. Anyone Can Sin

vv. 18-21
** In these verses we will see the re-establishing of human society and the recovery of God’s original plan for Adam and Eve. Of course, there’s no way it’ll be like the garden.

A. The Fruitfulness of the Sons

vv. 18-19
We have some additional info about Noah’s sons: 1) Ham was the father of Canaan, anticipating
Genesis 10:6 AV
6 And the sons of Ham; Cush, and Mizraim, and Phut, and Canaan.
Canaan was the fourth and youngest son of Ham.
We see that they are following God’s instruction of
Genesis 9:1 AV
1 And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.
Also here we see the three sons represent the progenitors of the human race.
Noah as a father 18-19 - second Adam.

B. The Fruit of the Vine

vv. 20-21
Noah planted a vineyard - this rain was a life-producing rain as opposed to the life-destroying flood.
He was a husbandman - taking us back to Adam’s job in the Garden.
As a husbandman Noah enjoyed the fruit of his vineyard too much and thus we find righteous Noah in sin.
* Notice that Adam’s sin and Noah’s sin both involved a misuse of God’s blessing of the fruit of the ground. Adam was given every tree in the garden to eat with the exception of one. He sinned when he ate of the forbidden fruit. Noah was blessed with a vineyard. He sinned when he misused the fruit of the vine and became drunk.
Wine for Israel wasn’t strictly forbidden, see
Judges 9:13 AV
13 And the vine said unto them, Should I leave my wine, which cheereth God and man, and go to be promoted over the trees?
Psalm 104:15 AV
15 And wine that maketh glad the heart of man, and oil to make his face to shine, and bread which strengtheneth man’s heart.
The Nazarite vow prohibiting wine-drinking would be meaningless otherwise.
But the Bible does condemn much drinking.
Proverbs 23:29–35 AV
29 Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes? 30 They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine. 31 Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright. 32 At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder. 33 Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things. 34 Yea, thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst of the sea, or as he that lieth upon the top of a mast. 35 They have stricken me, shalt thou say, and I was not sick; they have beaten me, and I felt it not: when shall I awake? I will seek it yet again.
Hosea 4:10–11 AV
10 For they shall eat, and not have enough: they shall commit whoredom, and shall not increase: because they have left off to take heed to the LORD. 11 Whoredom and wine and new wine take away the heart.
* Here we have drunkenness which is always a sin.
Interesting that in the ancient Ugarit culture they pictured their supreme god El as one who was wise and powerful but also drunk:
“El sits in his shrine
El drinks wine to satiety
Liquor to drunkenness
El goes to his house
Proceeds to his court
Tkmn and Snm carry him.”
These people had no problem seeing there god as not just a drunk but one that had to be carried out by his junior gods. Yeah, just like the Bible.
Noah after getting drunk ended up naked. We don’t know how but that he was left in an exposed stated. These two often go together.
Habakkuk 2:16 AV
16 Thou art filled with shame for glory: drink thou also, and let thy foreskin be uncovered: the cup of the LORD’S right hand shall be turned unto thee, and shameful spewing shall be on thy glory.
Lamentations 4:21 AV
21 Rejoice and be glad, O daughter of Edom, that dwellest in the land of Uz; the cup also shall pass through unto thee: thou shalt be drunken, and shalt make thyself naked.
* Because drunkenness (= “alcoholism”) is such a widespread problem in our country, I urge you not to drink at all. You can’t become an alcoholic if you don’t drink! If a Christian who is tempted by alcohol is led back into drinking by seeing you drink, you have caused him to stumble and have sinned against Christ (Romans 14).
Drunkenness can reduce a normal rational human to a fool
*** The important thing we learn here is that anyone can sin. Noah was a righteous man
Genesis 6:9 AV
9 These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.
2 Peter 2:5 AV
5 And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;
If he can sin, anyone of us can too. Think of David (adulterer and murderer), Moses (murderer), Peter (denier) and many other Bible heroes that fell to sin.
Interesting to note that if this had been a human book trying to convince people of a fake God, they certainly wouldn’t write their heroes this way.
The defects of the Bible heroes show us that this book rings true.
Not only can anyone fall and sin, but everyone does.
Romans 3:10–12 AV
10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: 11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. 12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

2. Sin Adds to Sin

vv. 22-23 - Well we’ve seen that not only can anyone fall into sin but that everyone does, even Noah. Now let’s look at how sin is compounded.

A. The Dishonor by Ham

Ham was in the wrong place at the wrong time. He saw the nakedness of his father and told his two brothers.
Now there are a lot of explanation for what happened here - some try to interpret this phrase that Ham did something to violate or even castrate his father, or even violated his mother. But it doesn’t really make sense.
There’s no evidence that Ham actually did anything other than see the nakedness of his uncovered father.
The phrasing is pretty clear and simple and the honorable solution was Shem and Japheth covering Noah. If the phrasing of being uncovered and naked means some sexual perversion then the solving of it by covering isn’t consistent.
Noah was passed out drunk and naked and Ham saw and spread the news.
Ham does a couple things wrong here:
This would violate the commandment to honor your father and mother. He attacked his father’s honor. Maybe he was tired of his ‘righteous, preachy’ father and saw a moment to ‘get back’ at him.
He gossiped.
Proverbs 17:9 AV
9 He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends.
He could have kept quiet but instead wanted to repeat something. You know that’s easy to do these days. Spreading news and sharing info is just a button click away.

B. The Honor of the Brothers

Ham’s brothers were noble and honorable - they were restrained and respectful. They couldn’t stand seeing their father in such a state and wanted to correct it.
Again the description of going in backwards and covering tells us the simple interpretation here is the best.
Honor your parents even when they fail. Respect for parents, even for sinful parents (which includes all!), is at the core of well-being both for individuals and for society. Like Shem and Japheth, we may have to cover some of our parents’ sins, but we bring God’s curse on ourselves and our grandchildren if we disrespect our parents.
1 Peter 4:8 AV
8 And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.
James 5:19–20 AV
19 Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; 20 Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.
Love doesn’t expose someone’s sin, it forgives it. It doesn’t mean sweeping it under the rug. When there’s a victim (abuse, etc) that needs to be dealt with. But when someone has personally sinned, we don’t go around shouting and gossiping about it - we forgive and help them.

3. God’s Reaction to Sin

vv. 24-29

A. The Judgment on Canaan

vv. 24-25
When Noah woke and sobered up, he found out what Ham had done. He had seen his father and had gossiped about it, dishonored him.
Two interpretive problems
1) The meaning of cursed - these are Noah’s first recorded words in Scripture. What kind of curse is this. There are OT examples of humans uttering curses (Joshua and Jeremiah). So are these (a wish) or immediately effective? Is Noah praying and wishing this or is Canaan cursed because Noah declared it?
Now when God pronounces a curse it is declarative and not a wish. But here we find that it’s likely a wish or request - later Noah appeals to God in v. 27; so it’s a request to God, not some magic spell.
2) The curse of the grandson - why Canaan and not Ham. There are various explanations here - in some way though we don’t really know. But sin brings suffering. The sins of the father are passed unto following generations. We all suffer because of Adam’s sin.
** Noah has prophetic insight; saw the significance of his son’s behavior. More of a testimony.
Likely Noah saw all the vileness of Ham would be worked out in the vileness of Canaan and the Canaanites.
The sins of the father are visited on the children. Ex 20:5
Ham reaped what he had sown, he sinned as a son and his son would be punished.
** Maybe we see a bit of mercy in that rather than cursing the entire Hamite line, God just cursed one of his four sons.
*** This passage has been used for generations to validate racial prejudice and slavery against the Negro/black races. 1) That they are doomed to perpetual servitude; 2) That they are inherently inferior; 3) That they were marked with the darkest color possible.
There is no biblical basis for this.
First of all if this was true, the Bible never mentions it again. And actually says the opposite.
Acts 10:34 AV
34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:
It actually derives from a very racial Jewish legend. I was going to read quotes but they are so disgusting they should not be said in God’s house.
This legend is found in the Babylonian Talmud and in Islamic writings.
Then as Portuguese slave trading grew into the 18th and 19th centuries, the ‘curse of Ham’ myth grew. There were preachers in the South during the Civil war era that preached this saying that it was the right of the white man to enslave the black man.
And you will still find people today who believe this.
The Bible doesn’t refer to people as races, but as nations. In addition, Ham is not the father of the black races nor was the curse on them.
Canaan is the father of the Canaanites!
Genesis 10:15–18 AV
15 And Canaan begat Sidon his firstborn, and Heth, 16 And the Jebusite, and the Amorite, and the Girgasite, 17 And the Hivite, and the Arkite, and the Sinite, 18 And the Arvadite, and the Zemarite, and the Hamathite: and afterward were the families of the Canaanites spread abroad.
Canaanites actually have some white/Caucasian characteristics - one description “members of the white race, with black eyes, and light brown hair.”
Cush is the father of various nations that were black and he’s mentioned in
Genesis 10:7–8 AV
7 And the sons of Cush; Seba, and Havilah, and Sabtah, and Raamah, and Sabtecha: and the sons of Raamah; Sheba, and Dedan. 8 And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth.

B. The Blessings on Shem and Japheth

vv. 26-27
After the cursing we have a blessing - but not Shem directly, Shem’s God. Ham has done nothing and is cursed; God didn’t do anything and is blessed. God is to be praised. Instead of God bless America maybe we should be blessing him -praising him, worshipping him.
This is a new step in the OT unfolding messianic prophecies. The first was in
Genesis 3:15 AV
15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
There we knew that he would be of the seed of the woman. Here we see a specific blessing to the line of Shem - later to David and Joseph and Mary. From the word Shem or Shemites we get Semites (Jewish peoples). The journey to the Messiah is getting closer!
Enlarge Japheth.
He had seven sons and seven grandsons and is the ancestor of various peoples to the west and north of Israel - Indo-European / Gentiles.
‘He shall dwell in the tents of Shem’ He will cohabit peacefully with Shem.
Canaan is to be a servant - this is the future history when Israel and even other peoples conquered Canaan.
Dwell in the tents of Shem - spiritually the Gentiles will receive the spiritual blessing of the Shemites or the Jews.

26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Here we see a Biblical hero fall into sin and the damage that results. Anyone and everyone can sin. How do you respond when you see someone fall? Do you laugh, sneer, gossip? or do you try to help that person recover what they can?
Be thankful for God’s plan of redemption that even here in the story of Noah’s sin, we see redemption through the line of Shem.
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