Welcome to EBible Fellowship’s Bible study in the Book of Genesis. This is study #13 of Genesis, chapter 9 and we are going to read Genesis 9:21-27:
And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent. And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without. And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father's nakedness. And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him. And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren. And he said, Blessed be JEHOVAH God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant. God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.
Last time we discussed the significance of Ham seeing his father’s nakedness and how God makes a point to command against this in the Bible and how it relates to laying with his father’s wife or even his father’s concubine. Rueben committed that sin when he went in unto Bilhah, his father Jacob’s concubine and because of this he lost the right of the firstborn son. Spiritually, it points to those that are involved in spiritual fornication. We read in 1Corinthians, chapter 5 that it was “such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles.” We saw how this was in view in the historical context when Noah began to be a husbandman and planted a vineyard. He drank of the wine, became drunken and was uncovered in his tent.
That is one aspect of this historical account. Nakedness points to sin that is open or exposed to the eyes of God. I referred last time to a verse in Hebrews, but this time I am going to read it. It says in Hebrews 4:13:
Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.
The term “have to do” literally means “to give account.” God sees sin and God must be given an account in the Day of Judgment for these things. Sin is open and exposed to God and, therefore, man’s physical nakedness is a good illustration of God seeing everything. If someone does not have clothes on, you can see everything concerning his body. That is why physical nakedness (even a bare head or bare feet) in the Bible can picture man’s sins that are exposed to the eyes of God. Of course, we know that God can see more than outward, external sin that people do. God also looks upon the heart. In Hebrews 4 it also spoke of the Word of God being a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. God knows the deep-down sins that flow out of a spiritually dead man’s heart. Therefore, nakedness typifies man’s sinful condition and because God sees those sins, He must apply punishment for sin. That is why the covering of sin typifies salvation or deliverance. In the Bible when someone is physically covered it points to the spiritual covering for sin, just as when a person puts on clothing and you cannot see his or her physical nakedness. So, too, when the robe of the righteousness of Christ is applied to a sinner, God no longer sees that person as a sinner – God does not see any sin at all because it has all been paid for by Christ. That person’s sin is put away as far as the East is from the West and it is cast into the sea. There is no longer any sin upon that person and that is because of the righteousness of Christ that covers over the sins of God’s elect.
We are going to go to a few verses that are based on this spiritual picture. In Genesis, Adam and Eve were naked in the beginning and it was not a problem. Once they sinned, they saw their own physical nakedness and they tried to cover themselves and this points to man’s effort to develop a works gospel to cover the sin that he knows, intuitively, that God can see. Man has done this for thousands of years, but there is only one true covering for sin and it is dependent upon the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ at the foundation of the world when He made payment by atoning for the sins of certain individuals. In the process of time, God found each of these individuals through the Gospel and through His Word and that salvation work was applied to them, thus covering their sins. It says in Psalm 32:1:
Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.
We see the same idea in both parts of this verse. It says, “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven,” and this is saying the same thing as the last part of the verse: “whose sin is covered.” If your sin is covered, your transgression is forgiven and you have found forgiveness of sins, by God’s grace. These sins will be mentioned no more and will no longer come into God’s mind. They are gone forever.
It says in Psalm 85:2:
Thou hast forgiven the iniquity of thy people, thou hast covered all their sin. Selah.
Again, Hebrew parallelism is in evidence. God has forgiven the iniquity of His people and has covered all their sin. The first part of the verse is saying the same thing as the second part of the verse.
It also says in Isaiah 58:6:
Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?
Isaiah, chapter 58 focuses on the Gospel declaration of the New Testament. Of course, the Gospel of grace had application throughout history. Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord and he lived thousands of years before the New Testament era. Christ’s blood was shed before the world began, so His blood was “available” to cover the remission of sins for all the saints of the Old Testament era. That is why it is so important for us to understand that Christ died for sin at the foundation of the world and not at some later time in history.
When Christ went to the cross in 33AD it was after 11,000 years of history and since the cross there has only been a span of less than 2,000 years. Some people would have us believe that Christ’s blood was not shed until after 11,000 years of earth’s history, but God dealt for thousands of years with the Old Testament saints as He saved people like Abel, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, and so forth. How did these people get saved? How did they receive remission of sins? The Bible tells us in Hebrews 9:22: “And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.” It is not talking about the shedding of the blood of bulls and goats because the next chapter in Hebrews tells us that it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sin. There is only one blood that can take away sin and that was the blood of Christ. That is what the remission of sin means. The Bible tells us that it is impossible to take away sin without the shedding of blood and, therefore, it was necessary that the blood of Christ be first shed and then there could be remission of sin during the Old Testament era. During that 11,000 years, at one point there were seven thousand people that did not bow the knee to Baal. The people of Nineveh were also saved and that would have been a tremendous number of people, especially for Old Testament times.
How did they become saved? Some say, “Well, it was done in principal.” Some people stubbornly insist that the Bible must submit to their understanding rather than what the Bible declares. They say, “It was all in principal because if God had determined to do something, like He determined to send Christ to the cross in 33AD, then God could act in ‘good faith’ and save all these people ‘in principal,’ according to the blood that would be shed in 33AD.” However, that is all theological double talk, as they say things that the Bible does not say. They are insisting upon something that the Bible will not allow.
This is what the Bible does say: “without shedding of blood is no remission.” First things first. Christ was the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world and the works were finished from the foundation of the world. I have never heard anyone adequately explain how there could be “finished work” in principal. Work is an action. It is a deed. It is something that is done, so you cannot finish the work from the foundation of the world in principal. That would make no sense. When Christ died, He literally died. I do not understand how it was possible that God slew God at the foundation of the world, He was bearing the sins of His people. He paid the penalty in full for those sins as He shed His blood and gave His life. Then He arose from the dead, declared to be the Son of God. That was work and that work was finished and it all happened before the world existed.
I am getting sidetracked, but that is an important doctrine that we must get right. The more time passes, the clearer it has become. When we first started learning about this, I did not understand completely and many other people struggled with it, but as we have gone on we see that many doctrines depend on this doctrine that Christ died for sin before this world started.
I am sorry. I forgot to read Isaiah 58:7:
Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?
We see another important Biblical principal: when you see someone “naked,” you cover him. And what is the covering? The Psalm says, “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.” When you see the spiritual nakedness or sinful condition of man, you bring the Gospel, but only in the day of salvation. It does not do any good to bring the Gospel when it is “out of season” and the time period in which God has determined to save has passed. Remember the Bible says, “Seek the Lord, while he may be found.” In Zephaniah, chapter 2 it tells us to seek the Lord “before the decree bring forth, before the day pass as the chaff, before the fierce anger of JEHOVAH come upon you, before the day of the JEHOVAH'S anger come upon you.”
There is a time and a season for everything. People act surprised and shocked that it is Judgment Day and there is no more salvation. They insist that it is always the season for salvation, but that has never been true. God has had various eras and times and seasons. In between the times and seasons there have been famines, like the 2,300 evening mornings that came at the end of the church age and before the period of Latter Rain. God works according to timetables and there is a season for everything, as we are told in Ecclesiastes 3:1: “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.”
It is naïve and foolish to think that because we are at a certain season at a certain time, it must always remain that way. This is the problem for people that remained in the churches and congregations. They do not realize that there was a time for the firstfruits during the early rain, the period of the church age. It was a long time (1,955 years) that the church age lasted. We could say that for Israel, as well. They had their season in which they would bring forth the fruit of the Messiah and their season also lasted for about 2,000 years. Their season which produced the fruit of the Lord Jesus Christ had its end at the cross. Then there was the season for the firstfruits of the church age for 1,955 years and then it came to an end. Finally, there was the season of the last part of the Great Tribulation when the Latter Rain fell and the great multitude was saved, but that season also ended when Judgment Day began on May 21, 2011. Again, it is unwise to insist that we must still have this season (of salvation), but it is never good to dictate to God. It is never the proper thing to do. God is in control and He determines the times and seasons. He begins them and He ends them and then He starts another time or season. Now He has brought about Judgment Day and it is the last season after the last rain, the Latter Rain. It is called the Latter Rain because it is the last one and there are no more seasons of fruit or periods of rain to come after the Latter Rain and after the great multitude has been saved out of Great Tribulation.
Now there is only Judgment Day and we are learning about this time period. It is a time of severe trial for God’s elect as we all appear before the judgment seat of Christ. There is much to learn about God’s program for the final judgment of the world and how His elect are involved in it. Of course, if people stubbornly and pridefully insist, “No! No! No! We do not want to consider that. We just want to continue that little season in the Great Tribulation and we want the Latter Rain to just continue.” Well, I would like salvation to continue and so would all of God’s people, but the thing that differentiates the child of God from the unsaved is that we desire the will of God to be done above our own desires, no matter how difficult or sorrowful it may be. We desire truth and we desire that God’s perfect will be done. We do not want to fight against it and “kick against the pricks.” We do not want to insist upon our own agenda and our own program. What good would that do, if God has ended salvation? He has shut the door, so what good does it do to deceive ourselves and others and to say that God is still saving when everything in the Bible declares that salvation has ended?
Okay, we have seen in our verse that Ham failed to cover the nakedness of his father, but did he get a garment or blanket and walk backwards very respectfully to his father to cover him? No, he did not. It says in Genesis 9:22:
And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without.
He took no action to cover Noah’s nakedness and that is a violation of the Law of God. When we see the “naked,” we are to cover him. It is like when we see the “hungry,” we are to give them “bread.” In the proper season, of course, we would provide the covering over sin. But, again, that is why Ham is not the one that received the curse. It was his son Canaan because Ham identifies with Babylon, Assyria and Egypt or with the nations of the world that do not have that responsibility before God. However, it was the corporate body, the New Testament churches and congregations, that had the responsibility to cover the naked by providing salvation through the faithful declaration of the Word of God. And they failed to do so and, therefore, Noah pronounced a curse against Canaan. Canaan is tied to the churches because he was the progenitor of the land of Canaan, which identified with the kingdom of God, just like the churches identified with the kingdom of God.