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February 7, 2022 7:00 am
A while back I was talking to a man about whether you could believe the Bible in its every word and he pointed out to me the passages from the Old Testament where God instructed the Israelites when they invaded the promised land under Joshua to annihilate the Canaanites men, women and children, and he said you know for me.
This command represents a gross inconsistency in the Bible. I mean how can the New Testament God of grace be the same God who ordered the Israelites to do something so me so cruel, so barbaric, he said I'm sorry but this destroys my ability to believe the entire Bible nephew Trevor share Christ with very many people. You certainly run into this objection, and so this is what we want to talk, at least in part about today. What about all of this. Does the Bible present to God's amine cruel God of the Old Testament, and a loving, merciful God of the New Testament.
I mean, is there an internal inconsistency between the Old Testament and the New Testament when it comes to what God is really like, well, as we continue in our study in the book of Genesis were to answer these questions and were also going to look at an event a bad mistake out of the life of Noah and never going to bring all of that forward and talk about well, what difference is all this made for you and me. We a lot of ground to cover for you ready go. Genesis 9 is our passage little bit of review. Remember after the flood, God starts over with eight people know is why his three sons and his three daughter-in-law's.
The Bible says Genesis 918, the sons of Noah who came out of the ark were Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
These were the three sons of Noah from the moon came the people who repopulated the earth were to pick up. In the end of chapter 9 where a number of years has now passed Noah and his family came out of the ark. You say how do you know that well because when we pick up the story. One of Noah's sons ham already has four children, the youngest of which is a fellow named Tina Neil appear here in a minute. But there's a number of years of gone by, and now Noah has grandchildren. So here we go were to begin at diverse 20 Genesis chapter 9 verse 20 then Noah began farming and planted a vineyard, and here's where the trouble begins.
Because grapes ferment fermented grapes produce wine and too much wine to get people into trouble and that's exactly what happened to Noah. Verse 20 wanted Noah drank some wine and became drunk and he fell asleep, uncovered that is naked in his tent. You say no.
I mean, the man who found favor in the eyes of God. Genesis chapter 6 the man who built the ark. The man was in the spiritual Hall of Fame of Hebrews chapter 11 that Noah yeah that Noah back friends. One of the greatest proofs that the Bible has integrity and that is trustworthy is that it presents not just the successes of its greatest heroes with brutal honesty, but it presents even their failures with brutal honesty and here we find the Bible telling us in Genesis 9 about a really sad spiritual failure in the life of one of its greatest heroes are fair and no verse 22 and ham, the father of Canaan course, the son of Noah saw the nakedness of his father and told his two brothers outside the Bible is a little foggy here in its description of exactly what took place and that's on purpose.
The Bible says that ham saw his father's nakedness.
But the word here translated sawing Hebrew, the word does not need to see something with an accidental glance and then the to have shocking embarrassment like oh no, oh my gosh, not at all. In fact, the word means to see something and take delight in it. It means something far more profane and far more unholy than just a glance at something and and I don't think any more discussion here would be edifying. Just let me say that we need to understand whatever ham did in that 10 it was totally sinful and highly offensive to God and the Bible says that ham came out of the tent and told his two brothers outside and once again, this Hebrew word just doesn't mean to narrate some facts it means to tell something to someone and take delight in it. In some twisted way ham delighted in telling his brothers, the unsavory news about their father and about what is going on in the inside of that 10 verse 23, but Shem and Japheth. The other two sons of Noah took a garment and laid it across their shoulders and they walked in backwards and covered the nakedness of their father and their faces were turned away so they would not see their father's nakedness and when Noah awoke from his wine, he found out what his youngest son ham had done to him, and as a result, with the hearts now in his three sons exposed before him.
The pure hearts of Shem and Japheth. The evil sinful heart of ham under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Noah now makes a prophetic prediction about the future of these three boys and their descendents. Verse 25 first ham so Noah said accursed betaine ham son, the lowest of slaves, will he be to his brothers then Shem. Noah said, Blessed be the Lord, the God of Shem let Canaan be the servant of Shem and finally his son. Japheth Noah said. May God extend the territory of Jacob and led Japheth live in the tents of Shem and let Canaan be his slave to now, what does God revealed to us in. Noah was prophecy about these three lines of human beings that are going to develop from the three sons of Noah. Let's go back and look at it. First of all Shem verse 26 God reveals that Shem will be the branch of Noah's descendents to whom the true knowledge of God will be entrusted. He said, Blessed be the Lord God of Shem and indeed this is exactly what happened. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, David, the Jewish people of the whole Old Testament Scriptures. Even the Lord Jesus Christ, the Messiah himself all came from the line of Shem exactly the way Noah predicted right here then Japheth. Second of all, the Bible says. May God extend the territory of Japheth. God reveals the Japheth will be the branch of Noah's descendents who will dominate the earth territorially and indeed this is what happened.
Also, territorially, all of Europe, all of North America, South America, Australia, New Zealand, much of Asia and even some of Africa today are settled by people who were direct descendents of the line of Jacob. We call them Indo-Europeans, but there simply visit the descendents of Noah son, Jason, and God also revealed one other thing about Japheth. He said led Japheth live in the tents of Shem spiritually. God also revealed the Japheth. Descendents would share in the spiritual blessings that extended to Shem's line, and indeed this is happened to. Not sure if you realize it, but once the apostle Paul crossed into Europe with the gospel message.
In acts chapter 16. Since then, the greatest spread of the gospel worldwide has not been among the descendents of Shem. Rather, it's been among the prophetic people Europe. The British Empire, North America, South America, China, where the gospel has just exploded. These are all Indo-European people, the descendents of Japheth, just like God said finally ham God reveals to us here in verse 25 that ham's descendents he's omitting altogether from spiritual blessing on a macro level you say what is that mean I mean that individual descendents of ham can come to Christ and they do come to Christ and that's fine.
But as a whole ham's line is an unblessed line because of what ham did in the tent of his father and in fact one member of Ham's line. His son Canaan is actually placed under a curse by God. Verse 25 says accursed be Canaan's son Mason went a long way way will will does this make any sense why the world would God curse Canaan, the sun for what his father ham did when he went in his death tent in the was 10. I don't get it that that make sense well friend that's a very interesting question.
Some commentators suggest that Canaan, the son of ham was actually with ham when he went into the tent and where whatever happened in the tent that Canaan participated in it. Other commentators suggest that the Holy Spirit gave no other spiritual discernment to see that the sexual uncleanness that ham had displayed in that tent.
In Genesis 9 would take special roots in his son and his son Canaan's descendents well is a long which is right, folks, I don't know which one is right, the Bible doesn't say both of those reasons could be right, but please notice that God did not lay a curse on all of Ham's line just on one segment of it on the line of Cain now. Take a deep breath also okay are I want. Let's talk for a moment, now about this curse.
The God laid on Canaan and about its fulfillment. The Bible tells us Genesis chapter 10 that the descendents of Canaan. The Canaanites were the people who inhabited what we think of today is the promised land, the nation of Israel from before the time of Abraham 2000 BC up until the invasion of the promised land under Joshua in 1400 BC, after which, for all practical purposes they were wiped out, and we know that these Canaanites were among the most sexually depraved people that the world is ever known. Genesis 10 verse 19 the territory of the Canaanites.
The Bible says reach from Sidon in the north modern-day Lebanon to Sodom and Gomorrah southward. We all know what went on in Sodom and Gomorrah pay but this is just the tip of the iceberg friends until 85 years ago. Most of the information we had about the behavior of the Canaanites came out of the Bible, but in holiness and impropriety. The Bible had you surmised it in the Bible had sanitize this information for us, but in the 1930s the Canaanite city of you Gar it was discovered on the Lebanese coast and here we are in earth, all kinds of clay tablets telling us about the unspeakable depravity of the Canaanites. I don't want to go in the much detail, but let me just say by way of broad summary that these people routinely practice homosexuality, beastie reality temple prostitution where the sex act was actually a part of the worship service, sadism, child sacrifice, child molestation, and many other forms of sexual deviancy to on the holy to even mention this matter fact, the Carthaginians, they lived in North Africa, they were actually just a bunch of Canaanites displaced and living in North Africa when the Romans captured them in 146 BC at the end of the third Punic war the Romans who weren't exactly what I would call the holiest people in on the earth. They were so grossed out by the practices of the Carthaginians that one Roman writer said and I quote no other people rivals them in their debauchery, William F. Albright, probably the greatest archaeologist Americas ever produced, taught at Johns Hopkins until his death in 1955 said and I quote Canaanite religion was completely centered upon sex and its manifestations.
Sacred prostitutes were common human sacrifice was well-known and the erotic aspects of their culture sunk to the most extreme and sordid depths of degradation" now does all of this. Help us understand just a little bit how God felt about Canaanite people pay in Deuteronomy 12 verse 31 God says they do all kinds of detestable things that the Lord hates in Leviticus 18, verse 30 God says they practice abominable practices in Leviticus 20 verse 23 God says I abhor these people because of their behavior. This is why God commanded the Israelites Shem's descendents to destroy the Canaanites. Deuteronomy 7 verse two the Lord said, when the Lord delivers the Canaanites into your hand. You shall utterly destroy them. Show them no mercy, for they will turn your sons and daughters hearts away from me and the anger of the Lord will burn against your children tear down the altars of the Canaanites. God says smash their sacred stones and burn their idols. Why for you Israelites are a holy people unto the Lord your God in the stuff.
These people do you have no business being anywhere around that stuff friends if you don't get anything else today.
Look here, get this, here's the point that God's command to for the Israelites to annihilate the Canaanites.
It was not capricious.
It was not arbitrary. It was not mean or cruel or barbaric at all. It was an act of divine judgment against the people of unprecedented debauchery and it was also a fulfillment of divine prophecy right out of Genesis chapter 9 that were reading friends. There is no different God in the Old Testament and in the New Testament, the God of the Old Testament is a God of holiness and mercy, the God of the New Testament is a God of holiness and mercy, and there is absolutely no inconsistency what so ever said wait a minute long when if God is a God of mercy. In the Old Testament. Why did you at least give the Canaanites a chance to repent at least give them an opportunity to turn to God before God wiped them out.
I am he wears the mercy and how God treated these people all friends. God didn't give them this opportunity is a really yeah listen. Genesis 1515 God speaking to Abraham. He said Abraham. You, however, shall be buried at a good old age and then in the fourth generation. Your descendents will come back here back to the promised land back to the land of Canaan out of their captivity in Egypt under the leadership of Joshua and they'll invade the promised land and L annihilate the Canaanites, you say will live in Willow with the why.
Why did God wait for generations after Abraham to do that.
Listen, he tells us because next verse, the sin of the Canaanites has not yet reached its full measure. God said to Abraham, Abraham, to give the Canaanites for more generations of mercy for more generations to repent. I'm going to give them four more generations to turn to me and escape the annihilating judgment they deserve. But if they refuse their sin will reach its full measure in my sight and I will wipe them out so long. At least one other question and that is how in the world with these poor people supposed to know that what they were doing was said and how were they supposed to know about a holy God.
How were they supposed to know that they should repent, how were they supposed to know that they needed to change with the way they were behaving 1/2. How were they supposed to figure that out. All friends Abraham lived in this land for over hundred years. Isaac lived right among the Canaanites for hundred 60 years Jacob lived among the Canaanites, Jacobs children lived among the Canaanites and they worship God while they were living there in holiness and purity. And they spoke to their Canaanite neighbors about the true God, and about the sinfulness of their behavior. God put a witness right in the middle of the land of Canaan, in the person of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
These people knew the difference in yet they refused to repent, because they did, God did exactly what he said he was going to do Melanie save if you're here today and you never trusted Jesus in a real and personal way. The very fact that you are alive today and breathing is a testament to the mercy of God just like to the Canaanites, God let him stay alive to give them a chance to repent and that's why you're alive today. My friends would be careful because sooner or later the mercy of God runs out. It did with the Canaanites, it will with every human being who spurns Jesus Christ and we never know when that's going to happen. So if you're here today and you never trusted Christ, I urge you don't do what the Canaanites did Joan presume on the mercy of God. Don't spurn the mercy of God use it as your time to turn to Christ and repent and escape the judgment of God. I hope you will now that the stars were going to go in the passage right now because now it's time for us to ask the most important question of the morning. So are you ready okay so it works better if you take a deep breath ready to go deep breath who want to go through your day. How awesome was that you guys are great. Yeah, you get to sell the hand. What you say he long, you know what I want to do everything you just shared so far was I mean was marginally interesting, but I knew what it was, as any of this really make my life. Let's talk about because the lesson is here done come from the Canaanites. The lesson this here comes from the life of Noah friends. Noah was a godly man. He was a man of faith, he just been through one of the greatest trials anybody had ever been through and he had stayed faithful to God in the midst of all the wickedness around the deed.
Stay faithful to God building an ark. When people would laugh at him and make fun of him and ridiculed him. But all that was over now. He passed the test. There was a new world.
There was a fresh start. All those corrupt people were gone. I asked Ray but you know what know of forgot one very important fact he forgot that even though all these corrupt people were no longer around the devil still was in so we dropped his guard. He got spiritually sloppy. He got spiritually careless. I mean, he knew what to much wine could do to you but he dropped his guard and when he did Satan put them on the campus and he ended up dishonoring the Lord, and he ended up disgracing himself and he ended up creating a situation where sin was able to enter the life of his family, but folks know was problem here was not ungodliness. It was spiritual sloppiness and you know as followers of Christ. Today God warns us about this very same issue. First Peter chapter 5 verse eight says be sober minded be on the alert for your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for people to devour.
He's just not out to hurt his friends. He's just not out to maim us folks.
He's out to completely destroy us. When God tells us here to be sober minded God tells us here to be on the alert he's telling us don't get sloppy. Stay strong in the word of God. Stay strong in your quiet time. Stay strong in your prayer life.
Keep a safe distance from sin and most of all remember the lesson of Noah that we are most vulnerable when we are most relaxed. Hey, when we're in some trial at work, at school, in our family up to the gills and were not even sure we can make it one more day when I spiritually sloppy. Then we are on our knees seeking the Lord in the word praying, depending on God because without them were not going to make it. That's not the ginger point both the danger point is when things are going all good and were, coasting spiritually were on autopilot spiritually.
Hey, that's when David fell. That's when Moses fell. That's where Samson fell. That's where no law fell and if you and I are going to fall.
That's most likely when were going to do it.
That's when were most likely to drop our guard. Satan is going to jump out from behind a corner and he's going to check us your when I was growing up in a Portsmouth, Virginia. We had what they called phone books then get any guys remember phone books, member them.
There was a white one and it was a yellow no member that yes some of you don't. But some of us older folks to the covers were just paper and they always got messed up. So my mom got these the two binders that were made out of hard cardboard and metal and she would put the phone book in the binder so the microphone but wouldn't get all messed up well of the phone book in at this binder was heavy and it was quite a weapon and I remember one day I was walking down the hallway in my house is about 10 or 12 years old. I was on my way to the my bedroom. So at the end of the hallway. I had to turn left and I remember turning the corner and the minute I did the last thing I remember is this Brown were coming at me. It was my brother my younger brother named Brian spiders younger than me. He had picked up one of these phonebooks and using the small edge.
The thin metal edge. He swung it and hit me right across the bridge of the nose as hard as he could he not me completely unconscious. I'm talking about how all in. The next thing I remember was my maid Corley Goodman, leaning over me, trying to revive me that she didn't have smelling salt so she was using Clorox.
Use what you got.
But I guarantee you nose full of Clorox awake yeah I mean I was out like a light. I never even knew what hit me. I have never been so bushwhacked, so ambush so caught offguard in my whole life.
I want Isom for the rest of my time living in that house I approached the corners in my house very cautiously. First Peter 58 be sober minded be on the alert for your enemy the devil is hiding behind all sorts corners just Wayton to slog you right in the face with a phone book full of sin and death. You God says, and as followers of Christ. We need to approach all of life by friends with the same caution that I use to approach corners in my house. So let's ask some questions as we close today. How is your quiet time doing in your Bible study consistent or have we gotten sloppy.
How is your prayer life going fervent or have we gotten sloppy. Hey, are we ordering stuff on paper viewer watching movies in hotel rooms when we travel we got no business watching. But remember, they don't.
The titles don't appear on the bill sloppy or going out on dates and going farther than we should go or going to parties where things are happening where we know we got no business around the stuff but were there any way sloppy or we let in lost exist in our life but we're excusing it we were saying. I'm just admiring God's creation yeah but you and I both know what's going on really in our hearts. Or maybe your marriage is a man or a man or woman you're getting way too chummy with somebody at work, you just call it a friendship instead of being willing to hold yourself accountable for what it really is, which is spiritual unfaithfulness and adultery in your heart.
Or maybe going to Atlantic City a little too much. Or maybe we are visiting Internet gambling sites way too much pornographic sites way too much point is folks, this is all sloppiness and remember the warning of the Bible.
First Corinthians 1012 let him who thinks he stands take heed, watch out last fall. David thought he was standing fine. Noah thought he was standing by Moses thought he was standing five hey if the enemy conduct them folks, please don't think he can deck you and me. Here's the question, are you and I walking so close to the edge that just one little slick from Satan could send us right over the cliff and I want to say a special word to parents who were here in this regard because folks are children are always going to go one step farther than we go that's just the way it is and if you and I are walking so close to the edge right on the very edge.
If our kids go farther than us what's going to happen to go over the cliff, particularly when were parents.
It is incumbent upon us to walk way back from the edge even if it's not a danger to you is a danger to your children who were going to leapfrog you. You don't want to leapfrog in you and going right over there so if you answered any of those questions with yes I am getting a little sloppy then what he can do about you got enough courage to. I have enough courage to make the changes we need to make with the Holy Spirit so I hope you do know one final comment. Remember that no one can avoid dropping their guard 100% of the time.
Hey, what would your sinful human beings. No one can avoid getting spiritually sloppy. 100% of the time. You know, in that wonderful of the mercy of God that so often when we do get sloppy spiritually and we open ourselves up for what could be just the ugliest set of circumstances and consequences integrate how many times the Lord in his mercy comes along. And thus our trail for us and keeps us out of that.
I can't tell you how many times God's done that for me it's wonderful but friends. We dare not presume on the Lord's mercy. The balance here is that God wants us to be serious and to be zealous about spiritual vigilance in our lives and then in his mercy in our moments of weakness God will cover for us but he needs us to take seriously this injunction be sober minded be on the alert, Satan has decked better people than you and me and if we drop our guard. He will deck us. God says, you keep your guard up spray together, Lord Jesus, thanks for talking to us today about real life, and thank you Lord Jesus for reminding us that the devil is alive and well on planet Earth, just like he was in no Wednesday and Lord that we are careless and if we are sloppy. He will control ISA so heavenly father I pray that you would speak deeply to us today. Maybe we might need to make some changes in the way were living, and if so, give us the courage to do that and to depend on your spirit to give us the power to do that. Father, we want to finish the race. And here you say well done and faithful servant.
We don't want to get into the ditch. So, Lord Jesus, help us keep our guard up and thank you for your mercy, but even when sometimes we drop that you're still there force to protect us change our lives as we were here today and we sat under the teaching of the Word of God.
We pray these things in Jesus name God's people said Amen