January 18, 2021, 09:07:05 pm

What Ham Did!

Started by Foadle, April 15, 2020, 08:19:45 pm

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Genesis 9:20 And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard:
Genesis 9:21 And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent.
Genesis 9:22 And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without.
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.
Genesis 9:24 And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him.
Genesis 9:25 And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall be be unto his brethren.

Hey, wait a minute! What did Canaan actually do that was so bad as to warrant his son being cursed generationally?  Surely, accidentally walking in on your drunk father who has fallen asleep naked is not so bad as to deserve that! :shocked:

This is a question I have often pondered...and I must say heard all sorts of theories on ranging from I don't know to the out right absurd!  Many things I have read have said, we are never told.  Some have said it was sexually related.  But I don't know...none of these sat with me.  My understanding of God is not the sort of person which tells of a punishment given without detailing the true cause.  So what did Ham actually do?

Well after many years...and yes it has been years... I believe that God has answered that question, and yes, it is plainly there in the scriptures.

Ham's walking in on his drunk and naked father was not the issue.  It could have happened to any one of the three sons; so, it was not that he had seen the nakedness of his father.  It is what he did once he had seen the nakedness of his father...he went and "told his two brethren without" that the was the problem.  He went and told the whole world. 

Remember that adults in the world at that time numbered a grand total of 8.  There may have been, (and the indication is that there were) children now born to the three sons, but these are still minors.  Society it would seem even at this time was patriarchal meaning that women were of little consequence.  I say this as other than to say that they had wives that went on the ark with them we never learn anything more of the women.  So people of societal consequence on this basis number a grand total of 4.

1 of those 4 collapsed naked in his tent from total intoxication leaving 3 others.  1 finds this situation and goes and tells the remaining 2...hence my point: he told the whole world about it.  This was the issue.

Shem and Japheth on the other hand, now knowing of the situation, went in backwards and covered their father, ensuring they did not look at him...they did something about the situation.

It brought a few things home to me.  I too have been Ham :jawdrop: .  Yes I was rather surprised at it but it is true.  I have found the faults of others (my parents, yes, but I think this goes as far as anybody) and rather than do something to help the person in their faults, and cover their nakedness, I have gone and told others...normally in the form of whinging and whining about them.

We are told that love covers a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8)...yet how frequently I have been more willing to expose the sin than to cover it.


This is very insightful. I've never heard this explanation before, but I think I agree with you. We are all too quick to gleefully gossip about the faults of other people, making sure the whole world knows what they've done wrong.

I think this concept is explored in a new book I'm going to be reading by Brant Hansen called The Truth about Us: The Very Good News about How Very Bad We Are. (link).  From the jacket cover;

Quote"I'm not a good person."

Seriously, who says that?

Practically everyone, from priests to prisoners, thinks of themselves as morally better than average. So why change our minds? What good could possibly come from admitting that most of us are far more self-righteous than righteous?

In this book, Brant Hansen makes an entertaining and insightful case that we can find great freedom in admitting we're not so wonderful after all. It can help us improve relationships, be better thinkers and listeners, and even make us more fun to be around.

In his conversational, fun-to-read, and delightfully self-effacing style, Hansen draws from biblical insight and the work of everyone from esteemed social psychologists to comedians to show that the sooner we get over ourselves and admit the truth, the sooner we're free to live a more lighthearted, fruitful, fun-loving life.

Because the humble life is truly your best one.

I've read one of Brant's other books called Unoffendable and it was excellent. I'm looking forward to this, and your insight into Ham I think fits right in with what I've read in the free chapter.

"There is no charge for awesomeness -- or attractiveness."


I have written those two titles down.  I will be certainly looking into them. 
Actually the point of acknowledging how very bad we are came out in one of the books I have read in the past week.  I think it was in "The Reason Why" an New Zealand publication that is so old it has no publication date and its price is 1 1/2d...so earliest 1966.  Just a very tiny pocket (literally) sized book, but powerful. Deciphering from the signature I believe the author is Robert Laidlam.
It states: "God has not set a standard.  God is the standard" later he says "The only standard by which I am to be judged in eternity is God's standard.  Judgment is on what God says alone, there is no other input."

This, I believe is the main issue behind whether or not people receive salvation.  As the title of this other book seems to imply, it is not until we recognise our total ineptitude at being able to achieve the required moral standard: God; that we are going to be willing to receive His solution to it.

As Jesus said: It is not the healthy that need a doctor (Luke 5:31)...or in this case, it is not those who think they are already good enough who need salvation.  And praise God that His salvation is and eternal and enduring work, for even now, though I received His salvation in Jesus Christ so long ago, I am constantly being shown how much I still think I am pretty all right.

While salvation of the spirit is a once for all accomplishment upon our receiving of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; our soul still needs to be renewed (Romans 12:2) and that constantly finding out just how "bad" I am is part of that.

The other interesting part of this though is that, while we tend towards thinking that we ourselves are pretty alright, we tend to see the not so good in others quite readily.  Matthew 7 comes to mind.  The Passion Translation is quite poignant:

Matthew 7:1 Refuse to be a critic full of bias toward others, and judgment will not be passed on you.
Matthew 7:2 For you'll be judged by the same standard that you've used to judge others.  The measurement you use on them will be used on you.
Matthew 7:3 Why would you focus on the flaw in someone else's life and yet fail to notice the glaring flaws of your own?
Matthew 7:4 How could you say to your friend, 'Let me show your where you're wrong,' when you're guilty of even more?
Matthew 7:5 You're being hypercritical and a hypocrite!  First acknowledge your own 'blind spots' and deal with them, and then you'll be capable of dealing with the 'blind spot' of your friend.

This passage also brings out another point.  We tend to pick up more on the faults in others that we have ourselves than we do faults we do not share, even (especially?) when we don't recognise them in ourselves.