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8. Four Key Factors Following the Flood

June 23, 2009

Text:   Genesis 9:18-11:32

Key Verses: Genesis 9:24-26

Outline:        I. A Curse      Gen. 9:18-29

II. A Filling      Gen. 10:1-32

III. A Scattering         Gen. 11:1-9

IV. A Blessing         Gen. 11:10-32

Context/Discussion/Comments:

This section of scripture is not in chronological order but tells of events that happened after The Flood until the time of Abram. The story of Noah’s nakedness came first and the curse upon Canaan followed. Then the earth began to be repopulated and the language confused. The repopulation continued as per Chapter 10 and finally the generations of Seth are given to show that Abram actually was a descendant of Seth, Noah’s son. The Outline tells of segments or factors that took place that were important to understanding future generations of peoples.

Noah has three sons, Ham Shem, and Japheth. Ham has a son named Canaan. These three sons were designated to repopulate the earth after the flood. Noah becomes drunk with wine and lays in his tent naked. Ham sees his father and tells everybody else [women and children]. In fact many may have even seen Noah because their tents tended to offer protection but not privacy. Instead of doing what he could to defuse the situation, Ham escalates the problem. Finally Shem and Japheth step in to correct it. When Noah finds out about the situation, he pronounces a curse on Canaan and blesses Shem and Japheth. Why didn’t Noah curse Ham? Perhaps this cursing and blessing came after Ham had died and Canaan was broadcasting the incident to all his relatives. We only know the lifespan of Shem, not Ham or Japheth.

The next section tells about the sons and grandsons descended from Noah’s three sons and where they eventually settled. Each of Noah’s sons had a notable person[s] within their lineage. Some of Japheth’s clans became excellent seaman and settled along the Mediterranean coast. Most of them settled north and west [some also went north and east] of where Canaan settled. Ham’s clans were located south of Canaan but some went east into Persia. Nimrod was a notable descendent, a great hunter and builder of cities. It is a strong possibility that he was the instigator in building the Tower of Babel [Babylon] discussed in Chapter 11. That action of building the tower and the reaction by God to confound their languages caused the scattering told in Chapter 10. Shem’s clans located generally north and east of Canaan. Shem had a descendent named Eber who lived when the land masses were being rearranged. So evidently after The Flood, seas and land were shifting positions. You don’t need much of an imagination when looking at a globe to see how this may have happened.

The incident at the Tower of Babel is telling. They wanted a tower to heaven. They wanted to study the stars. They probably wanted to worship the stars. Babylon was eventually renown for their knowledge and their astrology. They were replacing the Creator with their own knowledge. So God scattered the people by confounding their language and so not all would come under the influence of strange gods.

Shem was one of the sons blessed by Noah after his drunkenness. And blessed he was. We are given 10 generations from Shem to Abram, the man God chose to be the father of His People, Israel. Seth, Adam’s son, was also 10 generations removed from Noah. Note also how the age when they conceived and when they died is being shortened compared to those that lived before the flood. There is speculation that the earth’s axis shifted and that the earth’s atmosphere changed to allow move UV rays to enter. There seems to be a natural decline and not a stepped decline in lifespan.

Therefore, from The Flood to Abram we can account for approximately 400 years.

Lessons/Applications:

1. Blessings come to those who follow God and curses are given to those who “do their own thing”.

2. Personal embarrassment usually comes when one is not thinking clearly or soberly.

3. Never take advantage of someone else’s failure.

4. God gifts us with various abilities. Identify and encourage those within your family along with those given to you. Use them for God’s glory and not for your own advancement.

5. God is patient but He will intervene if we are off course according to His Will.

6. Note the forthcoming curse of Canaan and the blessing of Shem. Shem brings forth Abram, the father of God’s chosen people. Ham brings forth Canaan, a people given over to idolatry. The children of Shem and Abram are blessed with The Promised Land. Canaan is eventually driven out of The Promised Land. Whom you serve as Lord determines your residence now and in the future.

Serve the Lord Jesus Christ and enter into His Heavenly Promised Land forever.

Live with confidence that God is Sovereign over His Plan.

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