Though the Flood brought complete destruction to all life on earth, it was a new beginning for both humanity and animal life. Noah and his family had the great opportunity to re-establish righteousness on earth by living according to God's word and standards. As we study Genesis chapters 9 to 11 we notice how quickly sin took a foothold in their lives, and that the new civilisation swiftly degenerated into wickedness.
"And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth. And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth. And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud: And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh. And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth. And God said unto Noah, This is the token of the covenant, which I have established between me and all flesh that is upon the earth" (Genesis 9:11-17).
This was God's promise for all generations until the end of time. Those who believe in the literal Flood record have a true understanding of why the bow is in the clouds after the rain. This covenant was with both man and beast. Notice that God appears to be repeating it over and over in these verses. Six times He mentions His covenant to press home the significance of it, yet isn't it amazing that few people associate the rainbow with the covenant promise the Lord introduced after the Flood! The rainbow speaks of God's grace and holiness (see Ezekiel 1:28). The last book of the Bible describes God's throne being surrounded by a rainbow too (Revelation 4:3).
Repopulation of the Earth
"And the sons of Noah, that went forth of the ark, were Shem, and Ham, and Japheth: and Ham is the father of Canaan. These are the three sons of Noah: and of them was the whole earth overspread" (Genesis 9:18-19).
These verses describe the true origin of the various races and nations. Regardless of our ethnic background we all belong to the human race … "And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth" (Acts 17:26). Every human who has ever existed have their lineage in Noah and his sons. It is important to note why Genesis highlights Ham as the father of the Canaanites in :18. These people would become the enemies of God's people. They were the inhabitants of the land that was promised to Abraham. It was their paganism that influenced both Israel and all false religions up until this day. Genesis 10:1-32 & 11:10-32 offer us greater detail regarding the repopulation of the earth (we will not be studying the names and nations mentioned in these passages).
Wine is a Mocker
"And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard: and he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent" (Genesis 9:20-21).
This is the first time that wine is mentioned in the Bible, yet notice the result of its use. It brought about the drunkenness and shame of Noah the righteous man who had found grace in the eyes of the Lord. He had stood against the mockery of wicked men before the flood, but now allows a glass of wine to bring him down. No wonder Solomon says, "Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise" (Proverbs 20:1). Satan used this situation to break down this new creation. He used the fruit of the tree with Adam and Eve, but uses the fruit of the vine with Noah and his sons.
"And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without. And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father's nakedness" (Genesis 9:22-23).
Noah got so drunk that he fell asleep totally naked. Drunkenness causes people to lose sense of morality and decency. Those 'believers' who condone the use of wine and strong drink put themselves directly in the devil's path … "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour" (1 Peter 5:8).
Ham happened to come into Noah's tent. Did Satan put the thought into his mind? Notice how he is mentioned as the father of the Canaanites again! There is a reason for this. The seed of Satan was reintroduced into the earth. The are two possibilities regarding what actually took place in Noah's tent, and commentators are divided at this point.
a) Homosexuality. Some believe that Satan planted homosexuality in Ham's mind as he saw his father's nakedness. Verse 24 appears to suggest that he did something to Noah.
b) Rejection of Noah's Authority. Others suggest that Ham saw the weakness of Noah and thus dismissed his father's authority. He obviously went out to tell his brothers about the disgusting condition he had found his father in. Since this was considered a sin, it must mean that he was laughing about it as he told Shem and Japheth. The word "told" literally means "told with delight."
His brothers were more righteous than Ham. They refused to see their father in this fallen condition, so they walked backwards as they covered Noah up. Their action must have been like strong rebuke to Ham. Whatever the nature of Ham's sin his wickedness was passed down to his children and their descendants.
"And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him. And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren. And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant. God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant" (Genesis 9:24-27).
When Noah awoke from his drunken stupor he realised what Ham had done. His anger obviously results from his shame and moral lapse. Many who are caught 'red-handed' often lash out at others. Nevertheless, God used this situation to reveal what was going to take place in the generations to come with the descendants of Japheth, Shem and Ham.
Noah's first words were directed at Ham. Notice Noah calls his son Canaan. It is certain that Ham, because of his rebellion, adopted this name. Ham's descendants were the Sumerians, Egyptians, Ethiopians, Hittites, and some of the Asiatic nations. They would never become dominant races amongst the nations of the world. Some have used this fact to promote British Israelism and racism (which are really fascism), but the text is simply revealing that the nations descending from the other brothers would be dominant. It is of interest that they went on to build the Tower of Babel.
Shem was the father of the Semitic nations (Jews, Arabs, Syrians, Assyrians, Babylonians and Persians), which means those within the Middle East. Noah added God's name to the prophecy regarding Shem. This is an indication that the promised Seed would come through his line.
Japheth was the father of the European nations. The text states that Japheth would be enlarged. This speaks of the fact that the European nations would be dominant and the biggest. His descendents would have a direct connection with Shem or the Semitic nations. Europe's greatest involvement, outside its borders, has been with the Middle Eastern nations. Of course, the mightiest of all blessings for Europeans has been the Word of God given to His people Israel.
"And Noah lived after the flood three hundred and fifty years. And all the days of Noah were nine hundred and fifty years: and he died" (Genesis 9:28-29).
Noah died at 950 years of age. This means he lived 349 years after the Flood. Within this time he must have seen great changes and man's increasing depravity. It is very possible that Noah saw the beginning of the Tower of Babel. It is certain that he did not go along with the single government / single state notion.
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