Ever been reading along in the Bible, only to get hung up in the begats.
You know, like......and Seth begat Enos,
and Enos begat Cainan,
and Cainan begat Mahalaleel,
and Mahalaleel begat Jared...
and so on, and so on...
And often times, they seem too tedious to read.
So we skip them.
But today, is one of those days,
where the lesson actually comes from the lineage.
Now I'm thinking that most of us know about Noah and how God told him to build an ark. So I won't go into the details of that mighty flood which destroyed everyone and everything on the earth. Because It's what happened afterward that I'm interested in sharing with you. It's in the descendants of Noah that we are going to peek into... his begats.
Now the sons of Noah who went out of the ark were Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
And Ham was the father of Canaan. These three were the sons of Noah, and from these the whole earth was populated.
Noah began to be a farmer, and he planted a vineyard. Then he drank of the wine and was drunk, and became uncovered in his tent. And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brothers outside. But Shem and Japheth took a garment, laid it on both their shoulders, and went backward and covered the nakedness of their father. Their faces were turned away, and they did not see their father’s nakedness.
So Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done to him.
Genesis 9:18-24 (NKJV)
After realizing his sons' actions, Noah sets about with blessings and curses. For Ham's actions would be considered to be a disgrace; a dishonor toward his father, Noah. Ham exposed his father's nakedness... as if telling his secrets, his sins, his faults to others. In this day, an undutiful child that mocks his parent is no more worthy to be called a son, but deserves to be made as a hired servant... even worse... as a servant of servants. Therefore, Ham is cursed by Noah.
But as for Shem and Japheth, they are blessed. Even more so, Noah is blessing God... thanking and honoring God for giving him these respectful sons. Their blessings are for many generations of prosperity and fruitfulness, because they chose to show honor toward their father and cover him without so much as a glance. They wanted to make certain that no one else saw him in this naked and exposed state. Shem and Japheth were faithful sons.
And as we continue reading lineage of the sons is written. Here come the begats! But remember... these three were the sons of Noah, and from these the whole earth was populated.
From the lineage of Shem, came the Jews,
and from Japheth, came the Gentiles.
The Jews were God's chosen people. These are the Israelites... the lineage of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. This is where we find the 12 tribes of Israel... remember those people wandering in the wilderness for 40 years? And later comes King David and eventually our Savior Jesus.
And the Gentiles are those not Jewish... well like me, and probably you... who were, by the grace of God, shared the gospel of the good news as well, because many of the Jews rejected it. Paul's letters were written to us, his mission was for us, he was an apostle appointed to share the good news with the Gentiles and unite them with the Jews.
And sandwiched in between, we find the lineage of Ham. So who do we see in this lineage of begats... remembering that these are the descendants that Noah cursed?
It reads almost like a list of those "Most Wanted," by God on the Post Office wall of Heaven. Because included here we find many of the forces that oppose the Israelites found throughout the Old Testament. (Genesis 10:6-20)
And if you are not on the side of God's people... then you are not on the side of God. The list includes:
The kingdom of Babel... proudly wanting to build a tower to heaven.
The land of Assyria... oppressing and keeping Israelites in captivity.
The City of Nineveh... full of sin, where Jonah was sent.
The infamous Philistines... remember that Giant that David slayed?
And of course the land of Sodom and Gomorrah... which speaks for itself.
Not to mention all those idol worshippers who dug in deep in the promise land of God's people like the Jebusites, the Amorites, and the Girgshaites.
And you could argue, "But these are people written in a book long ago, Lisa...
what on earth do they have to do with me?"
To which I'd reply... everything!
It's really one of the reasons to ride this wordofgodtrain.
To learn the lessons from people who lived before us, and not make the same mistakes. But rather to live the blessed lives like those who got it right.
You see, I've had a few giants in my life to slay. And I bet I'll have more. So I need to know about David and Goliath. But I don't want to be a Philistine who doesn't know God and isn't on His side.
And I've been proud, thinking I know enough to do things without God... like those in the city of Babel who tried to build their tower... until God showed me a little humility.
God's word is absolutely relevant today. And we can learn so very much from these people's real lives that were lived so long ago... about how to love, how to honor, and how to avoid the pitfalls of life. All these people groups in Ham's lineage, we will certainly encounter this year on the train.
But for today, we want to learn this lesson...
God's blessings for faithfulness are absolutely generational.
Noah was obedient and faithful to God.
And God was ready to reward him with blessings on him and his sons.
But not all of Noah's sons were faithful as well.
Shem and Japheth showed love, honor and respect... and they were blessed.
Ham dishonored, disrespected... and he and his descendants were cursed.
Word of God... train me, today...
Lord, I long to love, honor and respect you... to be faithful all of my days.
And oh how I desire for my children to be blessed as well.
Let my children reap a harvest of blessing for the seeds I have sown.
For I know that these things do not always come easily.
Fill me with Your love and remind me...
Most important of all,
continue to show deep love for each other,
for love covers a multitude of sins.
1 Peter 4:8 (NLT)
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