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Genesis 9:18-29 - Beware of failure after great Victory – Part 3
[We are warned by God to beware of failure after great victory and gloating over the misfortune of others. We are also warned to...]
3. Beware of the long-term consequences of sin (9:24-29). In 9:24, Moses writes: “When Noah awoke from his wine, he knew what his youngest son had done to him.”
Noah was no doubt ashamed of what he had done. Maybe he was surprised to find himself covered with a garment. He must have wondered what happened in the tent while he was asleep. The logical thing would be to speak to Japheth, his firstborn; and he and Shem must have told him what Ham had done. In response to what he learned, Noah said, “Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants He shall be to his brothers.”
Notice that prior to this ONLY God issued a curse against anyone or anything. Here, Noah, in essence, takes on himself a prerogative of God. And, who is “Canaan”? Canaan is the son of Ham, Noah’s grandson (9:18b). Why does the curse fall on Canaan? It seems that Noah is prophesying that Canaan is already cursed because he is Ham’s son. He is saying, “Canaan, you are cursed because Ham is your dad.” It is also a warning to Ham that his son is going to treat him like he treated his father. Ham dishonored Noah, and fatherhood in general, so Canaan is cursed by having Ham as his father.
The story of history is pretty stunning: One day one son dishonored his dad; as a result, our society has been obliterated with rebellion. Many are cursed because of their fathers and many men turn out like their fathers. Yet, a little boy wants more than anything to be just like his dad.
In our day and age, that’s either a good thing or a bad thing. We as Men need to love children and esteem fatherhood. We need to be a godly example they can look to. As the youngest son wrongs his father, so the curse will fall on his youngest son, who presumably inherits his moral decline.
In addition to the Canaanites, Ham’s descendants include some if Israel’s most bitter enemies: Egypt, Philistia, Assyria, and Babylon which we will cover in Gen.10:6-13). When
God says that He “visits the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me” (Exod 20:5), He means it!
For example, Abraham lied to Pharaoh about Sarah. Isaac ended up in the same circumstances and told a lie about his wife, Rebecca; Jacob ended up being a liar and had twelve sons, ten of whom deceived him with lies. There you have it: four generations are affected because of the sin of one of the parents.
In 9:26-27, Noah says, “He also said, ‘Blessed be the LORD, the God of Shem; and let Canaan be his servant. May God enlarge Japheth, and let him dwell in the tents of Shem; and let Canaan be his servant.’” Noah is given a conviction that salvation and blessing will come through the line of Shem. In due course, Jesus would be a Jew, a Semite, and a descendant in the line of Shem through whom the entire human race will be blessed.
Japheth is to have extended territory. His line will not lead to the Messiah but there is a blessing in store for him. He had protected Noah and will find protection himself.
Genesis 9 ends with a summary of Noah’s subsequent life. Like his forebears in chapter 5, Noah lived to an advanced age (950).
As I close I want to talk to those that may feel like Noah or Ham. If Satan has won a battle in your life, don’t let him win a second battle. Don’t buy into the lie that it’s too late for you to repent. Satan has three lies that he pawns off on gullible believers. The first is that sin doesn’t really matter. “Just do it once, and God will forgive you, and you can control the consequences.” Then, when we have fallen, he comes up with a second lie, “You’ve blown it so badly there’s no use standing up. In fact, if you receive forgiveness today you might commit the same sin tomorrow, so why bother?”
And once he has you there, he has a third lie too: “Now look what you’ve done. You’ve gone too far. You’ve committed too many sins and hurt too many people. Just learn to cope with your sins because God doesn’t want to hear from you anymore; you’re too wretched to be forgiven.” And when the Devil has convinced you that there is no way back, you are stuck with the curse, and so are your children.
But God wants to bring you back today so that He can minimize the consequences of sin you have already committed. He says to you, “I want to put My arms around you again. I will blot out your sin. You can walk before Me in purity and holiness.”