Summary: The story begins with the folly of Noah drinking wine until he was drunk. All of the trouble began with alcohol. This was not much of a start for the new world
Violence is not limited to the destruction of life and property. If one
destroys love, truth, and understanding, or any virtue or value, that is
emotional, social or intellectual violence. As Christian we would certainly
agree to deprive men of the Gospel is to do violence to their souls. To pervert
God's Word is to do violence to their minds. This is a far more subtle violence,
and seldom does it get into the news, but this is the kind of violence that is
really the most serious. The truth shall set you free Jesus said, and so it is
error and falsehood that enslaves men. To be a slave to any false idea or
prejudice, and to be a propagator of it is to be one guilty for a greater violence
than to be one who burns down a building.
One of the greatest conspiracies for violence against the souls of men was
the use of the Bible to support the right of white men to enslave black men.
Men became so convinced that God willed slavery that Baptist ministers in the
South denounced the speaking against slavery as a sin against the Holy Spirit.
The battle against slavery is now over, but these same people use all of the
same verses to justify prejudice. E. Q. Campbell said it was blasphemy to use
Scripture to justify desegregation.
The race issue does not divide at the line separating believer and
unbeliever. There were Christians and non-Christians on both the pro-slavery
and anti-slavery sides. Men appeal to the Bible to support both sides. In the
battle against slavery the Bible was the basic battleground. For it was the
resource for the principles both sides were defending. Albert Barns the great
Bible commentator and anti-slavery promoter, said he had to appeal solely to
the Bible in fighting slavery. The Constitution of the United States was not
sufficient, for slave holding Christians said the Bible is of higher authority and
it supported slavery. We can agree with their principle of obeying God rather
than man, but the issue is, were they obeying God or just their own
interpretation of God's Word?
Every system of oppression seeks to justify itself, and Kelly Miller wrote
in 1909, "The institution of slavery ransacked science, history, literature and
religion in quest of fact and argument to uphold the iniquitous system." One
of their richest fines was this passage in Gen. 9 about the curse of Noah on his
grandson Canaan. If they could connect the curse of white man's oppression
of the Negro to this curse then they were not only not wrong, but they were
fulfilling the will of God by making life miserable for the blacks. If God wills
the Negro to be the white man's slave, who are we to fight the will of God?
This was their attitude. The Negro is all right in his place, but according to
Scripture that place is subordination to the white man. White racism had a
basis in this biblical text, and it is still used to support the right of whites to
segregate the Negro. We want to examine this passage to see who is really
blaspheming the Bible.
The story begins with the folly of Noah drinking wine until he was drunk.
All of the trouble began with alcohol. This was not much of a start for the new
world. The old one had just been destroyed because of its wickedness, and
here is righteous Noah, who stood his ground for God against all of the
mocking, but now in a time of peace he falls. We need to beware of the
dangers of peace. We see that the flood did not really change human nature.
Those who tried and defend Noah by saying he didn't know of the effects of
wine have a weak case, for in the wicked world of eating and drinking before
the flood he certainty saw the effects of alcohol.
In verse 22 we see Noah ending up naked in his tent and his son Ham saw
him in that condition. He told his two brothers who were outside the tent.
That is all this verse tells us. He saw his father naked and told his brothers.
Commentators go wild here in their speculation. Ham is denounced as a God
hater who is defying the law of God and reverence for his father. He is
pictured as a cruel inhuman beast who mocked his father and made a big joke
of his nakedness. When the commentators get done with this verse you would
swear it is a condensed biography of the devil himself. They do have some
reason for this, but that does not justify writing foolish and excessive
speculation as if it was fact. The reason they have to make Ham look bad here