Nake Noah, 15 January 2017

Naked Noah
Series: Ideal Family
Genesis 9:20-25

Series Big Idea:
All families are messed up, including biblical families.

Big Idea: Even the best parents are human and make mistakes.

Today we’re continuing our new series entitled, “Ideal Family.” Whether you like it or not, you’re part of a family; at least one. Ever since God said it was not good for man to be alone, humans have lived with others…for better or worse. I have yet to meet someone who didn’t have a biological father and a biological mother. Most people have siblings. Aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents are a vital part of life for many of us. Family is God’s design. It was His idea.

There are two unfortunate things I’ve discovered about families. First, they are all messed up! That’s ultimately the result of sin, our disobedience toward God. Ever since Adam and Eve ate of the fruit in the Garden of Eden, we have struggled to get along. Pride divides. Greed corrupts. Selfishness hoards. Anger disturbs. Hatred destroys. Misunderstanding confuses.

The second unfortunate thing about families is the mistaken belief everyone else’s family is okay. Listen to me carefully…all families are messed up! This includes biblical families. This even includes Jesus’ family! We all need help…so let’s pray!

Last week we began our series with a look at the First Family, Adam and Eve and their sons Cain and Abel. Today we’re looking at one of the greatest heroes of the Bible, Noah. You know Noah, the guy with the ark and the animals. Many people think his wife’s name was Joan (of Ark)! Let’s take a look at Noah’s highlight reel. If you turn to Genesis 5, he is mentioned for the first time in verse 29.

When Lamech had lived 182 years, he had a son. He named him Noah  and said, “He will comfort us in the labor and painful toil of our hands caused by the ground the LORD has cursed.” After Noah was born, Lamech lived 595 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Lamech lived a total of 777 years, and then he died. (Genesis 5:28-31)

Noah’s dad was 182 years old when he was born! Wow! You thought Abraham was old at 100. But Lamech was just a kid compared to Noah the dad!

After Noah was 500 years old, he became the father of Shem, Ham and Japheth. (Genesis 5:32)

Let’s take a moment for reflection. Imagine Noah coming to First Alliance Church to dedicate his newborn son and happens to mention he was born in 1517! Sure, people lived longer back then, but 500 years? And that’s when he became a dad!

When human beings began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of humans were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose. Then the LORD said, “My Spirit will not contend with humans forever, for they are mortal; their days will be a hundred and twenty years.” (Genesis 6:1-3)

That settles the old-man issue!

A few verses later it says

The LORD regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled. So the LORD said, “I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created—and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground—for I regret that I have made them.” (Genesis 6:6-7)

Let that sink in for a minute. God regretted making humans. No wonder He sent a flood.

But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD. (Genesis 6:8)

The sentiment is repeated in the next verse…

Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God. (Genesis 6:9b)

So God tells Noah to build an ark (6:14) because, as He said

I am going to bring floodwaters on the earth to destroy all life under the heavens, every creature that has the breath of life in it. Everything on earth will perish. (Genesis 6:17)

Of course God had Noah and his family enter the ark along with pairs of animals, and…

Noah did everything just as God commanded him. (Genesis 6:22)

God gave Noah further instructions…

And Noah did all that the LORD commanded him. (Genesis 7:5)

And if you’re keeping score…

Noah was six hundred years old when the floodwaters came on the earth. (Genesis 7:6)

There are so many details to these Bible stories we simply miss in Sunday School flannel board presentations!

So we have the flood.

The waters flooded the earth for a hundred and fifty days. (Genesis 7:24)

But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark, and he sent a wind over the earth, and the waters receded. (Genesis 8:1)

Later it says,

By the first day of the first month of Noah’s six hundred and first year, the water had dried up from the earth. Noah then removed the covering from the ark and saw that the surface of the ground was dry. By the twenty-seventh day of the second month the earth was completely dry.

Then God said to Noah, “Come out of the ark, you and your wife and your sons and their wives. (Genesis 8:13-16)

God loved Noah and his family. He was a righteous man. He obeyed God. His obedience essentially saved living creatures from extinction.

And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.” (Genesis 9:12-16)

So God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant I have established between me and all life on the earth.” (Genesis 9:17)

The writer of Genesis mentions again Noah’s three sons and then tell us

Noah, a man of the soil, proceeded to plant a vineyard. (Genesis 9:20)

Great. Who doesn’t love grapes? Grape juice. Raisins! Noah’s dad was a farmer so planting made complete sense. But…

When he drank some of its wine, he became drunk and lay uncovered inside his tent. (Genesis 9:21)

Wait a minute! What is happening? Noah is drunk and naked?! The two often go together, by the way! The Japanese have a proverb which says: “First the man takes a drink, then the drink takes a drink, and then the drink takes the man.” Fortunately, he’s inside his tent where nobody can see him. But this is Noah! Righteous Noah!

God created a garden, Adam and Eve at forbidden fruit, and found themselves naked.

Noah planted a garden, ate—or drank—too much fruit, and ended up naked.

In both cases their sin was shown in their nakedness. They disobeyed God. Sins are felt by the following generations.

Did we need to include this in the Bible? Can’t we just call Noah a superhero and stop after the rainbow? Actually, no! First, we are all descendants of Noah and his sons. Second, we get to see how even the most righteous people in the Bible were not perfect. We all sin and fall short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23). We’ll see this throughout this series.

We also see how sin affects others…families.

Ham, the father of Canaan, saw his father naked and told his two brothers outside. (Genesis 9:22)

Was that necessary? Why did Ham enter the tent in the first place? Seeing your dad naked is…well, it’s never good! He could’ve covered his dad and left quietly, but he tells his brothers. He disrespected his father, leaving Shem and Japheth to intervene.

But Shem and Japheth took a garment and laid it across their shoulders; then they walked in backward and covered their father’s naked body. Their faces were turned the other way so that they would not see their father naked. (Genesis 9:23)

Love is looking out for the best interest of another person. It doesn’t condone sin. It doesn’t cleanse sin (only Jesus’ blood can do that). But love does cover sin (1 Peter 4:8). Did you see what I did there?!

The relationship between a father and son is special. The video earlier showed an “ideal” relationship and then a real one. That’s not to say we should be flippant about things such as borrowing/loaning money from relatives, but sometimes relationships can be complicated. Nevertheless, we are to honor our parents. This is one of God’s Top Ten (Exodus 20:12). Honor your father and your mother. Shem and Japheth honored their dad. Ham did not.

So Noah gets drunk and naked, his youngest son, Ham, saw him naked, his brothers to cover him, and…

When Noah awoke from his wine and found out what his youngest son had done to him, he said, 

“Cursed be Canaan! The lowest of slaves will he be to his brothers.” (
Genesis 9:24-25)

This passage has been wrongfully used to support racial prejudice and even slavery. Ham saw his dad and his son Canaan gets the curse? Actually, this is best understood as a prophecy describing what will happen to Ham’s descendants, not necessarily a curse from Noah to his grandson. Later in Jewish law children could not be punished for the sins of their fathers (Deut. 24:16; Jer. 31:29-30; Ezek. 18:1-4). What we do know is the Canaanites were conquered by the Israelites (Genesis 14:8-12; Exodus 3:8; Numbers 13:29; Joshua 3:10).

He also said, 
“Praise be to the LORD, the God of Shem!
May Canaan be the slave of Shem.
May God extend Japheth’s territory;
may Japheth live in the tents of Shem,
and may Canaan be the slave of Japheth.” (Genesis 9:26-27)

The chapter ends by telling us

After the flood Noah lived 350 years. Noah lived a total of 950 years, and then he died. (Genesis 9:28-29)

What a life! What an ending!

So What?

I realize this is an odd passage. The point is…don’t plant a vineyard! Actually, that’s not the point, though alcohol can lead to a host of problems.

Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, (Ephesians 5:18)

Genesis 19 tells an even more bizarre story where two girls got their dad drunk and slept with him in hopes of getting pregnant! Ewww!

I think one takeaway from today’s text is even the best parents are human and make mistakes. Noah made the faith hall of fame.

By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith. (Hebrews 11:7)

Noah was a righteous man, but his story didn’t exactly end on a high note.

How will your story end? Your past righteousness is valuable, but today is the first day of the rest of your life. How will you live it? Every day we hear stories of people behaving badly. But by the grace of God so go I. We’re all susceptible to sin, as we saw last week, especially when we are
HALT: hungry, angry, lonely, tired. I pray you will honor your parents and/or be honored by your children. If you drink, I hope you are of age and do so responsibly. Consuming alcohol is not forbidden in the Bible, but drunkenness is clearly a sin…and can lead to other sins. I hope and your pray your most righteous days are ahead.


Some ideas from Be Basic by Warren Wiersbe.

  • You can listen to this message and others at the First Alliance Church podcast here.
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