Read: Genesis 9:24-29
After the whole fiasco of Noah getting hammered and Ham gossiping about it to his brothers, we get an interesting passage. Noah wakes up and finds out what Ham did and because of this, he curses Ham, but not directly. Instead, he curses Cannan, Ham’s son and the rest of his descendants.
Commentators have debated on the exact nature of Ham’s sin. Some point out that in that culture the fact that Ham did not preserve his father’s honor would have been the gravest of sins. This is something we may not understand coming from a Western culture where honor and shame do not dominate our worldview. Others have suggested that more happened in the tent than just Ham seeing his father naked. Whatever the case, Ham dishonored his father, and by doing so brought his family down with him.
An important thing to observe in this passage is that God does not speak. Up until this point, God has been the one who has given curses and pronounced judgement to mankind. In this chapter, Noah pronounces his own judgement by giving an almost prophetic look into the future of strife that his son’s families would endure for generations.
It’s important to remember that not all of the Bible is prescriptive, instead a lot is just descriptive. As we talked about yesterday, there aren’t really any heroes in this story. On one hand, if Noah hadn’t gotten drunk, this situation wouldn’t haven’t even happened; but that does not excuse Ham’s sin that he willingly committed. A sin that would not only create a rift with him and his family, but a rift that would create division and animosity for the rest of his descendants.
I think often we get inside our little Western individualistic boxes and tell ourselves that our sin only affects us. Nothing could be further from the truth. Noah’s sin affected Ham, Ham’s sin affects Cannan, Cannan and the rest of the descendant’s sins affect the Isrealites for years to come. The truth is, no matter how much we want to live in our own little bubbles, the choices we make here and now creates a domino effect that impacts the lives of the people around us in a positive or negative way.
Luckily, we have a God who made a choice that also affects us today. In living a perfect life and choosing to take on our sin He has redeemed mankind’s persistent choice to sin. It is by participating in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus that we are offered a way to say no to sin and choose life abundant as God designed.
Take a moment to think about the way that your sins have affected those around you. Are there areas in your life where you have and unrepentant heart thinking it only affects you? Ask the Lord if there are any relationships where you need to seek forgiveness or reconciliation because of your sin.