Genesis Lesson 7 Day 2

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Genesis 9:18-23

The family incident 

3. Noah and his sons

Noah drank too much wine, got drunk and became uncovered in his tent. Ham discovered it and told his brothers. Shem and Japheth took a robe holding it between them, walked backwards into their father’s tent and covered him without looking. 

This is the first mention of drunkenness in the Bible. Some commentators believe this may be the first time grapes were cultivated and wine made. That would make Noah innocent in this act, since he didn’t know the effect it would produce. I don’t know.2

If Noah knew it would make him drunk and still drank too much, then he was foolish, unwise, and led to his sorrow. (Proverbs 20:1;23:29-33)

He became uncovered in his tent.

It might be that there wasn’t any sin in seeing his father uncovered. It might have happened accidentally. The sin could have been in the telling. He should have covered his father’s sin as his brothers did. There is an analogy in this for us.
We should not uncover people’s sins by telling others. Love covers sin (1 Peter 4:8).2

Guzik suggests another possibility—

It may be Noah was abused sexually by one of his sons or relatives. The phrase became uncovered and the idea of nakedness is sometimes associated with sexual relations (Leviticus 18:6-20).

Given the wicked culture Ham grew up in and God destroyed, it could explain verse 24. “Noah awoke from his wine and knew what his youngest son had done to him.” Did Ham have a reputation? All three sons (and perhaps others, including Canaan based on the curse) entered the tent while he was unconscious. None of them were there when he woke up, but he cursed the youngest. 

(Verse 18 lists Noah’s sons as “Shem, Ham, And Japheth. “But the next phrase says, “Ham is the father of Canaan.” So is Ham the youngest? Commentators wonder if Canaan and possibly others entered the tent.)

4. Lessons learned

Drinking too much wine, regardless of whether he knew the consequence, put Noah in a vulnerable position. Things happened to him while he was passed out and unable to cover up, defend himself, or reprimand anyone. 

It’s common for someone who’s had too much to drink to be abused sexually or otherwise.1

Ham’s son displayed a lack of respect and restraint, then made fun of his father.

Literally, the ancient Hebrew says that Ham “told with delight” what he saw in his father’s tent. He determined to mock his father and was undermining his authority as a man of God.1

Ham felt a sense of power when he saw his father and enjoyed telling others.

5. Takeaways

Don’t talk about the faults of others or the embarrassing situations we see.

Respect and honor our parents.

6. a. Personal

I survived years of abuse by my first husband. It’s given me compassion and understanding for those who have endured long periods of suffering.

I’m thankful for the example of my quirky, but godly Christian parents and grandparents.

b. My example

The best thing I can do is draw closer to Jesus. Seek Him first and abide in Him.

Learn to hear His voice.

If I do that, I will become more like Him.

(Remember, some didn’t like Jesus, and some loved Him.)

So setting an example is a funny thing. Some things are obviously bad, like getting drunk, using foul or lewd language, stealing, or losing our tempers. Those we avoid for sure.

But being a good example can easily slip into people pleasing—Just trying to meet the expectations of others. 

I’ve burned myself out so many times over the years.

I’m trying to remember, just do what Mary said to the servants, “Whatever he [Jesus] says to you, do it.”

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2 AWM Living Commentary
3 Spirit Filled Life Bible* footnote on Gen
4 New Living Bible Translation* footnote on Gen

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Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture taken from public domain WEB translation.

My answers, research, and notes for BSF Bible Study Fellowship questions Genesis Lesson 7 day 2,

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