by Esther Griggs

In Genesis 9:20-29, we discover a little story about Noah and his boys. Ham’s decision, like Noah’s vineyard, bore fruit which affected his history. It was an embarrassing situation. The way Noah’s boys dealt with it changed the line of Noah from that day forward. We read the story, observe the various reactions and learn their implications for the future.

The Story

After the flood, Noah became a farmer and planted a vineyard. It bore fruit from which Noah made wine. When he drank of it, he became drunk and fell asleep in his tent. Ham, his middle son, seeing him lying naked, went out and told his brothers. Upon hearing it, Shem and Japheth, walked in backwards to cover him up. When Noah heard what had happened, he blessed the two who respected him and cursed Ham.

The Reactions

Ham chose how to react to his father’s nakedness. He had options but he chose to tell his brothers. Shem and Japheth also had a choice. They chose to preserve their father’s dignity by their refusal to look on his nakedness, and covering him. When Noah awoke, he learned what had happened and Ham’s actions displeased him.

Implications for the Future

His displeasure caused Noah to curse his son Ham to servanthood. He would serve his brothers. Noah blessed the LORD, the God of Shem, and cursed Ham as his servant. Then He asked God to enlarge Japheth, who would dwell in the tents of Shem, and again the descendants of Ham would be his servants. It set the course for the lives of his sons.

Ham’s words, showed disrespect. Noah’s words had power. We read the story, observed the various reactions and learned the implications for the future.

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