The darkness of what sin has done and the light of what God will do

The darkness of what sin has done and the light of what God will do

Genesis 9:18 – 10:32

Dark: What sin has done.

Light: What God will do.

Darkness: What sin has done.

Exposition: What do we see? What does it mean?

9:20-21 – Noah, made right by faith still wrestles with the curse of sin.

  1. There is only 1 hero in Scripture, and it’s the Lord himself.
  2. We don’t hold up the character of the bible as heroes or ethical examples.


  1. Even the most holy and most powerfully used by God among us wrestle with sin and will fail.
  2. We must lean on the good news that God didn’t save Noah or us by our good works in the first place.

9:22-23a, 24 – Ham sins by publicly and shamefully dishonoring his father.

This public shaming is indicated in 23a when the two other brothers take “the” garment and cover up their dad. This was Noah’s garment that Ham has brought out to put on display. No English translation does this justice. They all translate the definite article as an indefinite article.

Three options:

  • Ham was reveling in his Father’s drunken and uncovered state.
  • Ham did something sexual to his father.

(NOTE: A similar thing happened to Lot with the actions of his daughters in Genesis 19:30-38)

B1. Language of seeing one’s nakedness indicates unmentionable things (see

Leviticus 18; 20:17).

  • Ham did something sexual with Noah’s wife (his mother).

The text is not super clear except that verse 24 indicates Noah is aware that something is not right, and that indicates that its beyond simply being drunk and naked.

This article was helpful by Dr. Rabbi David Frankel:


  1. Honor Father and Mother

Why? God is the reason behind Exodus 20:12 (ESV) Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.


Ephesians 6:1-3 (ESV) Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), 3 “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.”


  1. 9:23b Strive to be like Shem and Japheth who cover over our parent’s little failings.


  • 9:25 – Ham’s sin has far reaching consequences…Canaan will suffer from his father’s sin.

Why Canaan? Noah, prophetically, detected in Canaan what he had seen in his father. He was already walking in his dad’s footsteps.

Exodus 20:5-6 (ESV) You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.


  • Noah prophetically sees his people’s future nemeses in Ham and his son’s sin.

Genesis 10:6-20…Babel…Sodom…Gomorrah…

Leviticus 18 describes the Canaanite’s awful practices…uses the word “nakedness” 24 times.


  1. Kill sin! Sin never works out for our good. Sin will wreck an entire family line.

Romans 8:12-13 (ESV) 12 So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

  1. Sin does in fact affect our children either genetically or habitually. So, seek repentance not a way to hide, cover and continue sin. Our children will reap what we sow.
  2. Sin doesn’t have any brakes. Sin will continue to produce more sin and lead to further rebellion 10:6-20

Egypt (Shem’s descendants will be enslaved in Egypt), Canaan (Shem’s descendants will have to fight Canaanites), Babel (Ham’s descendants will carry on the rebellion at Babel), Sodom and Gomorrah (Lot will be harassed in these awful places).

Light: What God will do

9:26 – The Lord exalts himself through Shem

  • The language subordinates Shem to the LORD, thus exalting the LORD as Shem’s

God with whom he was in covenant and walking in relationship with.

  • Shem’s blessing was not in “being blessed” rather than “cursed” but was in being the

LORD’s object of affection and mercy.

  • God unites his name with Shem, and thus God’s reputation rides on how he deals with

Shem and how Shem honors the LORD.

  • God’s worship is the great end in his blessing and advancing any redeemed human.


  1. If we are in Christ, there is no further “blessing” needed. We have the riches of heaven!

Ephesians 2:7 “…the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”

Ephesians 3:8 “…to preach to the Gentiles (Ham’s folks) the unsearchable riches of Christ.”

Philippians 4:19 “…God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”

Colossians 1:27 “…the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”

Colossians 2:2 “…to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery which is Christ,”

  1. If we are in Christ, we carry his name and reputation.
  2. We are called in Christ to be worshipers who give God glory!


9:27 – The Lord blesses Japheth by including him in Shem (this is where we see a gospel work) and his descendants will come to the LORD (See Isaiah 66:19-20)

  • Japheth gets to be included in the blessing of Shem…that is he gets to be included in

knowing the LORD and finding his blessing in the LORD like Shem AND through

Shem. Shem is a vehicle for Japheth and the nations knowing the LORD (Isaiah 19:23-25

even looks forward to some of Ham’s family coming to faith.

  • Shem does not save, but Shem’s ambassador role is real, and it points us to our

ambassador role in taking the gospel to others that they may be saved and included in our blessing in Christ.


  1. We get to be ambassadors for those outside the faith coming into the faith because we carry the good news.

Romans 10:13-15 (ESV) For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”




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