Thursday, August 5, 2010

Genesis Chapter Nine, Part 3

9:17 this is a token of the covenant
“Token” in this verse simply means “sign” or “symbol.” This Hebrew word was the same used to describe the “mark” God gave Cain, Genesis 4:15. God gives tokens or signs when He covenants. For Abraham it was the sign of circumcision, Genesis 17:11. Water baptism is the symbol in the New Testament, 1st Peter 3:21. The term “like figure” in 1st Peter is the Greek “antitypos,” which means “copy or representation.” Physical baptism represents the inward act of spiritual regeneration, Colossians 2:11-12.

9:19 These are the three sons of Noah: and of them was the whole earth overspread.
From Noah came his children, and from his children came the whole population of the earth, which shall be outlined in Genesis chapter 10, sometimes entitled the Table of Nations.

9:21 And he drank of the wine, and was drunken
The blunt nature with which the Holy Spirit portrays His children is refreshingly honest. It gives us hope, since we see the greatest of them, from Noah to Moses to David, stumble in sin. They are human! It is God who preserves them, who forgives and cleanses them, who imparts to them His Spirit and makes them capable of the things Scripture attests to. But they still possess the sin nature. Here Noah indulged in an excess of alcohol, which Scripture later forbids, Proverbs 23:29-35; Ephesians 5:18. Thankfully for us God has left open the font of cleansing for saints who have erred and strayed into sin, so long as we are willing to confess it, 1st John 1:9.

9:22 And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without.
Mark how we are made aware that Ham is immediately associated with ungodly Canaan, who would become the father of seven nations who were Israel’s inveterate enemies, and so reprobate that God had to bring His nation into their land and purge them from it due to their sinful living. What was Ham doing that was so awful here to earn him the ire of his father? First, he apparently went into Noah’s tent and had the opportunity to cover his father and preserve his dignity, but refused. His older brothers would do so with great humility, verse 23. Second, not only did he show disregard and dishonor toward Noah, he went and told his brothers about it without doing anything; which speaks to me of slandering his father. Drunken Noah is naked in his tent! For this double sin Ham was left out of the blessing Noah gave his other sons.

9:25 And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren
This verse may not necessarily be a curse, but an inspired prophecy. Canaan was certainly cursed, as the nations within Canaan proved by their debauched behavior and idolatrous practices. The term, “servant of servants” may mean “slave of slaves,” indicating their association with Satan and his angels, or their close association with earthly empires, receiving a history of being conqueror and conquered. Some Canaanites escaped destruction in Joshua’s day by their plotting (Joshua 9), while others who could not be driven out were eventually put into forced labor under Israel, especially under King David, see verse 26. We do know from Scripture that a son was not punished for the sins of his father, Deuteronomy 24:16. So we may also deduce that Noah was not simply “ranting” here; there was a definite purpose to this saying, one which the Holy Spirit compelled him to speak in regard to future times.
To be Concluded.

1 comment:

  1. Ian: It is so refreshing to read the biblical truths that you write concerning the book of Genesis. I agree with you totally that God's Word reflects the honesty we need to hear and apply to our lives. God's blessings too you and your wife for allowing our Holy God to us you both to spread His Word. Lloyd


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