Humanity falls again [draft sermon outline]
Published September 11th, 2019
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Noah’s Descendants 18 The sons of Noah who went forth from the ark were f Shem, Ham, and Japheth. (Ham was the father of Canaan.) 19 These three were the sons of Noah, and g from these the people of the whole earth were dispersed. 1 20 Noah began to be a man of the soil, and he planted a vineyard. 1 21 He drank of the wine and became drunk and lay uncovered in his tent. 22 And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father and told his two brothers outside. 23 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. 24 When Noah awoke from his wine h and knew what his youngest son had done to him, 25 he said, i “Cursed be Canaan; j a servant of servants shall he 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, 1 and let him dwell in the tents of Shem, and let Canaan be his servant.” 28 After the flood Noah lived 350 years. 29 All the days of Noah were 950 years, and he died.
18 וַיִּֽהְי֣וּ בְנֵי ־ נֹ֗חַ הַיֹּֽצְאִים֙ מִן ־ הַתֵּבָ֔ה שֵׁ֖ם וְחָ֣ם וָיָ֑פֶת וְחָ֕ם ה֖וּא אֲבִ֥י כְנָֽעַן ׃ 19 שְׁלֹשָׁ֥ה אֵ֖לֶּה בְּנֵי ־ נֹ֑חַ וּמֵאֵ֖לֶּה נָֽפְצָ֥ה כָל ־ הָאָֽרֶץ ׃ 20 וַיָּ֥חֶל נֹ֖חַ אִ֣ישׁ הָֽאֲדָמָ֑ה וַיִּטַּ֖ע כָּֽרֶם ׃ 21 וַיֵּ֥שְׁתְּ מִן ־ הַיַּ֖יִן וַיִּשְׁכָּ֑ר וַיִּתְגַּ֖ל בְּת֥וֹךְ אָהֳלֹֽה 1 ׃ 22 וַיַּ֗רְא חָ֚ם אֲבִ֣י כְנַ֔עַן אֵ֖ת עֶרְוַ֣ת אָבִ֑יו וַיַּגֵּ֥ד לִשְׁנֵֽי ־ אֶחָ֖יו בַּחֽוּץ ׃ 23 וַיִּקַּח֩ שֵׁ֨ם וָיֶ֜פֶת אֶת ־ הַשִּׂמְלָ֗ה וַיָּשִׂ֙ימוּ֙ עַל ־ שְׁכֶ֣ם שְׁנֵיהֶ֔ם וַיֵּֽלְכוּ֙ אֲחֹ֣רַנִּ֔ית וַיְכַסּ֕וּ אֵ֖ת עֶרְוַ֣ת אֲבִיהֶ֑ם וּפְנֵיהֶם֙ אֲחֹ֣רַנִּ֔ית וְעֶרְוַ֥ת אֲבִיהֶ֖ם לֹ֥א רָאֽוּ ׃ 24 וַיִּ֥יקֶץ נֹ֖חַ מִיֵּינ֑וֹ וַיֵּ֕דַע אֵ֛ת אֲשֶׁר ־ עָ֥שָׂה ־ ל֖וֹ בְּנ֥וֹ הַקָּטָֽן ׃ 25 וַיֹּ֖אמֶר אָר֣וּר כְּנָ֑עַן עֶ֥בֶד עֲבָדִ֖ים יִֽהְיֶ֥ה לְאֶחָֽיו ׃ 26 וַיֹּ֕אמֶר בָּר֥וּךְ יְהֹוָ֖ה אֱלֹ֣הֵי שֵׁ֑ם וִיהִ֥י כְנַ֖עַן עֶ֥בֶד לָֽמוֹ ׃ 27 יַ֤פְתְּ אֱלֹהִים֙ לְיֶ֔פֶת וְיִשְׁכֹּ֖ן בְּאָֽהֳלֵי ־ שֵׁ֑ם וִיהִ֥י כְנַ֖עַן עֶ֥בֶד לָֽמוֹ ׃ 28 וַֽיְחִי ־ נֹ֖חַ אַחַ֣ר הַמַּבּ֑וּל שְׁלֹ֤שׁ מֵאוֹת֙ שָׁנָ֔ה וַֽחֲמִשִּׁ֖ים שָׁנָֽה ׃ 29 וַיִּֽהְיוּ֙ כָּל ־ יְמֵי ־ נֹ֔חַ תְּשַׁ֤ע מֵאוֹת֙ שָׁנָ֔ה וַחֲמִשִּׁ֖ים שָׁנָ֑ה וַיָּמֹֽת ׃ פ
Humanity falls again Introduction Like Genesis 3, this is another fall from good created order. NB - connection to previous passage. Shem and Japheth honour their father, thus honour the image of God. Ham dishonours his father, thus dishonours the image of God. 1. Noah is dishonoured by Ham, his son (v18-23) v18 the sons introduced. Given the detail about Canaan deliberately. v19 set up the next two chapters v20 Noah like Adam, and like Cain. Works the soil. v21 enjoys the fruit of the vine, but too much. Drunk, undresses himself. Much to be said from the Bible on drinking and drunkenness, and many lessons from shifting trends in Christian history. But not the main focus here. v22 Noah's drunkenness and nakedness not actually the main focus of the passage (cf v24). Instead, it's the fact that Ham saw/looked upon/gazed upon his father's embarrassing state, and then further dishonoured him by telling his brothers. Reconstruct the scene: it's exactly the kind of thing people still do. Get drunk , undress themselves, pass out, get laughed at (with photos) by others. v23 Shem and Japheth, in contrast, honour their father. The glory of God: he honours those who honour Him FCF: dishonouring those we should honour, and revelling in their shame (schadenfreude etc). Whether outright cruelty and abuse, or gossip, slander. The person of Jesus: honours God in the way he honours humans, even and especially those carrying tremendous shame and guilt. This is why we love Jesus, because he truly is the friend of sinners. The work of Jesus: He becomes the awfully dishonoured, shamed one, naked upon the cross. All around him stand mocking and revelling in his shame. But in so doing all the shame is taken from us. Union with Jesus: We are pure, blameless, honoured and honourable in Jesus. Because we are in Jesus, we are honoured by God with an honour we do not deserve. Now we live as those who give honour to all. 2. Noah blesses Shem and Japheth but curses Ham's son (v24-29) Noah's final words are actually a prayer. v24-25 why the curse on Canaan? The 'like for like' dishonour. v26 Blessed be the LORD, the God of Shem - his is the 'righteous' line. v27 Japheth also will be blessed. How this unfolds in the storyline - descendants of Canaan etc. How 'curse' in the Bible is not like the cruel inescapable fate as in Greek myths. This passage is not teaching racism nor justifying slavery! Wrap-up: v28 ends the section which began at chapter 5; the end of the 10th from Adam, Noah. Like Genesis 3, this is another fall from good created order. Noah falls, and Ham falls with him, and thus all the subsequent generations are again plunged into conflict. But even here there is hope; it lies in Shem.