Monthly Archives: October 2013

Genesis 12.10-20

Title: Abraham’s Faith vs. Abraham’s Failure

Text: Genesis 12.10-20

Introduction: v 1-9 of ch. 12 are moving. They inspire us as we observe the faith of a man who heard the voice of God and followed. You’ll remember he lived in a culture that was very dark. Those people worshipped the moon god. Abram packed up and obeyed God’s command to go, without even knowing where he was going. He traveled 800 miles in a circular type journey up and across Mesopotamia and down to Canaan. He gets there and God then promises him this land and a nation. Abram builds an altar in the middle of the land and worships God. He does it again as he moves south , and then makes his way toward the Negev.

Our Focus: a person who believes God, is credited righteous and lives a life of obedience to what he believes – because he believes it! He knows it to be true. That was Noah. That is Abram. Abram actually believed God, that this land would go to His offspring.

The Down-side of up: he never gets to see this. Right away, he experiences difficulty.

App.: if you’ve ever heard that living your life with God is easier, you been fed a line. I’m reading a book about James Fraser, the missionary to Yunnan province back in the early 1900’s. His life was anything but hard. Have you ever considered that missionaries overseas don’t use our evangelistic methods? God has a wonderful plan for your life! Oh, yeah? Prison is a wonderful plan? Persecution is a wonderful plan?

Transition: Let’s look at the reality of Abram’s life after he is called and he obeys:

The outline of 10-20 (formulated from Matthews):

·      God constructs a Famine

·      Abram instructs Sarai

·      Pharaoh abducts Sarai

·      God obstructs Pharaoh

It all begins when things don’t go so easy. Rd 12.10a – Now there was a famine in the land. Abram has to eat. He needs to lead his family, friends and animals to food. So he develops a plan – a man-made plan.

1.      A Plan to escape the Famine (v 10)

exp.: you might say: A man-made plan to escape the famine. This seems a bit unfair. I don’t know about you, but I was taught that God rewards us for our goodness, for our faithfulness. Abram doesn’t deserve this famine. No, he deserves some sort of reward for his obedience. What does he get? A famine! How is that fair? (answer);

rd v 10b; I find it interesting the Abram doesn’t inquire of the Lord of what he should do. He just keeps heading south and then west to Egypt. Maybe because that is where the food is – in the fertile valley of the Nile! It sounds natural, doesn’t it? It just makes sense. There is no food here – go where there is food.

app.: The Gospel Transformation Study Bible Notes on v 10: Abraham had no child but was promised a family. He had no soil to cultivate but was promised a land. He was promised blessing, but he experience famine in the land. He lived with promise but experienced only toil upon the earth the Lord had cursed (5.29). In short, Abraham was forced into dependent trust in the Lord. Then, as now, it is in the crucible of life, when all hope seems to have fled, that the path is cleared for God to work supernaturally. It is precisely at the moment when we despair and think we have nothing to offer the Lord, that he can truly get to work on our hearts and through our lives.

But Abram doesn’t know that lesson quite yet. He doesn’t see that God is at work here. He only knows he needs to go where the food is. And that is the problem: it doesn’t seem that Abram consulted God

Transition: But Abram has a problem – he has a beautiful wife.

2.     A Plan to escape the Pharaoh (v 11-12)

exp.: rd v 11; Man made plans to escape fail – most man-made plans do. Isn’t this so… human like? We’re good to follow God as long as things are going well. Enter a struggle and we start scheming and planning to make it all work out. Oh and by the way, we ask God to bless our plans. But Abram has a problem with his plan – His wife is stunningly beautiful – even for a woman in her 60’s!

a.     Sarai’s Beauty (v 11; 14) When I ask: name beautiful women in the Bible, I expect to hear Esther, or Abigail; but, I don’t expect someone to say Sarah! Consider that people at this time live about 2x’s as long as we do today. So, cut her age in half and she’s probably mid 30’s by our comparison. Rd v 12; Sarai’s appearance will lead to his disappearance! Think about this: Her face could launch a thousand camels! So, here is where he instructs Sarai; rd v 13; don’t you just love that way that ends – I’m doing this for you! Rd v 14; it is exactly as he knows – they see her and are amazed out her drop-dead-gorgeous beauty.

It appears that Abram hatched this plan as the headed to the border of Egypt, but not so. Did you know he’d had that plan all along? Read 20.5-13; This is going to happen again in the future, Abraham clarifies then, that this was his plan all along. Now, will these guys keep this to themselves? No! rd v 15;

b.     Pharaoh takes her to be his bride. (v 15); she joins his harem! Wow! The plan has backfired! It hasn’t gone as he thought it would. Here we see the man of God who has faith in God, lacks faith at this time and plots and plans to protect himself.

Ill.: There are those who wonder if Abram was putting Sarai at risk. I don’t think so. You see, the responsibility of a woman was given to the father. If the father died or was no longer there for the family, the son would take responsibility for his sister. It is still this way in some countries. That was my mom’s story. My dad had to make arrangements with her oldest brother. Well, Abram is then given these awesome gifts by Pharaoh. Rd v 16

c.     Pharoah makes Abram a rich man. (v 16) ; a female donkey and a camel were the best modes of transportation available for work or for getting somewhere. Cf.: Job 1.1-3 as a comparison for wealth.

Note: Being wealthy isn’t always a sign of God’s blessing. Neither is being poor always a sign of God’s withholding blessing. So, Sarai is now in Pharaoh’s harem; rd v 17; here is where we see God obstructs Pharaoh;

3.     A Plan to Intervene saves Abram from his man-made plan.

exp.: God-made plans are always better and greater than man-made plans. 1st

Ø    He protects Sarai; rd v 17; interesting; some scholars think this means that Pharaoh violated Sarai; I’m not so sure; Think of Esther; it was common for a woman to move into the king’s harem and then be trained and prepared for the King; we don’t know how he knows something’s wrong and finds out why he’s being afflicted; he must of inquired and Sarai told him; rd v 18-19a; 3 questions:

o   What is this you have done to me?

o   Why did you not tell me that she was your wife?

o   19 Why did you say, ‘She is my sister,’ so that I took her for my wife?

Application:

1. Pharaoh has taken the position of a godly person – Abram, not so godly.

2. Sin still affects us.

– Ignorance: you just didn’t know.

– Negligence: you knew, but made a mistake.

Ø    He protects Abram; rd v 19b; Pharaoh: Behold, here… wife… take… go

Ø    He protects His own plan – rd v 20; a military escort

Observations & Implications:

1.

2.

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Filed under Genesis, Scripture, W.E.B.S.

Genesis 12.1-9

Title: Abram’s Faith is Seen

Text: Gen 12.1-9

Introduction: We have the excavations of Ur by many great scholars who give us some insight to the life of the people who were contemporaries with Abram. What is seen and evident from the discoveries of Sir Leonard Woolley’s excavations is a world void of the knowledge of the True, All-powerful God (Hughes). These artifacts, burial plots, etc. show a world devoid of God and reveal to us the kind of environment and culture Abram lived in. What we find there and what we see here in these chapters in Genesis is a dark world without hope. Mankind was hopelessly lost, except for the distant promise to Shem that blessing would come through his line (cf.: 9.26-27).

In the next few verses, we have the call of Abram. Ch. 11 finished out with the lineage from Terah. He had three sons: Abram, Nahor, and Haran. Haran’s son was lot, but we don’t see Haran anymore, so he must of died and Abram took him in.

This passage is divided into three sections:

1.     God’s Call and Promise to Abram (1-3)

2.     Abram’s Obedience (4-6)

a.     Abram Went

b.     Abram Took (and they set out)

c.     Abram Passed

3.     God Appears to Abram (7-9)

Now, We don’t really know about Abram before these verses. Maybe he was a God fearing person before God appeared to him, but this is what we do know: rd 1-3;

The Call of Abram – 12 Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.

Transition: So, we see 1st

1.     God’s Call and Promise to Abram (1-3)

exp.: The struggle Abram must have felt is really laid out well for us in this particular ascending order:

a.     From your Country

b.     From your Kindred

c.     From your Father

ill.:

exp.: Go to a land that I will show you; he didn’t know where he was going when he left! Hebrews 11.8 –  By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. John Calvin says that God’s command was basically: I command you to go forth with closed eyes, and forbid you to inquire where I am about to lead you, until, having renounced your country, you shall have given yourself wholly to me. Abram was called to believe God’s word and to act on that belief without any evidence.

app.: Isn’t this basically the call of the gospel? Mt. 8.22; 9.9; 10.37-38; 16.24; 19.21; When Jesus calls us, he doesn’t offer us a guarantee on our earthly future, or tell us what it will be like. No promises about health or length of days. He does promise us that He’ll be with us and walk with us whatever we go through. He does promise us forgiveness and a peace that abides in spite of our storms. So, what were the promises of God to Abram? 2 And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing.

Note: these promises are great, but, not any that Abram will personally experience in their fullest state! Interesting to note also: Umberto Cassuto says the word blessing is used 7 times in the Hebrew (bless, blessing, blessed) implying a formulation of perfection; furthermore, the blessing is totally dependent upon God’s work in Abram’s life (5 x’s I will). All of it is accomplished through God’s work and will.

·      The promises are personal –

o   A Great Nation: this has to be so hard for Abram, because he’s just not there! He’s 75 years old and doesn’t have any kids. Really? a great nation!

o   A Great Name: there is irony here in that this is what the builders of the tower of Babel wanted: rd 11.4; He would receive what most like to give themselves or gain for themselves through serving themselves. This is a gift that comes from God. Note: the idea of a great name implies royalty. We see this in 17.6, 16; 23.6; his heirs would indeed be king (think David; Jesus);

·      The promises are global – rd v 3; 3 I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”  Think of Melchizedek and Abimelech who were blessed. Now think of the Canaanites who no longer exist! For those who disdain God’s people, God says, ‘I will curse’.

app.: you’ve got to love the way this builds: Abram is blessed; his name is used as a blessing; those who bless him are bless; finally, all families of the earth will be blessed!

Q.: was this realized by the Israelites? No. It has been realized in Christ: the blessing has gone out to every family; Galatians 3.8-9; So, here is our mandate, our command, our responsibility to take this Gospel out to every nation, every tribe, every tongue, every people group so that they will be a part of Revelation 7.

Transition: next we see…

2.     Abram’s Response in Obedience (4-6)

exp.: Q.: how long did Abram stay before he left. Don’t waste your time on things that don’t matter. What does matter here, is that Abram did obey God by responding to His call. Here is this nation that worships the moon and so indifferent to God. And yet, here is a man who heard God’s call in the midst of all that darkness.

Rd 4 So Abram went, as the Lord had told him, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. 5 And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother’s son, and all their possessions that they had gathered, and the people that they had acquired in Haran, and they set out to go to the land of Canaan. When they came to the land of Canaan, 6 Abram passed through the land to the place at Shechem, to the oak of Moreh. At that time the Canaanites were in the land.

I love these verbs that express his faithfulness and obedience:

·      So Abram went

·      Abram took

·      Abram passed

My commentaries tell me that Abram would have traveled some 800 miles or more. And, he wasn’t traveling alone: rd v 5; his wife, his nephew, possessions, people. Contrary to the way this sounds, these ‘people’ were not slaves. Hughes says that these people were not slaves, as we might naturally suppose. Rabbinic teaching and interpretation gives the idea that Abram made proselytes, therefore implying that Abram had been sharing his story with others and they were convinced to follow, too.

app.: you just have to love this story! Abram lived a life of obedience because he believed what God had said. Others, then, were swayed to follow, too. Hebrews 11.8-10; Abram’s clear vision of what God had promised him led him to live his life detached from this world – in tents, so to speak – a sojourner. Isn’t that the attitude we should have? Looking forward to the promise – living as foreigners here, never really comfortable because this is not our home?

ill.: this has been made so clear to me having toured China. The missionaries talk about a honeymoon phase and then a struggle. At the point of struggle, they have to create a small environment that is ‘home’ and ‘american’ or they won’t make it. They have to become detached from the culture they’re living in and go home to a place that is what they’re used to… We should live like missionaries! Colossians 3.1-4;

Transition: God calls and promises Abram, then Abram responds in obedience, Finally,

3.     God Appears to Abram (7-9)

Ø    At Shechem: so Abram builds and altar.

exp.: 7a Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” Another promise, short and sweet. 7b So he built there an altar to the Lord, who had appeared to him. Why?

1st.       Probably like Noah (8.20), Abram was symbolically offering his life to God.

2nd.         the altar was built smack, dab in the middle of this land, the land of the Canaanites, probably declaring in a very bold way that this was God’s land.

exp.: now look at v 8;

Ø    At Bethel:  From there he moved to the hill country on the east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. And there he built an altar to the Lord and called upon the name of the Lord.

Ø    On southward:  And Abram journeyed on, still going toward the Negeb.

exp.: this brief outline of Abram’s travels take us from the northern border of the holy land to the southern border. His journey is a statement to his belief and trust in God’s Word: that his name would be great, that his descendants would become a great nation; that God would bless those who bless him. His faith in God became a testimony to those who watched his life and they, too, became followers. But it was more than just a testimony of words, it was a testimony through worship. Indeed, Abram becomes an example for us who believe:

·      in His Word

o   following where it says go

o   worshipping God there, wherever that may be

o   and testifying to those who walk with us

o   seeing them come to faith in Him, too.

And those are my take-a-ways, too… our faith is an example to others when we believe God at His Word!

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2 Thessalonians 2.16-3.5

Title: Praying for Your Vision Team

Text: 2 Thessalonians 3.1-2

Introduction: 2 Thessalonians 2.16-17: 16 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, 17 comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word.

How will he do this? Answer: Through prayer! Gk: Τὸ λοιπὸν προσεύχεσθε, ἀδελφοί, περὶ ἡμῶν; Finally, pray, brothers, for us;

·      Pray is a command; An imperative;

·      Specifically, for us. The word for is περὶ; Which means around – what a great picture! Surround us in and with your prayers!

Transition: But some may be asking just what to pray for? I’ve outlined 10 ways you can pray for your missionaries:

Pray:

1.     For God’s Word to make Tracks (1)

exp.: rd v 1; speed – τρέχω; to run or run ahead; Acts 19.28f; 28 When they heard this they were enraged and were crying out, “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!” 29 So the city was filled with the confusion, and they rushed together into the theater, dragging with them Gaius and Aristarchus, Macedonians who were Paul’s companions in travel. i.e.: as to rush into battle; Rev 9.9: they had breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the noise of their wings was like the noise of many chariots with horses rushing into battle. Let me give you our itinerary so that you can pray for God’s Word to run ahead of us!

a.     Our Travel: flights – connection

b.     Our Wanderings

c.     Our flexibility

i.     We’ve been told that we won’t make reservations for hotels because we won’t know where we’re staying. Sometimes, the local police have asked our leader to leave the town. He also said that sometimes someone will invite the group to stay the night.

Transition: But, in all of our travels, pray that God will go before us as if he’s rushing into battle, preparing the way… The 2nd way you can pray for your missionaries is to Pray…

2.     For God’s Word to be Glorified (Honored) (1)

exp.: rd 1b: pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored, as happened among you; pres. pass.; God would glorify His Word;

a.     We must do our best, but only God can accomplish this task!

b.     Pray that if we get the chance to share, God would glorify His Word!

Transition: That God’s Word would speed before us; be glorified and continuing on; 3rd,

3.     For God’s Word to break down barriers (1c)

exp.: rd 1c; Someone shared Christ with you! Someone cared enough to share with you.

a.    Language barriers;

b.    Cultural barriers;

c.    Physical barriers (local police asked him to move on); we’ll be tired (different time zone; not sleeping well; not eating well vs. too well);

d.    Social barriers; ladies knocking on the door;

ill.: look at us, God’s Word has broken through everyone of these barriers that you and I might be saved today!

Transition: May he do the same in the midst of the ********! 4th,

4.     For Protection (2a)

exp.: Your missionaries are going into an area where the gospel is not welcomed by the ******* Govt.; More than likely, if we’re ‘discovered’ we’ll be deported back to the US. It’s possible that I might be detained. We could blow the cover of the missionary helping us. He and his family are then at risk; rd v 2a; wicked and evil men; Now we know that our battle isn’t against flesh and blood; but that is just who Satan uses: People! Within and without the Church!

exp.: one more note about protection; Americans aren’t as popular as they once were. They’re hated by many people in the world. Not just because we Christians, but also because we’re Americans. My understanding is that Koreans are having more success as missionaries than Americans.

app.: we need to pray for protection and deliverance from evil men within and without the church!

Transition: A 5th way to pray is to pray for…

5.     For the ******* to come to Faith (2)

exp.: rd v 2c – For not all have faith.; as of today, http://www.peoplegroups.org says there are 11,289 PG; 6,603 UPG; 3.9 Billion people; 2,971 (dropped by 2 this week) or 189 million people; How do you pray for 4 Billion people; Or 189 Million for that matter? Let’s focus on this group!

1.    A Person of Peace – someone who is search for God; God’s been at work in their life.

2.    A Home from which to begin reaching out

3.    We would see a ministry opportunity

a.    Nursing homes

b.    Orphanages

c.    Medical facilities

d.    Import/Export business

4.    We would see an open door to live in ******** (i.e.: boots on the ground)

a.    College students

b.    Business opportunities

Transition: God is at work, pray we’ll see Him at work and join him there… 6th, pray…

6.     For your VT to Trust God more (3)

exp.: rd 3a; Pray that our faith would be strong; the Lord is faithful; sometimes we forget or we think we know better; or we begin to doubt. Psalm 37.25 says: I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his children begging for bread. Remember: The Lord is faithful; we may be unfaithful, but the Lord is always faithful. He cannot be otherwise. We must watch against:

a.     Playing the Holy Spirit; we don’t see our expectations being met, so we run the risk of manufacturing some result.

b.    Trying to make the ********* like Americans. This was something that bothered Hudson Taylor. Book given to me by the Stout’s; many words in the ******** language already present the gospel! Pray that we’ll bring Christ to their Culture, not to bring our culture to theirs.

ill.: I remember when my dad died. The Korean Church came over, I was grateful, but I was also surprised when they sang 18th Century English hymns in the Korean Language. Yes, we can teach them how to worship, but just because it is a certain way in England or America, doesn’t mean that is what should happen there. Our goal is to win them to Christ, not to the American Culture!

c.     Trusting in made-made gimmicks or methods. We must Trust God for results! The Lord is faithful: we may be unfaithful, but the Lord is always faithful. He cannot be otherwise. We must trust Him and not our own devices, programs, methods.

Transition: 7th, Pray…

7.     For God to Establish His work through us (3)

exp.: rd v 3b; Luke 9.51 – He set his face toward Jerusalem; He was headed to the Cross, to accomplish the work His Father had set for him to do. He would not be deterred! Pray that God would move in our hearts in a similar fashion, that we would find out his purpose there and establish it.

Transition: Pray for God to Establish His work through us and pray, #8, …

8.     For the Body to Trust God (4)

a.     Sometimes, the church struggles in the pastor’s absence. Rd v 4;

i.     Attendance drops; please, don’t stop coming; be faithful, support those who carry the burden; encourage our youth who will be leading worship; our guests – I’ve lined up a couple of outstanding preachers.

1.     Richard Taylor – Director of Church Planting in the East Texas Area.

2.     Andrew O’Kelly – and Courtney are bringing their brand new baby! And he has a special message on missions for you.

ii.     Giving drops; maybe you feel ‘done’; but the work must continue here;

ill.: Govt shutdown – the church is at risk of the same; budget struggles;

iii.     Morale takes a dip; keep the faith, trust God is at work; keep praying; Satan would love to see you drop out for the time we’re over there.

b.     Sometimes, Satan wants to cause a stir; dissention; contention;

i.     Don’t let that happen; Don’t let Satan have the victory;

Transition: Pray for the Body to Trust God. 9th, …

9.     For God’s Direction (5)

exp.: rd v 5a;

a.     Into God’s Love – this is what drives ministry; for God so loved the world, how did he demonstrate that? He gave His one and only son. Pray that God would direct our hearts to his love. That’s where our motive comes from…that’s where our drive comes from…that’s where our passion comes from…direct our heats into His love and…rd 5b

b.     Into the Steadfastness of Christ (patient endurance)

exp.: Don’t you want to remain strong, firm, faithful – like Christ!

Transition: back to the beginning… rd 2.16-17 Finally, pray

10.  For God to Comfort and Establish our hearts.

a.     Comforted

b.     Established

i.     In every good work

ii.     In every good word

Observations & Implications:

1.     There is a sign up on line @ www.calvarytyler.org; for someone to pray every hour! Will you sign up for multiple slots? Will you sign up for one hour every, single day?

2.     Invitation to Prayer on the 9th; 6:15 pm Wednesday night

3.     Invitation to Bon Voyage; 6.30 pm Thursday night

4.     Pray in the night – that’s when we’ll be awake over there.

a.     At bed, we’re getting up

b.     In the dark hours – that’s when we’ll be ministering

c.     In the day hours – that’s when we’ll be tossing and turning in a weird place; Pray that we’re getting the sleep and rest we need.

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Genesis 9.18-29

Title: When we are most like God!

Text: Gen 9.18- 29

Introduction: Review – the Sailing adventure has ended. They unload from the boat.

a.     The End of the Sailing Adventure; it began back in 7.1 (review)

i.                  It rained for 40 days (7.11: in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep burst forth, and the windows of the heavens were opened.)

ii.                  It resided on the earth for 110 more days (total 150 days); 7.24; rd 8.1

Transition: So, 1st we have the End of the Sailing Adventure, 2nd we have the…

b.     The Exit of the Sailing Ark

Faith is seen in the releasing of the dove; It receded for 150 days until it was gone; 8.3; the dove affirmed that the water had receded and the plant life was coming back. I don’t know how high Mt. Ararat is, but for a dove to fly back up the mountain is pretty cool.

c.     The Erecting of a Sacrificial Altar

Sacrifices offered to God; he took some of every clean animal and offered them to Yahweh. Why? Up to this time, every thought of every person and every inclination was always evil. Noah offers a sacrifice to the LORD and even though humans are still evil, God makes a Covenant with Noah:

And this was the 2nd part of our study of the flood…

1st, thought was of God, so he built an altar…

2nd, Blessing – be fruitful, multiply

3rd, Grace: Note, life is sacred

4th, Covenant: I’ll never do that again

5th, Sign of the Covenant: Rainbow (My Bow)

I wonder what that day was like? Was it similar to the garden? Was it beautiful? It sounds like the end to a beautiful story.

He was righteous, blameless, he walked with God (like Enoch).

He did all that God commanded him (4x’s);

He was obedient & Patient…

Transition: So, after this grand voyage, how will he do? Will they all live happily ever after?

I’ve divided this passage up into 4 parts:

1.     Noah’s Sons (8.18-19)

exp.:

a.     Shem

b.     Ham (the father of Canaan, who is the 4th Child of Ham!)

c.     Japheth

2.     Noah Sins (8.20-21)

exp.: in this passage we see Noah, a worker of the soil, grew a vineyard and made some wine. Fresh from the Ark, Fresh from the glow of the rainbow goes in and lies naked in his tent. Some scholars cut Noah some slack saying he didn’t really know better. But I disagree

·      How old was the man? Do you think he’s learned something in his 600 years of life? Look what he came from!

·      He didn’t just get off the boat yesterday. Remember the earth was destroyed. He’s got to plant a vineyard. That’s time consuming. It will take some time for these plants to grow. Once these plants have reached maturity, they produce grapes. Grapes then produce wine. You’re looking at least a 3-4 year period.

·      I think more time has passed than just 3 or 4 years, because Canaan, who is mentioned here is 4th child of Ham (cf.: 10.6)

·      Noah then gets drunk on the wine he’s produced. He gets so drunk, that he ‘uncovers’ himself in his tent. He overly indulged in drinking and self degraded himself. From what I understand of v 21 is that in the Hebrew, the phrase lay uncovered is in the reflexive which means that he uncovered himself – that he got so drunk, he didn’t have control of himself. So, he in a spiritual sense, covered himself with shame, disgrace, sin. Habakkuk 2.15-16; Lamentations 4.21-22

App.: Wow, we see this great man, who we respect and celebrate, is a sinner, too! Sin made it through the flood. Sin abounds, in spite of Noah’s righteousness. I think what we learn here is that Noah’s righteousness isn’t based on anything he does or doesn’t do; But, rather, it is based on God’s decision. Noah is righteous, blameless and able to walk with God (6.9) because of God’s decision to make him that way. The term we use is imputed. I think this is seen in his obedience, etc.

App.: #2 – here is a man who walked with God, blameless, etc., and yet he sinned. And so we should remember that we are, too. We should also remember that Noah was pretty old when this happened. Lesson: we are never too old when temptation doesn’t affect us.

Ill.: David w/ Bathsheba. You think that you’re safe because you’re in your home, in the midst of your people. Solomon is another great example. Started out great, but failed later in the years. Can you think of someone who did great younger, but failed in their later years?

App.: I think there are sins we can commit, in the privacy of our own home, that we think no one knows about and no one sees, but that sin can effect our children – even our older children.

The Implications for us: What’s the Main point? Man is still prone to sin – even though he’s done wonderfully in obedience and perseverance, Noah didn’t finish strong.

Transition: Sin was alive and well in Noah, and we see it also in his sons. Especially, we note Ham.

a.     Noah’s Son’s Reaction (8.22)

exp.: read v 22; Ham evidently took a perverse pleasure and attitude in exposing his Father’s nakedness. What is the 5th commandment? So that it might go well with you and that your days may be long in the land…; Noah uncovered himself; however, Ham uncovered him further. Noah sinned in putting himself in a position to be seen. Ham took that further and tried to show his father’s nakedness. That was his sin…

Transition: But, look at the response of the other two sons…

b.     Noah’s Sons’ Response (8.23)

exp.: rd v 23; they took a garment – actually, the Hebrew has a definite article there. So, it appears that they took the garment. Evidently, because Noah wasn’t covered, Ham grabbed the garment and brought it out to show his brothers. They grabbed it from him and rd 23b; they,

·      4 statements…

– Hung it over their shoulders

– Walked backward

– Turned their faces away from their father

Ø    They did not see!

exp.: what we have here is a response that is totally opposite of Ham’s reaction to what he saw. There is some deep compassion and mercy here. I don’t know that this was their goal, but they’re doing what God does. He doesn’t find us in our sin and expose us to the world! No, in his mercy and in his compassion, he covers our sin. And when we act in the same manner, we’re being like God. 1 Peter 4.7-8; sober-minded, cover; Psalm 32;

ill.: You ask, how is this covering their dad God-like? Ultimately, I think of Jesus and how his blood covers our sin and shame. But I love the story of Adam and Eve where they recognized their nakedness and tried to inadequately to cover their own bodies. However, God, in his compassion and mercy took animal skins and covered their shame!

Transition: So we see these brothers – one who exposes his Father’s shame and the other two who cover their father’s shame. So what happens?

3.     Noah Speaks (8.24-27)

exp.: rd v 24; and knew; how? Maybe he saw and asked? Maybe his sons just told him? I wonder how this plays out? We don’t see an outcome like with Cain and Abel; with Joseph and his brothers. Fratricide or jealousy among siblings – sibling rivalry; So we read his only recorded words in v 25

1.             Curses

o   Not Ham, but rather his son, Canaan! Why?

a.     Sins are passed on from generation to generation

·      Illustration of two NY families

·      One family raised up lawyers, senators, professors.

·      The other family raised up a few generations of inmates and social service dependants – those whose existence relies on the government for handouts. Maybe this was what was going on with Ham’s sons. Maybe they were doing just like their father and Noah saw it.

·      Only God can break this cycle!

b.      A Prophetic Oracle – Noah discerned in his sons the moral tendencies, which they displayed. He uttered a prophecy of blessing and curses upon what he saw in them.

c.     This is seen in the Canaanite people (Gen 13, 15, 18, 19, 38). Furthermore, Leviticus 18 speaks of prohibition against the practices of the Canaanites (Cf. Lev 18; nakedness 20+ x’s)

d.     This would be amazing for them as these words would be read to them and then they would be able to see with their own eyes the way the Canaanite’s lived in the land the Israelites were moving in to take possession of…

o   A servant of servants – the lowest of the lowly. This is what the Canaanites became. Historically, Shem’s descendants (Israel) and Japheth’s descendants (Indo-European)

2.             Blessings

o   Not Shem, but rather – God! Surprise again! As w/ Ham to Canaan, So Shem isn’t blessed per se, but rather Yahweh! The Hebrew, using his name like that implies that Shem is already in a covenant relationship with the Covenant God, Yahweh. The lineage to Israel.

o   Japheth – 10.2-5; I believe this is the peoples along coast up toward Macedonia, Achaia. Now, this prophecy isn’t seen in the O.T. No reference to this happening; however, it is in the NT. Galatians 3.29 – through this promise, we are children of Abraham, not because of seed, but by the promise.

App.: we are Abraham’s offspring, if we are saved, because of God’s promise to Shem and Japheth. A promise to the Gentiles, to non-Israel!

ill.: What a beautiful picture! Adam and Eve sinned. God covered their shame. God prophesied that Eve’s offspring would crush his head. God was at work in this from the beginning!

Transition:

 

4.     Noah’s Silent Years (8.28-29)

a.     He lives another 350 years after the flood, but we’ve no recorded activities

b.     He dies at the ripe old age of 950 years.

Observations:

1.     We must be careful and cautious. We are not safe at home! We can’t rely on our surroundings that we’ve become accustomed to living in. We can’t let our guard down because we think we’re safe! Ill.: story of plane that landed in Moscow’s Red Square.

2.     We must finish strong. We can’t rely on our past successes. One prof said: Satan will lie in the weeds for 30 years to wait and pounce on you! Just because we came through a flood and were faithful and obedient when we were younger, doesn’t mean that we’re good to go. We must continue in our faithfulness, patience and obedience.

3.     We are most like God when we, by love, cover a multitude of sins. This demonstrates our sober-mindedness.

4.     We are most unlike God when we are un-loving and try to expose and hurt others.

What about you? What will you take home with you tonight from this lesson?

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