Monday, June 16, 2014

Monday, June 16 ~by Pamela

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is  2 Kings 17-18; Psalm 119:1-8; Romans 2
Today's scripture focus is Genesis 9:18-29

Noah’s Sons

18 The sons of Noah who came out of the boat with their father were Shem, Ham, and Japheth. (Ham is the father of Canaan.) 19 From these three sons of Noah came all the people who now populate the earth.
20 After the flood, Noah began to cultivate the ground, and he planted a vineyard. 21 One day he drank some wine he had made, and he became drunk and lay naked inside his tent.22 Ham, the father of Canaan, saw that his father was naked and went outside and told his brothers. 23 Then Shem and Japheth took a robe, held it over their shoulders, and backed into the tent to cover their father. As they did this, they looked the other way so they would not see him naked.
24 When Noah woke up from his stupor, he learned what Ham, his youngest son, had done.25 Then he cursed Canaan, the son of Ham:
“May Canaan be cursed!
    May he be the lowest of servants to his relatives.”
26 Then Noah said,
“May the Lord, the God of Shem, be blessed,
    and may Canaan be his servant!
27 May God expand the territory of Japheth!
May Japheth share the prosperity of Shem,[a]
    and may Canaan be his servant.”
28 Noah lived another 350 years after the great flood. 29 He lived 950 years, and then he died.

The flood was over. Sin had been washed from the face of the Earth. It was a new start. A new beginning. A chance to redo. was not.

MacArthur says:

If it were possible to live a righteous life and have everybody live a righteous life, hopefully those people who had been declared by God to be righteous and thus been spared the judgment, and were few in number only eight, and were all in the same family, would have a good shot at pulling it off. But one thing didn't drown in the flood, and that was sin. Sin was riding in the ark; in the nature of Noah, his wife, Shem, Ham and Japheth and their three wives. And sin survived the flood in them. It was a new earth, but it was the same old humanity.
And when they walked off the ark, sin walked off the ark. And when they stepped into the new world, sin stepped into the new world with them, in them. The old man Noah, 600 years old when the flood came, and that's been a year plus ago, the old man in this passage sins. Age was no guarantee against sin - you might think that when you're 60 years old or 70 years old, or 80 years old, you sorta get the plan about how to avoid sin. But here's a man 600 years old. And the old man sins. And the young man sins - 100 or so, young by standards of that day.
And youth, with all of its fervor and all of its freshness and all of its passion and all of its resolve, cannot withstand the onslaught of human fallenness. And so you have a righteous old man Noah, you have a righteous young man Ham, and the sad story of their inequity.
And so we learn that what the Bible says is true: sin reigned from Adam. And once Adam sinned, sin became the sovereign of human life. It became the monarch of humanity, and carries its potent poison into all peoples and families all over the world. and the judgment that God brought about on the face of the earth when he drowned all of humanity didn't drown sin.

We cannot drown sin. Sin is what separates from God and it can't be drowned away. It is a debt that requires payment. It is a debt that we can never repay. I often read stories from the Storybook Bible in my Grade 1 class. I like the way the author shares Noah's story. I found this video that speaks the words from the book:

God knew this was only a temporary fix. All but a bandaid on a huge problem. Don't you sometimes wonder why, when God knew the outcome, He would even attempt to clear the sin from humanity in such a way? Sometimes things just don't make sense to us. Even the above passage when Ham sees his Father naked and then gets cursed. Doesn't seem to make sense but MacArthur explains:

You also see it's sort of a bizarre incident here. That on the surface doesn't seem so severe as to produce the kind of curse that could end up in a divine verdict of genocide on an entire nation. I mean, a son walks in, sees his father naked, walks out, tells his brothers, and is cursed. And his line is cursed, so much so that the judgment of God - the execution of God- is to fall upon them. Seems like a minor sin to see your father naked, of all the imaginable sins that doesn't seem to be at the top of the list. And it seems almost incredible that a relatively minor event would have such major repercussions. But consistently, in Genesis, you will find that the fate of people, and the fate of nations is determined by occurrences with the ancestors of those people and nations that seem trivial. And this is one of those. On the surface it looks trivial, and when we dig a little deeper into it, it isn't trivial, and we'll see the connection of the evil Canaanites to Canaan, the son of Ham.
No sin, furthermore, is minor. The sin of Noah wasn't minor and the sin of Ham wasn't minor because no sin is minor. The fact of the matter is, though, that God in demonstrating to us that sin had survived the flood, he could have picked a thousand sins. Because Noah was a sinner and his wife was a sinner and the sons and their wives were sinners - God could have picked any number of sins to illustrate their fallenness. But he picks what appears to us to be somewhat of a minor sin, to demonstrate to us that there doesn't have to be some kind of severe heinousness connected to a sin to make it a sin. The smallest iniquity, the smallest iniquity, can have disastrous repercussions. The sooner men learn that, the better for them.
I think some people think that if you can just avoid the big ones you'll make it, when it's the little ones, in the Scripture, God chronicles as those sins that devastated families and devastated nations. And I think he purposely chose this sin; could have chosen many out of their lives, but he chose this one to make the point that it's not just murder and pillage and fornication and adultery that damn humanity - it's even the lack of self control and disrespect, which are demonstrated here.

Sin is sin. Doesn't matter how big or how small. The curse of sin is more than we can bear...alone. The story did not end with Noah. It did not end with the flood. The curse of sin lives on. God had a plan...a rescue plan that would work and would pay the debt we could not pay ourselves. It would cover our shame.

Adam knew the shame of nakedness. As soon as he sinned, it hit him that he was naked, and Eve was naked.Genesis 3:7, "They quickly sewed leaves together to cover themselves". Why? Because all of a sudden when they saw their nakedness, they had thoughts they never had before; perverse, perverted, twisted, strange sexual thoughts and feelings they've never felt. And the purity was immediately replaced by impurity and beauty was replaced by ugliness, and so they made clothes to cover up those things that were stimulating those ugly thoughts. And civilized people have continued doing it. Civilized people have always, always worn clothes to safeguard as much as possible what is a pure relationship. Clothes cover shame, and they protect purity. Nakedness leads to wickedness. Nakedness leads to vice. Every imaginable and unimaginable kind. Nudists, primitive people, exhibitionists, pornographers, they all advocate nakedness as if it was a virtue. They would like us to believe that it's the truest and purest expression of humanness. But it's not. There is a shame in a fallen creature that wants to protect himself from impure thoughts, and protect others from impure thoughts and from Adam on, everybody has known who understands shame, the value of the covering.

There is only one covering for sin.  Romans 6:23 says:

23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

MacArthur says:
Two things strike you in that text; one at the beginning and one at the end. The first is sin, and the last is death. And isn't that really the point. Sin survived the flood, and so did death. And the very first recorded post-flood event in Scripture is the story of sin in Noah's family. There are only eight humans on the planet. And the first recorded account of their life in the new world, after having experienced an unimaginable judgment of God for sin, the first recorded event is sin. Which tells us that no matter how hard they may have tried to control their lives, they were fallen people.

They were fallen people.

Naked. Exposed. Shameful.

We are fallen people separated from God.

But we have hope.

MacArthur concludes:

We will close it off, however, with versus 28 and 29. "And Noah lived 350 years after the flood, so all the days of Noah were 950 years, and he did." 60 years before the flood, actually one year plus during the flood, 350 years after the flood makes it 951 years. Just so you get a perspective on that, he lived through the tower of Babel. It is possible that he lived until the time of Abraham. Now let me just give you the big picture.
Noah was born 69 years after Enoch walked with God. Enoch was a contemporary of Adam. Right? Enoch knew Adam. Sixty nine years after Enoch's gone, Noah is born. And by the way, that's only 57 years after Adam died. It's amazing how close those lives were, because they lived so long.

So the whole of human history is spanned by Adam, Enoch, stick Methuselah in the middle years between the death of Adam and the birth of Noah, you got Methuselah, so you've got Adam, Enoch, Methuselah, and Noah. And this is only 2,000 years after creation, and it's spanned by four lives. But the inevitable came. He died. Because even for a believer, the wages of sin is still a physical death. It's not that we shall die spiritually, not because our sins are covered and the death that we should die has been already died by the Lord Jesus Christ.

Tomorrow's scripture focusGenesis 10
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage passage:  2 Kings 19-20; Psalm 119:9-16; Romans 3

1 comment:

TammyIsBlessed said...

Humanity's problem is sin, and Jesus Christ is our only solution. So thankful for His grace and the hope that we have.