Welcome to EBible Fellowship’s Bible study in the Book of Genesis. This is study #14 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.
To quickly summarize our last study, we saw that in the Bible to be “naked” means to have one’s sins open to the eyes of God. The covering of nakedness is a picture of salvation. Ham did not cover his father’s nakedness, so Noah cursed Ham’s son Canaan. It is possible that Canaan was present, but since God does not mention him it would be speculation. It is more likely that Canaan was the one that would receive the curse because he is the one in the line of Ham that identifies with the corporate church. In any case, there was a failure to cover Noah’s nakedness and it resulted in a curse.
On the other hand, notice how God stresses that Shem and Japheth did not see their father’s nakedness. It says in Genesis 9:23:
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.
They did everything they could to look away and that is because of what we read in our last study about uncovering your father’s nakedness. It has a bad (spiritual) connotation in the Bible, so very respectfully and humbly they honored their father. In covering his physical nakedness with a garment, they provided a picture of those that would deal their bread to the hungry and see the naked and cover them. In other words, they would share the Gospel and provide spiritual covering for man’s sin. Therefore, Shem and Japheth did well. Historically, they did well in honoring their father and, spiritually, they did well in illustrating those that would have the responsibility of bringing the Gospel to others that their sins might be covered.
Then it goes on to say in Genesis 9:24:
And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him.
He awoke and he knew what his younger son had done. The verses that follow also indicate that he knew what Ham and Japheth had done. What does it mean, spiritually, that Noah awoke from his wine? Noah was a husbandman and God the Father likens himself to the Husbandman. Remember that James 5, verse 7 says that a husbandman is one that waits patiently for the early and latter rain. He does not pour out His wrath until the seasons of rain cease and the precious fruit of the earth has been brought in. It depicts God in the role of the Husbandman as He oversaw His salvation program that worked out over the centuries. He did not take action to pour out His wrath on mankind for their sins because He had to wait for the elect to come in. When God is not pouring out His wrath, mankind tends to think that God is not seeing their sins because God is “asleep.” That is the picture here as Noah “awoke from his wine.” His “nakedness” provided an opportunity to all his sons because they were all aware of his condition. Ham, Shem and Japheth were aware of it and it presented the opportunity to either cover his nakedness or to not cover his nakedness. We know that Ham did not do so and Canaan was cursed, but Ham and Japheth did so. And once Noah awoke, that opportunity was gone. The period in which Ham (or Canaan) could have acted to cover him was gone. Then it became a totally different situation when Noah awoke. When he awoke, he possessed full knowledge of what had taken place. We wonder how he knew what his younger son had done? Did Shem and Japheth tell him? Perhaps, they did. Historically, someone would have had to inform Noah of what had happened because he was asleep and unaware of what went on, but, spiritually, Noah is a picture of the Husbandman, God the Father, who knows everything about everything. God immediately knows everything that takes place. In Psalm, chapter 7, this relates to Noah waking up, as it says in Psalm 7:6:
Arise, O JEHOVAH, in thine anger, lift up thyself because of the rage of mine enemies: and awake for me to the judgment that thou hast commanded.
Here, we see that there is a cry for God to awake to judgment and this is something we will see a few more times. It says in Psalm 44:22-26:
Yea, for thy sake are we killed all the day long; we are counted as sheep for the slaughter. Awake, why sleepest thou, O Lord? arise, cast us not off for ever. Wherefore hidest thou thy face, and forgettest our affliction and our oppression? For our soul is bowed down to the dust: our belly cleaveth unto the earth. Arise for our help, and redeem us for thy mercies' sake.
Here, the people of God are in trouble and they cry for God to “awake.” When God is inactive, like when He allows the churches to go apostate or when He allows the secular world to abound in iniquity, it can give the appearance that God is asleep. Why is God not acting? Why is God not rising up to take vengeance?
It says in Psalm 59:4-5:
They run and prepare themselves without my fault: awake to help me, and behold. Thou therefore, O JEHOVAH God of hosts, the God of Israel, awake to visit all the heathen: be not merciful to any wicked transgressors. Selah.
The call is for God to awake and visit the heathen or the nations and the request is for Him not to be merciful to them. Of course, that is language of judgment.
It says in Psalm 73:18-20:
Surely thou didst set them in slippery places: thou castedst them down into destruction. How are they brought into desolation, as in a moment! they are utterly consumed with terrors. As a dream when one awaketh; so, O Lord, when thou awakest, thou shalt despise their image.
This is the Psalm where a child of God was envious of the wicked until he went into the sanctuary of God and understood the end of the wicked. This is speaking of the final judgment of the wicked of the world. It will take place when God finally acts to bring the final phase of His judgment. He will no longer show mercy, as we have learned, because He is no longer saving anyone. God is no longer patiently waiting as the Husbandman, because He has received all the elect in their times and seasons. The rain has fallen and he has gathered the harvest and, therefore, He is pouring out His wrath in the Day of Judgment. This means it is as though He has awakened. He has awakened from sleep to visit the heathen and pour out His wrath upon them.
It says in Psalm 78:62-66:
He gave his people over also unto the sword; and was wroth with his inheritance. The fire consumed their young men; and their maidens were not given to marriage. Their priests fell by the sword; and their widows made no lamentation. Then the Lord awaked as one out of sleep, and like a mighty man that shouteth by reason of wine. And he smote his enemies in the hinder parts: he put them to a perpetual reproach.
The language of giving His people over to the sword is speaking of the judgment that began at the house of God when God turned over the churches and congregations of the world to Satan for judgment. God was “inactive” in the sense that He allowed Satan and his kingdom of the wicked (as typified by the Babylonians) to destroy the churches (as typified by Judah) until the 23-year Great Tribulation period ended on May 21, 2011. Then the Lord “awakened.” Of course, the Lord was not actually asleep, but His inactivity gave that appearance. Then it says, “Then the Lord awaked as one out of sleep, and like a mighty man that shouteth by reason of wine.” This relates to when “Noah awoke from his wine.” God, too, is picturing Himself as coming out of sleep “like a mighty man that shouteth by reason of wine,” so there is a connection that God is making between waking up and wine. Then it said in verse 66: “And he smote his enemies in the hinder parts: he put them to a perpetual reproach.” The reproach is perpetual or ongoing and His destruction of His enemies in the completion of the Day of Judgment will be a perpetual and everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, as we read in 2Thessalonians, chapter 1 when mankind is destroyed for evermore. It is the everlasting destruction of annihilation or a “perpetual reproach.”
Going back to Genesis 9, it says in Genesis 9:24-27:
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.
Noah awakened. He knows all. He has the complete picture of what had been done and he pronounced the curse and the blessing. One thing we see here is something we find in many places in the Bible. Noah as he awakens is a picture of God as the Judge. God is going to judge the world. He is going to judge mankind. At this point, Shem, Ham and Japheth are all the sons of Noah. Later, we will read of Canaan who was cursed, but at this point, these are all the people in the world and the earth had not been overspread with people as the nations developed. There had not been the division of the continents, which would not happen until the days of Peleg. There had not been the division of tongues at the tower of Babel. It is still in the future. Noah’s family are all the people that exist and they represent all people, saved and unsaved. They represent all the nations that will be alive in our present day. All nations come before God.
That is what we see here when we see Noah pronouncing judgment. It just so happens that one judgment for Canaan is the curse and it is what we come to think of when we hear the word “judgment.” Judgment is when God curses someone and pours out His wrath, but we should really have a greater understanding of judgment than our previous understanding because it is also a judgment when Noah pronounces the blessing. The giving of the blessing to Shem and Japheth is just as much a judgment as pronouncing the curse against Canaan. The judge is Noah. Noah has all the facts. He knew what his younger son had done and he was also aware of what his other sons had done in covering him. Having all knowledge and facts concerning the issue of a covering or the lack of a covering, he is able to pronounce the judgment to all. All the people of the earth are judged by Noah – some are cursed and some are blessed. And this ties in with the parable of Christ in the Gospel of Matthew where we read the parable of the sheep and the goats. We want so spend some time in that parable, so we are not going to go there now and try to rush through it.
Lord willing, in our next study we will go to Matthew, chapter 25 and we will read of a very important and significant parable Christ gave concerning Judgment Day. We are going to find that the parable has application to today and fits with our present understanding of God’s elect remaining on the earth in the Day of Judgment and of God’s elect being judged.