Today, let’s see how Noah and Ham awakened to sin. Before we start, let’s pause and ask God to awaken us to our own sins. Ask Him to identify any strongholds and particular areas of sin weakness that you are not aware of; if anything comes to mind, jot it down. As the week goes on, ask Him to show you how to remove that sin from your life.
A Deeper Look
Noah’s Sin: Drunk on wine
Now that we’ve glanced at Genesis 3, we need to look back at Noah. In verse 9:21, Noah drank some wine and become drunk. At this point in time, Noah and his sons and all the wives were the only ones left alive on the earth. It is interesting to note that although Noah was found to be the only righteous man before the flood, he quickly fell into sin before he and his family had repopulated the earth. Even in his righteousness, he was not adequate to prevent sinfulness, as evidenced in his drunken state. Although he may not have known that too much wine would lead to drunkenness, it was still sinful for him to be drunk. Ephesians 5:18 says, “Do not get drunk on wine which leads to debauchery. Instead be filled with the Spirit.” Because our eyes had been opened to right and wrong, surely Noah knew once he became drunk that it was indeed wrong.
Noah, although righteous, on his own, was inadequate to create righteousness amongst the human race. Somehow after Adam and Eve’s initial sin, it was now in our nature to sin – it was in our DNA. We as people are prone to sin and there is nothing we can do about it ourselves. As hard as we try, we will still mess up one way or another – by drinking too much of the wrong thing or looking at a nude body, we are going to sin.
Ham’s Sin: Uncovering and Gossiping
As a result of his impaired state, Noah took his clothes off for bedtime and forgot to put pajamas on or a blanket for that matter. Ham went into the tent and saw his father’s naked state. Many have speculated that Ham did something other than just see his father and that was the sin. But the bible says nothing other than that Ham saw his father naked, and nothing in the original language conveys otherwise. So Ham walked in on his father’s vulnerable state. I’m not convinced that this act in and of itself was sinful, but because bodies were not exposed to others sight at all during that time period, seeing Noah naked may have been considered sinful. Perhaps there is something about seeing someone in their nude state, about coming to know them in that way, that is indeed wrong unless the person has given permission to know him or her in that way.
I would like to suggest that seeing this and NOT covering him up was sinful. Further still, he told his brothers what he had seen. While he may have stumbled into sin as did Noah, he unmercifully chose to tell his brothers about his father’s sin and nakedness, which was further sin. Ham saw his father’s vulnerability and instead of acting in a loving manner as God did in the Garden, he further exposed his nudity to his brothers perhaps to achieve power over his father. When Noah chose to talk about his father’s naked state, he chose to gossip or talk about his father’s sin, rather than choose to ignore it or cover him up, or better yet have a discussion with his dad.
A Heart to Heart with God
Ask God to show you areas in which you unknowingly sin. Be still and listen and write down what you hear. Ask Him if you’ve unknowingly exposed another’s sin. Then confess the sins you are aware of before Him and ask Him to cover you with forgiveness and grace. This is already yours for the receiving, but perhaps you live in a state of guilt. Ask Him to show you the freedom you already have.