Noah’s Progeny

Japheth
Of the sons mentioned, only Gomer and Javan are expanded on. Gomer’s and Javan’s sons are listed, and Javan’s sons are mentioned as being seafaring people.

Ham
We already know that Ham’s son Canaan is the ancestor of the Canaanites from Genesis 9. The specific Canaanite clans are listed out in Genesis 10. Ham’s son, Mizraim, is the ancestor of the Caphtorites, which is the ancestral clan of the Philistines. Cush is the ancestor of Nimrod – a mighty warrior who established the beginnings of Babylon and Assyria including Babel.

Tower of Babel
This short story is about mankind working together to build a monument to their own arrogance, and God stepping in to teach them that God is greater. Without the ability to communicate with each other, construction of the tower of Babel ceased, and the people scattered. This scattering was God’s plan from the beginning when “God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.'” Genesis 9:1

Shem
Shem’s son, Arphaxad, is the most significant since his line flows down to Abram & Sarai. Stay with me here… Arphaxad had Shelah, who had Eber, who had Peleg, who had Reu, then Serug, then Nahor and finally Terah. Terah’s sons, Nahor, Abram and Haran, kick off the next significant sections of Genesis. Lot (whose wife later turns to a pillar of salt) is the son of Haran. Haran’s daughter, Milcah, married Haran’s brother, Nahor. This tells me that this family unit was very close. Abram married Sarai, who could not have children. Terah took Lot, Abram and Sarai away from the land of Ur (and their families) and headed towards Canaan. For some reason, they settled short of that goal and lived in Haran where Terah eventually died.

Life-Spans Shortening
In Genesis 6:3, “the Lord said, ‘My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh: his days shall be 120 years.'” After the days of Noah, the life-spans did start shortening significantly. At the beginning of Noah’s progeny, Shem’s life-span was 600 years. Terah lived only 205 years. Later we learn that Abram/Abraham dies at 175 (Genesis 25:7), and Sarai/Sarah died at 127 years (Genesis 23:1).

God always does what He says He will do!

Prayer
Dear Promise Keeper, Sovereign Lord, and Mighty King; thank you for the rich history within the pages of the Bible. Thank you for showing us real people in a real time trying to live after you, our real and living God. Lord, I ask that you continue to help me to not glance over the boring bits and learn a little something from every bit. Amen.

After the Flood

In Genesis 8, the flood waters recede. There’s a complicated process Noah utilizes to determine if the dry land has appeared. I don’t really get the reasoning behind this process. Eventually, God tells Noah it’s time to leave the Ark. The important part of chapter 8 is the promise God makes to Noah (and mankind).

God promises to never flood the whole Earth again (v21-22). I find it interesting that God adds “while the earth remains” into this promise. It reminds us that even the earth is temporary! We can see this idea better in Luke 21:33; “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.”

In chapter 9, Noah receives blessings and instructions from God. God also provides a sign of his promise to never flood the earth again.

Sidebar:
The ESV says “bow” in the clouds. I’ve always read “rainbow” in the NIV version. I did some research on this, and found that Ezekiel 1:28 makes a similar reference to “the bow that is in the cloud on the day of rain” or we can say “rainbow.” The Hebrew qesheth is used in both verses for “bow” or “my bow.” (Interestingly, this same word is used to describe a weapon – think bow and arrow – in Zechariah 9:13.)

Now, we are introduced to the sons of Noah. Ham brought a curse upon his descendants, the Canaanites, by his sinful actions (9:22). He sinned against Noah in two ways: Ham dishonored his father, and he gossiped about Noah’s shameful moment of weakness. I almost think there was a bit of pride there too. Didn’t Ham realize it could have been him? The flesh is weak! (Matthew 26:41) Additionally, we all fall short of God’s standards. (Romans 3:23)

There’s one lingering question to this story: Why were the Canaanites cursed for Ham’s sin? I don’t really know. I did find an interesting blog entry that helped, though. The curse is more of a prophecy than an actual curse, and anything Moses did say to Ham (“Why you little –!”) wasn’t recorded because it wasn’t relevant to the story that God needed outlining for His people.

Finally and perhaps oddly, I like the fact that even the great Noah, who “walked with God,” wasn’t perfect.  Ephesians 5:18 states that we better “not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit.” Yet, Noah fell into this sin passed out and naked. Nobody is perfect, save Jesus!

Prayer
Thank you, Lord, for your promises. You are my God, Sovereign and in control of every single detail! I trust in you, Lord. Thank you for leading me on this journey through your everlasting Word. I pray that the many questions I have will be answered — even if the answer is merely another question! I pray to never grow tired of searching and praying over your God-breathed messages to me.
Lord forgive me when I am weak. I’m a rotten sinner who falls regularly. If it is Your will, please provide more Shem and Japheth type people in my life than Ham-types… encouragers rather than destroyers. I love you, Lord. Amen.

Noah – The Flood

Genesis 6-7

The beginning of chapter 6 tells of “sons of God” marrying “daughters of man” and from what I can tell, there’s a lot of debate on just what these phrases actually mean. I found a great FAQ reading from the Blue Letter Bible that briefly outlines the different views. I don’t know which interpretation is right, but I do know that this bit of information is not a salvation issue. So, I move on.

The corruption increased throughout the Earth beyond God’s tolerable limits. Early man lived for hundreds of years, but God determined that it was time to shorten that timeline to 120 years. I don’t see this as a maximum age, but more of a reference. If you live to be 900, 120 is young! Today, you are very old if you are 100 years old, and you are expected to experience your natural death soon.

Shortening the life-span wasn’t enough, though. That’s where the flood came in. The flood cleansed the earth of both people and creatures (the giants/Nephilim) whose purpose on this earth was finished.

Genesis 6:6 states that “the Lord was sorry that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart.” (ESV) This expression is worded to impact us on just how bad the situation was. Did God regret creating man? I don’t think so.

God is omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, and ultimately sovereign. God knows everything. God is everywhere at all times at the same time. God is in control and has more power than can be imagined. My brain wants to explode thinking about these awesome qualities of God.

However, there is one more quality that must be mentioned! It is the quality of God that I rest on. Our God is a personal God. He is a God that desires and longs for a relationship with you. He speaks to us personally through the Word, and He is grieved by our disobedience and dishonoring of Him. Genesis 6:6 is a human expression to describe the indescribable. God knew all of this would happen, but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t pained to see it through.

God’s plan included Noah, who walked with God. This walk is of faith, trust, and obedience. Noah built the ark and filled it exactly as God commanded and enabled. The floods came exactly as God said they would. God always does what He says he will do!

Prayer

Dear Lord, thank you for such an interesting story to read and explore. Lord help me where I don’t understand, and help me accept that I won’t understand the unknowable. Thank you, Lord, for being ultimately dependable – even when the reality of what is needed is a bit ugly. You are my God, and I pray to walk with You in faith, trust, and obedience. In Jesus’ mighty and holy name, Amen.