Genesis 10

[6] The sons of Ham: Cush, Egypt, Put, and Canaan.

[21] To Shem also, the father of all the children of Eber, the elder brother of Japheth, children were born.

– Genesis 10:6, 21

In the previous chapter of Genesis, Noah curses his son Ham and blesses Shem and Japheth.  Shem is singled out for particular blessing.  In the Old Testament, leaders anointed by God were also prophets (think Abraham or Moses).  Thus, Noah’s words are powerful.  They confer actual blessing and curse.

shaming-of-noah-smallerHam is cursed.  He becomes the father of Cush, Egypt, Put and Canaan, the prototypical enemies of the people of God.  Shem is blessed.  He is the father of all Semitic peoples and his descendent, Eber, is the father of the Hebrews, the chosen people of God.

Curse is thus shown to be separation from God and enmity with His people.  Blessing is to be know by God and counted among His people, set apart for Himself.

The Israelites were former slaves, and they were blessed.  The people of God were opposed on every side, and they were blessed.  The disciples endured persecution, and they were blessed.  We, too, may face the loss of all things and still be blessed in Christ.

Genesis 9

[20] Noah began to be a man of the soil, and he planted a vineyard. [21] He drank of the wine and became drunk and lay uncovered in his tent.

– Genesis 9:20-21

Noah is very aware that he has escaped judgment.  And he is very grateful because he is also aware that he did not deserve to escape the flood.  Yes of course, he followed and obeyed God, but Noah also had wickedness in his heart.

This righteous man who escaped a global judgment plants a vineyard and gets drunk on his wine.  The earth had been cleansed and the only family left was hand picked by God, yet sin remains.  The problem is not, as it appears, on the outside but inside.  Noah brought the problem with him because the problem is inside every human heart.

When we can accept this, the following promise begins to sound like good news.

25 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. 26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws

– Ezekiel 36:25-27

Genesis 8

[15] Then God said to Noah, [16] “Go out from the ark, you and your wife, and your sons and your sons’ wives with you. [17] Bring out with you every living thing that is with you of all flesh—birds and animals and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth—that they may swarm on the earth, and be fruitful and multiply on the earth.”

– Genesis 8:15-17

63060c41fb1d318f6f46fa80984c6f96Noah and his family had been in the ark for about a year.  Finally, God calls them out of the ark and commands them to “be fruitful and multiply on the earth.”  This is the original mandate given to Adam in the garden.

The world has been cleansed of evil and though the Lord knows that sin still grips the hearts of men, His desire is to see His creation flourish.  Mankind gets a fresh start.

When God saves a person today, it is neither arbitrary or purposeless.  God intends that we be free to do what we were originally made to do.  We squander the gift of God when we use it for lesser purposes.

Genesis 6

[5] The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. [6] And the LORD regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. [7] So the LORD said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.” [8] But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.

Genesis 6:5-8

tokeep-brothel-entrance-in-sonagachi-district-of-kolkataThe question that all people, whether Christian or of any other faith, find themselves asking at some time or another is “how can a good God allow such evil to exist?”  While we may balk at the idea that every intention of man is “only evil continually,” we are all appalled at the mass killings of the Khmer Rouge, the Rwandan genocide, and modern child sex slavery.

In our passage, we find a God who sees evil as evil (v. 5) and He is deeply troubled (v.6).  God is not indifferent.  He does not ignore evil and in this the whole world rejoices!  We know evil demands punishment and if we are honest, we know that the evil in our own hearts deserves judgment as well.

In v. 7, the Lord responds to the evil He sees in the world by deciding to wipe out His creation.  This is a tragic and hard word to swallow.  But how can God be good and ignore evil?

While God could have ended everything permanently there, He leaves us with a glimmer of hope.  Amidst a wicked generation, a man named Noah finds favor in His eyes (v. 8).  The Lord chooses to show mercy on Noah and His family and He offers mercy today to you and me.