Gen 9:21 Noah’s Sin and Its Consequences 7/1/2007 ßà
#1. In the Likeness of Adam (Rom 5:14, 8:8, Eph 2:3)
#2. Noah’s Sin (1Cor 6:9-11, Eze 14:20)
#3. Noah’s Prophecies ()
Please open your Bibles to the Prophecy of Genesis, Gen 9:18 (2X).
In the past few weeks we have seen how Noah and all those that were with him in the Ark were a living picture of all those who will be raptured at the second coming of Christ, and we have seen the glorious picture of them going into the New Creation that God has already provided for His saints. Last week we have seen the glorious covenant that God made with Noah, and with all flesh that is upon the earth, and how this covenant was a picture of the Covenant of Grace that God has made with all those whom He has chosen from before the foundation of the world. From Noah and his sons the human race started out afresh. The New beginning promised well. God’s promise that He would not send again a flood set the heart of His creatures at rest. We have seen that “God blessed Noah and his sons” and that God caused the fear and dread of man to fall upon every beast of the field, so that all the lower orders of creation were made subject to mankind. God placed man again as the ruler of His creation. And man was now given the authority to exercise human government, being ordained and instituted by God Himself. After such a merciful deliverance from the flood, and after witnessing such a solemn demonstration of God’s holy wrath against sin, and after being started out with such a full blessing of God, would now the human race ever after adhere to the path of righteousness? But the next thing we read is that Noah fell into sin, and we read of the havoc that has brought to his family. Therefore, the title of this sermon is, “Noah’s Sin and Its Consequences” (2X). We read here in Gen 9:18-29,
Ge 9:18-20 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. And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard:
Ge 9:21-22 And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent. And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without.
Ge 9:23 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.
Ge 9:24 ¶ And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him.
Ge 9:25 And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.
Ge 9:26 And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.
Ge 9:27-28 God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant. And Noah lived after the flood three hundred and fifty years.
Ge 9:29 And all the days of Noah were nine hundred and fifty years: and he died.
Here we have the sordid story of Noah falling into the sin of drunkenness, “and he was uncovered within his tent”. When we read that in the KJV, it seems to be an innocent and unconscious effect of drunkenness. However, the Hebrew tense of this verb indicates that it is not a passive condition, but it is a reflexive action. Noah deliberately undressed himself for some reason or another, and then he fell asleep. And so, it was more than just the sin of accidentally being drunk. What a contrast there is between this passage and all that has gone on before! Who would have imagined that such sinful drunkenness would follow the beautiful deliverance of Noah’s family from the wrath of God? We are introduced to a new beginning of the human race. But at the same time we are also reminded of the words God said in His heart right after the flood in Gen 8:21, “For the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth”. The heart of man is just as bad after the flood as it was before the flood. In fact, when we compare Noah with Adam, we see a remarkable resemblance between Noah and Adam.
#1. In the Likeness of Adam (Rom 5:14, 8:8, Eph 2:3)
Adam was placed upon an earth which God rose up out of the “deep”. So also Noah came forth unto an earth which had just emerged out of the waters of the great “deep”. Adam was made ruler of this entire earth and he was commanded to subdue it and have dominion over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. And God also delivered all that moveth upon the earth into the hands of Noah. Adam was blessed by God and was told to be fruitful, and multiply and fill the earth. Likewise, Noah was blessed and was told to be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth. Adam was placed by God in a garden to dress and to keep it. And Noah began to be a farmer and he planted a vineyard. In this garden Adam transgressed and fell. And the product of Noah’s vineyard was the occasion of Noah’s sin and fall. The sin of Adam resulted in the exposure of his nakedness. Likewise, the sin of Noah resulted in the exposure of his nakedness. Adam’s nakedness was covered by another. Likewise, Noah’s nakedness was covered by another. Adam’s sin brought a terrible curse upon his posterity. Likewise, Noah’s sin brought a terrible curse upon part of his posterity. Adam had many sons and daughters but only three are mentioned, Cain, Abel and Seth, the last of which was the one through whom the promised Seed came. Noah also had three sons, Japheth, Ham and Shem, the last of which was the one of whom the promised Messiah came. Almost immediately after Adam’s fall a wonderful prophecy was given containing a brief outline of the history of redemption. Likewise, almost immediately after Noah’s fall a remarkable prophecy was uttered, containing a brief overview of the history of the great races of the earth. Both Adam and Noah attained to almost the same age: Adam was created as an adult, and all the days that Adam lived were 930 years, and then he died. And all the days of Noah were 950 years, and then he died. They both died for there was sin in their lives. And thus we see that the Bible describes Noah as a type of Adam. Please turn in your Bibles to the Epistle to the Romans, Rom 8:8 (2X). We also know from Rom 5:14 that Adam was “the figure of Him that was to come”, which means that Adam was a picture of Christ, except for sin. And so, it is no wonder that in the past sermons we could see Noah as a picture of Christ, except for sin. All the way from Gen 6:9 to Gen 9:17 Noah was a fitting picture of Christ.
But now we are entering the point in history where Noah planted a vineyard. Undoubtedly Noah planted other things as well, for he also had to eat. But God focused on the vineyard, for this is where Noah’s sin was born. And now we see that the sin nature that Adam acquired was transmitted to everyone of mankind, including Noah. This sin nature with which all mankind is born is called: Total Depravity. All of us were born with a sin nature that was at enmity against God. This sin nature can be summarized in one verse, Rom 8:8, which says, “So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God”. And since everything that we did while we were in the flesh was not pleasing to God everything we did was sin and came under the wrath of God. That is why we read in Eph 2:3 that “we all were by nature children of wrath, even as others”. And so, the entire human race came under the wrath of God, because the entire human race was born in a state of Total Depravity. And thus, salvation has come when we are delivered from this bond of Total Depravity. And this deliverance can only come through the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Ge 9:20 And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard:
Ge 9:21 And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent.
Please turn now to Rom 15:4 (2X). This is not just a story of people who lived a long long time ago in a land far far away, and so this does not really affect us today in these United States. God wrote the Bible for all people in the world, and it should be applicable at all times. Therefore we read in:
Ro 15:4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
This verse says it very plainly: The OT Scriptures were written for our learning. We may not scrap the OT Scriptures as if these are just the history of the Jews, for God gave us these OT Scriptures so “that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope”, referring to the hope of eternal life in Christ. What then do we learn from this sad story of Noah’s sin? We learn from it that we must be drawn to Christ, for only through Christ is there hope for us. What else do we learn here?
First of all, we learn that this story of the sin of Noah is a striking proof that the Scriptures were crafted by God, and not by man. God pictures human nature in its true colors: the depravity of man, and the faithlessness of man, and even the sins of the most prominent personalities and heroes of faith are frankly recorded. Nothing is glossed over. But if the Bible had been a human production, and if it had been written by uninspired historians, they would have omitted the defects of the heroes they wrote about. If some human admirer had written down the history of Noah, he would have omitted Noah’s sin. But the fact that it is recorded and that no effort is made to excuse his sin is evidence that the people of the Bible are painted in the colors of truth and nature. It is proof that the characters of the Bible were not sketched by human pens, but that Moses and other holy men of old have written the Bible by Divine inspiration.
Secondly, we learn from Noah’s fall that man even at his best estate is altogether vanity. In other words, even after we have been delivered from the state of Total Depravity, and we have come into a state where some of our works are pleasing to God for God calls them good works, we can see that the defilements of sin are still cleaving to us, because all our works are still tainted with sin, and in our bodies we are still inclined to sin. And when we do works that are called good works in the sight of God, all the defilements of sin cleaving to these works are immediately removed by the payment that Christ made on our behalf on the cross. Herein we see the incredible mercy and grace of God to forgive us those sins, just because He made the decision in eternity past to love us and to forgive us all our sins. And so, in Genesis 9 we read about the beginning of a new dispensation, and like the first dispensation which began with Adam, this new dispensation also began with failure. Whatever the test may be, man is unable to stand. Please turn in your Bibles to the Epistle to the Galatians, Gal 2:16 (2X). Can we see the spiritual weakness of mankind? Even when man is placed in an environment which was swept clean by the waters of the flood, and even when the solemn warning of the judgment of God upon evil doers was only recently spread before man, and even when the blessing of God was pronounced upon man, and even when the sword of government and authority is placed in his hand, man still fails to govern himself and falls into open wickedness. That is how weak man is. How then can anyone then in his right mind say that they have the ability to resist temptation and sin by their own free will? They are deceiving themselves. No one can refrain from sin and start living righteously by his own strength. No one can perfectly obey the law of God, even when the law is accompanied with all kinds of threatenings of Hell. For God says in Gal 2:16, “for by the obedience to the law shall no flesh be justified”. Moreover God says in Gal 2:21, “For if righteousness comes by obedience to the law, then Christ is dead in vain”. And God says in Gal 3:11, “That no man is justified by the law in the sight of God it is evident”. And God says in Gal 3:18, paraphrased, “For if the inheritance (of eternal life) comes by obedience to the law, it is no more of promise”. And God says in Gal 3:21, “If there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law”. And God says in Gal 5:4 (2X), “Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace”. In other words, “Whosoever of you who claim to have been justified by your obedience to the law, Christ is become of no effect to you, for you have never been in the grace of God”. And so we learn from Noah’s fall that man, even in his best state, is altogether vanity. Our sins can only be blotted out if we become a new creature, Born Again creature.
#2. Noah’s Sin (1Cor 6:9-11, Eze 14:20)
Please turn in your Bibles to the first Epistle to the Corinthians, 1Cor 6:9 (2X). God says in the Bible that when we become “Born Again” we are saved only in our soul. Our body still lusts after sin. And so, sin is ever present with us until the day our body dies. However, let this liberty not be a cloke to continue in the sins we enjoyed before our salvation. After our salvation our sins are of an entirely different nature than before our salvation. God reminds us of this by placing here and there in the Bible a list of sins that must not be in the life of a child of God. It is absolutely not true that sin is sin, as so many people say today. Some sins are more heinous than others, and will be rewarded with a hotter place in Hell. God placed such a list of sins here in 1Cor 6:9-11, where we read,
1Co 6:9-10 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
Here is a list of sins that must be eradicated out of the life of anyone who hopes to be a child of God. Drunkards are listed right alongside fornicators, and adulterers, and thieves. This passage clearly says that anyone who is presently still living in these sins shall not inherit the Kingdom of God. Anyone who claims to be Born Again and still lives in fornication is deceiving himself. Then we read:
1Co 6:11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
You saints, who are presently washed, and sanctified, and justified, are not living any more in these sins. In the past you did live in these sins, but now that you have become a new creature, you no longer live in them. They are an abhorrence to you, because you know that these sins are a severe offense to the Lord. And notice that drunkards are mentioned in this list. What is a drunkard? If Noah was overcome by drunkenness at one time, does that make him a drunkard? No! Because when we harmonize the Bible we find that Noah was a child of God, and thus Noah could not loose his salvation. God speaks of a land sinning against Him grievously, and God says in Eze 14:20,
Eze 14:20 Though Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, as I live, saith the Lord GOD, they shall deliver neither son nor daughter; they shall but deliver their own souls by their righteousness.
God lists three of the holiest men in OT times, and God lists Noah as one of those three. Noah is not called a drunkard. Most likely Noah sinned in drunkenness one time, and this is the sin that is recorded in the Bible. And so, what is a drunkard? A drunkard is someone who is dominated by alcoholic drinks, and who falls into the sin of drunkenness over and over again. The alcoholic drink is to a drunkard stronger than his love for Christ. The alcoholic drink has a power over the drunkard that is greater than the power that Christ has; and that is obvious, for the drunkard has never experienced the power of Christ unto salvation. If he has, then his love for Christ will be greater than his love for alcohol, and he will abstain from it out of his love for Christ.
We learn from Noah’s fall about the danger of using alcoholic drinks. I am not saying that drinking wine is a sin, for the Lord Jesus made a great abundance of wine at the wedding at Cana. Certainly drunkenness is a sin, and if anyone does not have self-control over the amount of wine he drinks, he should not drink it. It is a solemn warning that the first time wine is referred to in the Scriptures, it is found associated with drunkenness, with shame, and with a curse. Drunkenness is a sin against God, for it is the abusing of His mercies. It is the mercy of God that He has given us beverages to enjoy, some even containing a little alcohol. But it is a sin to abuse the gift of God to the point that it controls us. Drunkenness is a sin against our neighbors, for it sets before them an evil example of what the life of a Christian should be. Drunkenness is also a sin against ourselves, for it robs us of usefulness, and self-government, and common decency. Moreover drunkenness commonly leads to other evils. It did in Noah’s case; Noah’s sin gave occasion for his son to sin.
I was visiting the country of Sweden at one time, in the early seventies. And when I walked on the streets in Stockholm in the evening I did not come across one drunkard. No, Not One! What was going on? It is not very well known that the Government has the key to limit the abuse of alcohol by the citizens. In Sweden people are greatly penalized when they appear in public under the influence of alcohol. For example, if anyone driving a car is stopped by police and is found to have had one drink, that person goes to jail and his driver’s license is taken away. And so, no one having imbibed one drink dares to drive himself home. Moreover, the citizens have learned that overindulgence on alcoholic drinks carries the stigma of shame and disgust. If the Government would do that in this country more than 500 lives could be spared each year. But it seems that in this country those 500 lives are sacrificed on the altar of profits for the businesses that make alcoholic drinks.
And so, we learn from Noah’s sin our need of watchfulness and prayer. We are never immune from falling into sin. “Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall”. Our evil nature is still present within our bodies. How can we withstand the temptations of the world, the flesh, and the Devil? Please turn in your Bibles to chapter 10 of this Epistle to the Corinthians, 1Cor 10:11 (2X). Let us learn from Noah. Here was a man who had withstood the temptations of an evil world for 600 years, and yet now he succumbs to the lusts of the flesh. And is this not one of those things that were written for our admonition? We read in 1Cor 10:11,
1Co 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
1Co 10:12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.
And therefore, God placed the sin of Noah in the Bible for letting us know that we must “consider ourselves, lest we also be tempted”. We must constantly pray that we would not fall for temptation, for temptations are all around us every day. Again take Noah as our example: If we have experienced God’s mercies in the past, we should not be overconfident that we will therefore overcome exposure to new temptations in the future. We must always be on our guard, for we are being watched by the vultures who are ready to pounce on us the moment we fall for temptations. Noah’s fall utters a solemn warning to every child of God. Pray for God’s mercy and grace every day, all the time.
#3. Noah’s Prophecies
There are three things that I want to bring up regarding Noah’s prophecies: The occasion of this prophecy, the meaning of this prophecy, and the fulfillment of this prophecy. Let us first look at:
3A, The Occasion of This Prophecy (Gen 9:24-27, Mat 12:35)
Please turn again to the Prophecy of Gen 9:24 (2X). We can look at the setting of the terrible fall of this holy patriarch, and then immediately listen to the wonderful prediction he uttered concerning the future history of the three great divisions of the human family. And we can ask why God the Holy Spirit has joined these two together in such a way as if these prophecies were the consequence of Noah’s sin of drunkenness and Ham’s sin of ridiculing his father. Most certainly, God’s ways are different from our ways. Not only are the words of Scripture inspired by God, but their arrangement and order are also evidence of a wisdom that far exceeds human wisdom. That is why we so often have to ask what the context is of a particular verse. We read in Gen 9:24-27,
Ge 9:24 ¶ And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him.
Ge 9:25 And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.
Ge 9:26-27 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.
Noah’s prediction contains an outline sketch of the history of the nations of the world. That is no small prophecy. The great nations of the earth are here traced to their common source, through Shem, Ham, and Japheth, back to Noah. The Lord Jesus said in Mat 12:35,
Mt 12:35 A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things
In other words, the nature of a stream is determined by the character of the fountain: a bitter fountain cannot send forth sweet waters. Noah is the fountain. And what sort of a stream could flow from such a fountain? We need to remember the sad story of Noah’s fall and of Ham’s wickedness, and then we must ask: What will be the waters that spring forth from such a fountain? What will be the history of the races that spring forth from Noah’s three sons? It is a history that began with Noah abusing God’s mercies, a history that started with the head of the new race failing completely to govern himself. And it is a history of Ham’s shameful mocking of his father that can have only one course, all the way to the end. It began with human failure, it has continued with human failure, and it will end the same way. And so, here is the answer to the question: Why is Noah’s prophecy linked to Noah’s fall? It is because the two are joined together as a cause and effect, as a premise and a conclusion, as a sowing and a harvest. This is not a judgment of Noah’s soul, for God has forgiven him all his sins because he is a child of God. But God has placed this prophecy within the context of Noah’s fall and failing to control himself, and it is within this context that the curse on Ham’s children is pronounced; not as an angry reaction to Ham’s sin, but as an opportunity to state this prophecy. If we listen to the “higher textual critics”, those wise men who seem to know everything in the Hebrew and Greek texts and who gave us the corrupt new versions of the Bible, we find that they actually know nothing of the fear of God. These blind leaders of the blind aim to degrade God’s Word to the level of a simple history book. They suggest that the prophecy of Noah concerning his grandson Canaan was just an angry reaction after the hearing of his humiliation. Nothing could be further from the truth. These words of Noah were not uttered to satisfy any feeling of resentment, but these words were spoken under a Divine impulse, and that is proven by the fulfillment of this prophecy.
3B, The Meaning of This Prophecy (Gen 9:24-27, Ex 20:5, Gen 18:25, Isa 10:22)
Noah’s prophecy consists of two parts: a curse and a blessing. Noah’s prediction concerning his sons corresponds to their conduct on the occasion of their father’s drunkenness. Honorable had been the action of Shem and Japheth, but shameful had been the action of Ham. He discovered the sad condition of his parent, and he went out and reported it with malignant pleasure to his brothers. It is wickedness for a child to expose and sneer at his parent’s fall. In the curse passed upon Canaan we find a very solemn instance of the sins of the fathers being visited upon their children (Ex 20:5). In this day and age people would want to argue with God whether He is fair to the children. Men have dared to criticize this hereditary law. It has been termed unmerciful and unjust. But the humble believer accepts this law, because God has stated it, and therefore he knows that it is a righteous law, for “shall not the judge of all the earth do what is right?” (Gen 18:25). Actually, this hereditary law is quite logical and understandable, since the parents train up their children in the way they have been going al along, so that their children are drawn into the same sins that the parents expose them to. The sin of Ham consisted of an utter failure to honor his father. He had no love for his father. Instead of acting like his brothers did, Ham manifested a total disrespect for his parent. As a result, he reaped exactly as he had sown. Ham sinned as a son, and he was punished in his son. The punishment was that his descendants shall be compelled to honor and serve others. And when God says in verse 25, “a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren”, it implies that his descendants will be brought into slavery. We may think it strange that only Canaan, the fourth son of Ham, was mentioned in this curse. However, when we study Gen 10 we shall see that this curse was not confined to Canaan, but it included all the descendants of Ham. Probably God singled out Canaan as special encouragement to the Israelites, many years later, to occupy the land of Canaan. Moses would then be taught by God the Holy Spirit that a special curse rested upon the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites. But the scope of the curse included all the children of Ham. Furthermore, Noah said in verse 26, “Blessed be the LORD God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant”. From this we can see that the reward of Shem was in the sphere of religious privileges. The key is the title, “Jehovah God of Shem”. This illustrious title expresses a covenant relationship. God would enter into a covenant relationship with the descendants of Shem. This realization caused Noah to break forth into thanksgiving when he said, “Blessed be the Lord God of Shem”. From the NT we understand that this covenant is primarily with Christ who is a descendant of Shem, and not with all the children of Shem, but only with a remnant of them, for God said in Isa 10:22, “For though thy people Israel be as the sand of the sea, yet a remnant of them shall return”. Only a remnant of them shall be saved. Furthermore we read in verse 27, “God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem”. God shall enlarge Japheth is a play on words, for Japheth means enlargement. This enlargement refers to a great number of descendants as well as physical prosperity. Then the words, “and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem” can mean that the descendants of Japheth are also going to worship the Lord God of Shem, which is true, but it can also mean that God Himself shall dwell in the tents of Shem, which is also true. And so we see that Noah’s prophecy meant a curse upon the descendants of Ham, and blessings upon the descendants of Shem and Japheth; all in accordance with the context wherein we find this prophecy. And so, we want to know if this prophecy came true.
3C, The Fulfillment of This Prophecy (Gen 9:24-27, Ex 29:45, Josh 9:27)
In verse 25 God said through the mouth of Noah, “Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren”. By tracing the history of Ham’s other sons it becomes evident that the scope of Noah’s prophecy reached beyond Canaan, for all the sons of Ham fell under the curse. For example, through his oldest son Cush we find that Cush begat Nimrod, who founded the city and the empire of Babylon. And we know that Babylon was under the curse of God. The second son of Ham was Mizraim, who was the father of the Egyptian empire. And we know that Egypt was also under the curse of God. For a time Egypt and Babylon waxed great, but subsequently both of them were subdued to subjection, first by the Persians who descended from Shem, and later by the Greeks and the Romans who were descendants from Japheth. And from these early defeats they have never recovered themselves. All of Africa was peopled by the descendants of Ham, and for many centuries the greater part of that continent was under the dominion of the Romans, the Saracens, and the Turks. Moreover, verse 26 says, “Blessed be the LORD God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant”. Shem was “the father of all the children of Eber”, that is the Hebrews. And thus in the Hebrews the knowledge and worship of God was preserved in the family of Shem. God was in a peculiar sense the God of the Hebrews. God says in Ex 29:45, “And I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will be their God”. Moreover we read in Josh 9:27, “And Joshua made them that day hewers of wood and drawers of water for the congregation, and for the altar of the LORD, even unto this day, in the place which he should choose”. Moreover, verse 27 says that God shall enlarge Japheth. This prophecy was fulfilled in the Greek Empire and the Roman Empire, and more recently in the European powers who are all descendants of Japheth. Who else but “He who knows the end from the beginning” could have outlined the whole course of history of the three great divisions of the human race, and done so accurately. AMEN. Let us turn to the Lord in prayer.