LESSON 08 – Noah’s Sin & The Sin of Ham – Genesis 9:19-10:32

  1. Discussion– IMPORTANT FYI – Those of you with younger children can, if you wish, skip the story of Noah’s drunkenness. However, this is a good story about the importance of respecting parents. Review it before deciding to cover the story or not.
    • Read 9:18-28. What job did Noah have after the Flood? (farmer – he planted a vineyard) What sin did Noah commit? (he got drunk and as a result of his drunkenness was naked in his tent) What sin did Ham commit? (He saw his father naked and then went and told his brothers) How did Shem and Japheth respond to this information? (They went in backwards  – so they wouldn’t see their father – with a garment and covered him up) Why is what Ham did so wrong? (At the very least it was improper for him to see his father naked and then to tell his brothers was to mock his father.) Noah then curses the son of Ham, Canaan, and tells him that his children would be slaves to the other brothers (vs24). Did this ever come true? (Yes. This prophecy was fulfilled in Joshua when Shem’s sons, the Hebrews, conquered the land of Canaan. This is not a curse on all of Ham’s descendants and hence a curse on the black race as some have mistakenly believed.) Verse 26 is a reference to the favor God shows on the line of Shem, because from him will come the Messiah, Jesus Christ. Japheth is blessed also. Japheth’s prophecy is that he would dwell in the tent of Shem. This was fulfilled in the Gospel being delivered to the Gentiles through the apostle Paul.
    • Chapter 10 – You don’t have to read this chapter together. You can point out that this in another geneology and that this one lists the families of Shem, Ham and Japheth.  We will look at Nimrod, mentioned in 10:8-9 in tomorrow’s lesson.  For a list of what nations came from which son see Genesis: Finding Our Roots pages 80-82.
  2. Application– Up to this point we have heard nothing but good about Noah. He was faithful, obedient and walked with God. Unfortunately, this story deals with a choice he made that had consequences for him and for his family.  Is it wrong to drink wine? Was that the sin Noah committed? (The sin Noah committed was drunkenness.) See Rom. 13:13, I Peter 4:3, Gal. 5:21, Eph. 5:18. Also, I Tim. 5:23. Noah had gone back to his old job, which was being a farmer. Some people try to vindicate Noah by saying that grapes did not ferment before the Flood, so he didn’t realize one could get drunk. However, there is no Biblical or scientific evidence to back up that hypothesis.  Ham’s response to the sin of Noah made matters worse.  Why is mocking your father such a serious thing – even today? See Eph. 6:1-3. The word “honor” in 6:2 is from the Greek word, timios, which means “as of great price, precious, esteemed, especially dear.” How did Shem and Japheth show their understanding of the word honor in their actions? (They tried to protect their father and they covered him up.) It is interesting to note that in this example of honor to parents the parent was in error. We aren’t just to honor our parents when they are good examples and doing right, but even when they are in sin, we are to treat them respectfully.  How are you doing in seeing your parents as “of great price” or “especially dear”? Have you ever made fun of your parents either behind their backs or in front of them? How does God see this – is it a joke to Him? How can you show honor to your parents this week? What changes need to be made in your actions and attitudes towards them? NOTE: Parents, this is great opportunity to talk to your older child about what respect looks like and talk about some of the problems you may be having at home when you aren’t in the “heat of the moment”.
  3. Digging Deeper
    1. Tell about how your struggle with honoring your parents. What lessons have you learned? How has this story in Gen. 9 helped you understand the importance of honoring them? How do you want to grow in this area this week?
    2. Draw a detailed map of the world showing the migration of the children of Shem, Ham and Japheth. Color code the map and write in what nations came from which son. Your map should include a legend. Genesis: Finding our Roots and Streams, Book One are good resources for this project.