Genesis 9:20 And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard:
21 And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent.
Gen 9:22 And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without.
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.
24 And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him.
25 And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.
26 And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.
27 God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.
28 And Noah lived after the flood three hundred and fifty years.
29 And all the days of Noah were nine hundred and fifty years: and he died.
God is THE just God. He gives us the good and the bad news. Genesis 1&2 give us the good news. In chapter 2 God gave a warning to Adam regarding the importance of obedience to His commands. Adam was a direct creation of God. God formed Adam from the dust of the ground and breathed into him the breath of life. Adam became a living soul as a result. Adam and Eve were the only two people who had the choice to fall from God’s original design for mankind.
In Genesis 3 we are given very bad news with some good news placed within that chapter. Adam chose to sin against a very clear and relevant command. Adam became a sinner and led humanity in being born as sinners due to his sin. No one can blame Adam for their sin. However, the Bible does tell us that by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners (Romans 5:19). In verse 15 of that chapter God gave us the good news that man is not doomed to destruction due to his sin. God would provide the seed of the woman to deal the fatal and necessary blow to the devil. Man can be redeemed. In Genesis 3:21 God demonstrated the need for a blood sacrifice as the means of first of all covering for man’s sin, but eventually to remove man’s sin. Old testament saints believed God and trusted in His promise of the seed of the woman that would bruise the head of the serpent. New Testament saints look back on the fulfillment of that promise. We can have eternal life if we believe in God’s promise.
In our text verses for today we read some bad news regarding Noah. Noah had been well taught prior to the flood. He had obeyed God’s instructions to him in the building of the ark. He had witnessed God’s provision for him throughout the entire time he and his family and all the creatures were in the ark. He had seen God’s provision for him when the ark rested again and when Noah and all those in the ark were released.
Noah began to be an husbandman. He had the knowledge to know how to plant a vineyard. God equips man to know how to live successfully on this earth. Those who walk in the fear of God learn important facts that the lost do not learn unless they copy those who have chosen the truth.
God gives man a basic understanding of how to think rationally. The corruption of sin interferes with that ability in many ways.
We read in verse 21 that Noah knew how to process the grapes from his vineyard. He knew how to crush those grapes into grape juice. There is debate on whether Noah knew he was causing the grape juice to become alcoholic. God gave Noah intelligence. Noah could understand detailed instructions with regard to building the ark. This was no small feat. My personal belief is that Noah understood enough about grape juice and how to manipulate it to turn it into alcoholic wine. I believe that Noah chose to go further than God wanted him to go and he chose to corrupt the good and make something evil from it. He chose to make wine from the grape juice.
We have mentioned before that the word wine in the Bible is a generic word. It can mean grape juice or it can mean alcoholic wine. We know that the squeezing of grapes produces grape juice. It does not produce alcoholic wine. Man needs to manipulate the juice in order for it to become alcoholic wine. Noah may have witnessed this prior to the flood. We do not know. We know that wickedness abounded on earth prior to the flood. Noah had chosen not to follow the wickedness prior to the flood. Now, after the flood, he chose to sin against God.
We read in verse 21 that Noah became drunk. This is the first mention of the sin of drunkenness. We know this is sin as we continue to study the Bible. The first time we read of alcoholic wine in the Bible we see its destructive nature. In Noah’s drunken state he responded to the heat of his body in a manner that caused a problem for others. He was uncovered in his tent. Verse 22 tells us he was naked.
We are not given all the details of this account. We are given enough to know that this action by Noah was a stumblingblock for his son and his grandson. We read that Ham told his two brothers what he had seen. From the context we know that this was more than just a casual observation of something.
In verse 23 we read that Shem and Japheth chose not to entertain the sin of their brother and they took a garment and laid it on their shoulders and went backwards into their father’s tent and covered his nakedness. They did not see Noah’s nakedness. They did not need to see it to cover him. They knew enough that children should not see the nakedness of their parents. From the context of this passage we understand that what Ham and Canaan did when they saw the nakedness of their father, is that they defiled him with their actions.
Noah was wrong in getting drunk. Ham and Canaan were wrong in their response to seeing their father drunk and naked.
In verse 24 we read that Noah knew what his younger son had done to him. There was evidence there. In verse 25 Noah cursed Canaan for this sin. Obviously Canaan was involved in this sin. God never judges a person for another person’s sin. The result of this sin would follow Canaan for generations to come. Noah’s curse had prophetic implications to it. Rather than becoming a leader in society, he and his descendants would be servants.
Shem and Japheth were blessed for their actions. Canaan would be a servant to his brethren. Noah failed God in this action of making alcoholic wine. However, God does not throw His child away. He may shorten the person’s life, but He does not take away their spiritual life. Noah was still a man who walked with God. He got off course for a moment and needed to get back on track.
Again, we do not have much detail given to us here, but the Bible is clear that the way to get back on track is through confession of sin and receiving God’s forgiveness. In the Old Testament God used pictures through the bringing of a sacrifice to God as a means of confession and atonement. The Old Testament does speak of forgiveness. God’s forgiveness is provided through the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Hebrews 10:4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.
Hebrews 10:11 And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins:
I John 3:5 And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.
Noah was forgiven. His forgiveness was completed when Jesus Christ shed His blood on the cross and provided that necessary shed blood. The good news is that we do not read that Noah continued to make alcoholic wine and get drunk. It seems he learned an important lesson here. Drunkenness is addressed elsewhere in the Bible. We have looked at that before.
Genesis 9 concludes with the death of Noah. He lived another three hundred and fifty years after the flood. His children had further opportunity to have a patriarch who was alive prior to the flood and who could give Godly wisdom and counsel to his children and his grandchildren. Noah lived a total of nine hundred and fifty years.
We can see here that God’s people can and will sin. Their sin is just as wicked as that of the ungodly. Its affects are worse in that they seek to defile God’s holiness by suggesting that God accepts sin. Noah’s wrong choice affected his family. The good news is that Noah’s sin did not need to sideline him. If he would have justified his sin, that would be a different story. Noah understood what he had done was wrong and he addressed the negative effects of that sin with his children. Christians cannot live carelessly. We must pursue the holiness that God demands of us.