Session 7: Experience the Rainbow!
Now the earth was corrupt in God's sight and was full of violence. God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways. Genesis 6:11-12
Genesis 6-11, key verse 3:15
Key personalities: God, Noah and his sons, and lot of animals.
In Genesis 1:31 God was pleased with what He made; by 6:6, not so much. God was angry because sin and evil entered into His creation by the volition of His creation. We must realize the impact of sin in all aspects of our lives, relationships, and society or one not see Christ because we will fail to realize our need for His Gifts of peace, renewal, cleansing and love. With this mindset, we will realize that we are all under the same tent of offense, all in the same boat named peccadillo; we are all the same in Christ or outside of Christ. There are no favorites. We will realize our hypocrisy and pride and how we come across to others. We - you and I, have no basis for pride. We will see Christ as who He is and be so overruled that He affects all of us all of the time (Matt. 7:1-5)!
Key Happenings, the infestation of Sin
Sons of God usually refers to a type of angel or here angels when they sinned. However, it can also refer to the good people connected to God, like the line of Seth, who saw that the daughters of humans. (They fell for women, and they were forbidden to marry, because they did not worship or honor God.) The "sons of God" could have been another created order we do not know about. It is very unlikely that it was angels mating with humans as some would have you believe (Mark 12:25; Jude 6; 2 Peter 2: 4-9, and 1 Enoch (Pseudepigrapha, a non-canonical book).
Nephilim. This could be the fallout of angels who sinned. Gen. 6:1-4 tells where the "sons of God" (as in angels) intermarried and cohabitated with humans, producing the Nephilim (God has since made this impossible for them). However, in Numbers 13, they are depicted as a type of imposing people from the line of Anak who were heroic warriors or did evil things in Canaan (Num. 13:33; Psalm 148:2, 5; Isa. 14:12-15; Ezek. 28:12, 17; 1 Cor. 10; Rev. 12:7-9).
Noah and the Flood and an Ark. Noah and his family were the only people on earth at that time who trusted and honored God. They continued to be witnesses and cut across the grain of their culture and the evil of their day. They suffered persecution and humiliation in the eyes of their friends and neighbors. Yet, they remained faithful to their God. Then, God calls them to go even further in faith, a bigger stretch that we could possibly imagine today. He calls upon them to take even more cultural shame and mockery by telling Noah to build a huge boat in the middle of a landlocked field. Seemingly pure foolishness to any reasonable thinking person, yet Noah and his family obeyed. So, after the hundred or so years of finishing of the Ark, and after the yearlong journey on a stormed tossed sea, they hit their new home. After exercising great faith and obedience, Noah and his family have the enormous honor of being the new Adam's and reboots humanity. But, the sinful nature of man sill exerts its ugly head and, as Adam sinned in food, so did Noah and his son through drink.
"By faith Noah," keep in mind as Noah built an extremely large "life boat" without the ability to navigate or steer in a land locked, no-water area. He was just taking God's Word for it, while others did not. The flood was not visible for Noah; he had to trust this was going to happen and endure the mockery of his neighbors. Noah was vindicated as he demonstrated righteousness by active faith; he was father of the second advent of humanity and was very much renowned by Jews. In their apocryphal writings, they have a miracle birth narrative for him, like Moses and Jesus (Gen. 5:28-9:29; Heb. 11:1-16).
Ark. The means a sacred caring case or vessel, approximately 450 feet long, 75 feet wide and 45 feet deep, a 43,000 tons of displacement with a squared off shape and flat bottom for stability. The size was more than adequate for animals all over the world, which came to Noah, and provisions for all for one year. Other ancient cultures also built very large water crafts like the Egyptians, rivaling the size of the ark. Probably, the animals were young and thus smaller, in addition, some could have easily been in hibernation too. Was the flood global or local? Geological evidence indicates a global flood that took place in 2,800 BC. The ark came to rest in modern Turkey mountain of Agri Dagh, 17,000 feet high and is still there today. The so-called ark on Mt. Ararat is a probably a 5th century monastery.
The Rainbow. The Covenant with Noah, Gen. 9:1-13, was a formal agreement with requirements and stipulations; even though God can be heartbroken by our sin, He will not forsake or abandon us as a race. To focus humanities, survivors to know and worship God. To not eat what will cause significant disease and receive God's blessings. The rainbow is God's external reminder to our internal response. This was not the first one as some have proposed, because the laws of optics and physics would disagree, however this covenant from and with God is a refocusing tool to remind humanity Who God is and of His Holiness and grace.
Was God just in taking all those people's lives in the flood? Yes, because of sin, everyone is condemned; no one can ever escape it. No one since Adam and Eve was ever born right, that is why we have to be born again (John 3). We also have to see God as pure and just and we will be in before His presence. Is this fair? Yes. God is just in His wrath. We cannot go to Him and say, I am a good person and do not deserve this. We all deserve death and Hell, but by God's grace through our faith in Christ Jesus, we can be with Him, saved for eternity! This did not have to be our gift, but God has done this for us, this IS His Grace. Our salvation is undeserved. Even our lives are not deserved as His creation. We are all guilty before Him. There are no favorites with God unless you accept His free gift. No works can help you gain His acceptance; only the work of Christ can save us! We have no righteousness on our own, we cannot stand before God and bargain our way to heaven; that is why we need Christ to repair our relationship with God (Rom. 3:23; 6:23).
Why the fuss over Ham? (Gen. 9:18-27) To us, this sin of Noah and Ham is no big deal. Getting drunk is no big deal, nor is getting naked. Maybe embarrassing, but certainly not a grievous sin deserving to be cursed for ages to come, or is it? We see things through our culture and in a world that has been beaten down by sin, so what is acceptable to us; however, it is not to a righteous person, and certainly not to our Holy God. So the question arose through time from pulpits to chat rooms, why were Noah and God so hard on Ham? To us, this seems inconsequential and overkill! This happened hundreds of years before the 10 commandments; however, honoring your parents was a very strong value in that culture and time. Ham dishonored and made fun of his father and enticed his brothers to do the same; Ham undercut God's and his father's authority.
Vs. 9:24 Cursed be Canaan? There are several basic ideas flowing through this passage.
- The sin of
drunkenness and public nakedness (Ex. 20:26; Duet. 23:12-14; 2 Sam. 6:16; Job
1:21: Isa. 58:7, a sign of moral frailty, weakness, distrust and humiliation)
was a serious one in Biblical times, not drinking a glass of wine for dinner
that even older children did (Nub. 15:5-10; Duet. 14:26; Psalm 104:15; John
2:1-11), but drinking to the point you lose control of yourself (Isa. 5:11;
28:7; Lam. 4:21; Hab. 2:15; Prov. 21:17; 23:20-21; 29-35). Especially a priest
(Nub. 6:3-4; Lev. 10:9; Prov. 31:4-5)!
- It was culturally like visiting a brothel, or as a Christian, to do the most grievous sin you can think about. Imagine the preacher of righteousness, who was set apart and saved from all the other people of earth, who is over 600 years old, getting fallen down naked and drunk (Gen. 6:5; 8:21; Lev. 18:3; Duet. 9:3; I Pet. 4:8; II Pet. 2:5; I Cor. 10:12)!
- It would be like one of our great Christian leaders whom we trust, only to find their life is a sham multiplied thousands of times. Not that Noah was a sham, certainly not; he was a great man of faith who allowed sin to come in after living a life of great faith and obedience. This is a testimony for our need for a Savior; no matter how good we are or try, we cannot come close to the holiness of God!
- Ham's behavior was indicative of his character. He had the opportunity to cover his father, but chose to gloat and make a scandal of it instead; he should have grieved and not taken advantage of the situation. Ham knew better! He even went out and gossiped, totally disrespecting his father and the principles of being a follower of God (Prov. 10:12; 17:9)!
- Through the sin of Noah, two responses were made, one of further shame and one of honor. Noah's sons, as we are today, were faced with a choice to cover guilt as Christ did for us, or further the disobedience. Two brothers chose one way, and the other the other way. Sin is a choice and an opportunity for maturity and strength or shame and guilt. We can fight sin or be taken in by it. Ham's brothers did honor their father with love. A big contrast between who is faithful and worthy of a blessing (Prov. 10:12; 12:16; 14:9; 17:9).
- Remember, the more you know the more responsibility you have: Moses had great responsibility and his sins were great because Moses knew better than to dishonor God publicly! Ham knew better, too, as he had several hundred years of experience of following God, then being saved in a miraculous way and being mentored by the great and faithful father of his (Ex. 17:5-6 and Num. 20:8-12).
- The curses had the distinction of a view of the future: the son's descendents, with the promise and opportunity for redemption and change. Remember, Ham already had a blessing upon him too (Gen. 9:1)! The curse does not happen when you are born into a certain family line, it happens by our acceptance of it. Ham's descendents chose to keep on disobeying and dishonoring God, keeping their curse and forsaking their blessing that they could have had, too. God was very, very patient and took many generations before He acted with judgment upon Ham's descendents.
- Why was Noah not punished? It was his tent, he was in private and that was not a sin to get drunk as long as no harm was to come to others or as long as it was not in public; this was a sleepy drunk, not a reckless out of control drunk out to do harm such as drink and drive!
The result? The descendents of Ham/Canaan built great cities, flourished had righteous people and sinful as all races do. However, they were prone to evil because of their free willed choices, which God foreknew; hence the descendents of Shem, the Jews, got possession of their land.
There are many bad teachings on this passage by people reading into it what is not there: Such as the theory that Ham had homosexual relations with Noah while he was drunk or that blacks are inferior to other races, as a consequence of the Noah/Ham incident. Scripture totally and completely does NOT support these crazy prideful ideas! Their only existence is to elevate the false teacher and ignore the scope of Scripture, other very clear passages and what God has to say. Scripture has always taught that all people are God's people. Some people will reject Him, while others will be saved. God foreknows and has purpose in His choice.
Chp 11, Babel. Humanity's selfishness and pride become over the top, now God has to act, so they go forth and spread out to prevent diseases, spur on trade, and growth. God came down, 11:5, is not a contraction of God's sovereignty, rather a literarily device to show where God's focused attention is. (Remember He did in the previous verses with Adam and Eve, asking where they were, like a parent tells a child.) In addition, this is not about race; this has nothing to do with His love or election! It is about the disobedience of the human race, disobeying God's call to go, expand, and honor Him. Instead, they stayed in one place and become conceited toward God.
The confusion of languages and the variety of races or the Cursed be Canaan of Noah cannot and must not be interpreted as a condemnation to other races. To make a point; Caucasian is derivative to Canaan in race and language, thus if an argument were to be made, it is the white folks that are in trouble, not the blacks nor anyone else. Racism is not found anywhere in Scripture, and certainly not in these passages. It would be reading into what is not there, or taking out what is not there. Such teaching is nonsense, as is saying Cain and his mark is the father of blacks, a popular and completely false statement of white supremacists.
Racism simply comes from human sinful pride (the worst sin there is!), as we like to think of ourselves better than others. "If that person is different from me, then they must be inferior.Ã??Ã?Â Thus, we lift ourselves up when we do not deserve to be. Only God is to be lifted up! Our prejudices are not just about race, but how we act with character or without to those who are different than us.
Key Takeaway: How does God respond to the creation that rejected Him? His patience lasts for many generations; ample mercy is given, yet human hatred to God and their evils to one another increase, so does God's plan to redeem. What must we learn? To submit to God! God has the right over us and we must acknowledge His Lordship! He is God! We are His creation. He has the right to be worshiped and honored. We have the duty to submit, learn, trust and obey!
The foreshadow of Jesus Christ? Christ the Redeemer and Covenant maker!
Questions to Ponder
1. Have you ever felt that God abandoned you, that He does not care? Remember, His covenant is for you, too. He wants us to know Him and rest in His presence. Do not feel it? Pray, accept, claim His name as LORD!
2. Do you see any surprises in this passage?
3. How would you describe God's feeling to His prime creation, humanity?
4. Why were people so conceited to reject God and hate Him?
5. How have you seen God continue to work in humanity, through the chaos to craft His grace?
6. The curse does not happen when you are born into a certain family line, it happens by our acceptance of it. What does this mean to you?
7. Why would God have someone build a boat without the ability to navigate or steer? What do you think was Noah's response to the ridicule? How do you respond to ridicule for a righteous endeavor?
8. What can you do to taste the rainbow, to claim it and know God's promises are true? See Matthew 28:20.
9. What does it say about God, that He was very, very patient and took many generations before He acted with judgment?
10. How do you feel that with all of our passion and work, some people will reject Christ, while others will be saved?
11. How did Noah demonstrate righteousness by active faith? How have you? What can you do to be more aware of how people see you and Christ in you?
12. What is your duty and response to submit, learn, trust and Obey Christ as LORD?
© 2012 R. J. Krejcir, Ph.D. Into Thy Word Ministries www.intothyword.org