Poor Canaan. Cursed from the get-go. Not all is lost, however. God promises never to destroy the earth again by flood and introduces the rainbow as a symbol that he will keep his promise. Why don’t we close deals with rainbows? That would be way more fun than a signature and a handshake.
Chapter 9 is remembered mostly for the rainbow, but it’s got so many other goodies in it as well. For one, the first “commandments” are given. Though it doesn’t mention sacrifice in this chapter, Chapter 7 (v8) and Chapter 8 (v20) both mention the ritual of sacrifice, so we know this was set up already. Chapter 9 moves into foods that can be eaten (a throwback to Adam and Eve, maybe, when those rules were established) and murder. Even animals are held accountable! What was different about animals back then? The point is, though, that God was establishing rules already. It’s a natural progression, isn’t it? Not to go all philosophical on you or anything, but this is precisely why a utopian – or lawless – society never works. Humans are created in God’s image, and if God has a natural tendency to lay down the law for the greater good, then we will too. Some of us do it better than others, and it’s awesome when natural-born leaders realize their giftings and step up to the plate. If we follow God’s examples of leading through love (He set these rules up to protect the people he loved), we can’t go wrong. That’s not to say that others will just fall in line and go with it. God’s people certainly didn’t! But it will give us an inner peace and confidence that we are doing the right thing the right way. If we don’t have that inner peace, we should pray about what we need to change to get it.
And let’s talk about Noah getting drunk and naked for a minute. Hello. Why did poor Ham get cursed? Probably because he didn’t cover up his father immediately and let others know what had happened. Had he just gone in and thrown a robe over Noah and kept it to himself, none would have been the wiser. Think of the “what if” to this story! It could go two ways: Ham could have kept it to himself, and maybe Noah never would have known what happened. Or Noah could have awakened and learned that Ham discretely covered him and kept his secret. Wow. Either scenario puts Ham in a way different light, huh? Maybe that is God’s way of letting us know that Ham would not have been the greatest leader.
Writing prompt: keeping a secret
One of a journalist’s greatest responsibilities is protecting their sources. I’ve still got a couple in my memory banks that I have never revealed. I’m not saying I’m better than Ham, by no means. I’ve let the cat out of the bag more than once and lived to regret it. I guess you could say I learned my lesson so well, though, that the few secrets I still hold in my heart will remain there for infinity, unless I’m given explicit permission to share. I wonder if Ham learned deeply from his lesson, too? Have you ever been trusted with a secret and totally blown it? Write about what you learned from that experience.