Summary: A continuation of an expository series on the Book of Genesis. In this sermon we look at the curse on Canaan. Why the curse was given and what it would mean later on.
Genesis (Pt. 19) The Curse on Canaan
Text: Genesis 9:18-29
By: Ken McKinley
Now when we read Genesis, we should always keep in mind that it is written as a book of history. In-other-words; it falls into the genre of historical writings, and it is meant to be taken as factual, literal history. Now the author of Genesis was Moses, but he wrote it under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Now what that means is that the Holy Spirit basically, somehow, told Moses what had happened and Moses wrote about these events, using his own words and his own writing style, while the Holy Spirit made sure that all the details were factually correct and that the wording was specifically used for a reason, although it was still in Moses’ own style.
Now the reason I’m telling you this, is because when we read Genesis, we have to 1st of all read it as history – we have to read it in the context in which it was written, but then we must also understand that within this literal history, there are profound spiritual truths that are taught. For example; if we take our text this morning, we see Moses stumble, and then we see Moses’ son Ham stumble as well. There were probably a thousand other historical events that the Holy Spirit could’ve inspired Moses to write about; I mean, Noah lived 350 years after the flood. Moses could’ve no-doubt, written about all kinds of things. Instead He focuses in on Noah’s sin, and then the sin of Noah’s son, Ham. Keep in mind that over 1000 years have gone by since Adam fell and sinned in the garden. The flood has wiped out all human life except for Noah and his family. But the Holy Spirit is wanting us who read this history… to know that the war between the seed of the serpent and the Seed of the woman is still raging on. It’s still being fought. It’s a different world now after the flood, but this spiritual battle is still taking place.
So as we look at verses 18 & 19 we see Noah and his sons come out of the ark. God has shown Himself faithful and preserved them through the flood, and they get to work fulfilling the creation ordinance of “filling the whole earth.” And again, this is one of those proof texts where we have to say macro evolution and the Bible are not compatible. Either all of mankind is descended from Noah, or the Bible is wrong. That’s the options we have.
Verses 20 and 21; Noah plants a vineyard, makes some wine and gets drunk. Now a lot of folks will tell you that Noah got off the ark and it was like he said, “Woah, I’m glad that’s over. I’m gonna’ have a drink.” But that’s not what happened at all. Basically; Noah planted a garden, and this may have been a year after the flood, it may have been 50 years after the flood, we’re not sure exactly how long after the flood it was, but we know it was at least long enough for Noah to plant the garden, for the crops to grow and for the grapes to ferment in order to make wine. Now this is interesting, because back in verse 18, it makes a distinction between Noah’s sons. It says there was Shem, Ham and Japheth, and then it points out Ham as being the father of Canaan. So right there we know that the Bible is setting us up to get something here. It does the same thing again in verse 22 – Ham, the father of Canaan. So it’s intended for us to see the connection between Ham and Canaan, and the connection between the curse and Canaan.
Let’s go on here. Noah gets drunk, and then Ham… the NKJV says, “Saw the nakedness of his father…”
Now the principle; or the lesson we can learn here is that sin will bring you to disgrace, but not only that, it can also become the occasion for others to sin as well. No sin is an island unto itself. It always affects someone else; usually those who are closest to us. We like to say to ourselves, “Oh my sin isn’t hurting anyone.” But that’s not reality. And Noah’s sin of drunkenness, leads to an even worse sin committed by his son Ham. Now I want you to understand what Noah means when he says Ham “Saw” his father’s nakedness, so turn with me to Leviticus 20:17 (Read). Now, if you look at that verse, and the verses around it, you see that it’s not talking about accidently seeing your sibling without their clothes on. What this is, was Moses being discreet. You see; he knew that he was going to have to read this out to all the people of God who were gathered in the assembly, and so he uses a little discretion here. So he’s not just talking about “looking,” there’s actual incest involved. And that’s the same thing we’re seeing back in our Genesis text in regards to the sin of Ham.