A Daily Genesis

Genesis 9:20-23

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[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 9:20a . . Noah, a tiller of the soil[/B],

There was a time when a large percentage of Americans grew their own food, but it's come to the point when some kids don't even know that where their food comes from. For example; as a young graduate student, Steven L. Hopp, co-author of Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, lived in an urban neighborhood where his little backyard vegetable garden was a howling curiosity to the boys who ran wild in the alley. One day, as Steven pulled a nice long fresh carrot out of the ground, one of the boys asked him how it got in there. So after explaining some fundamentals of farming, Steven asked the boy if he could think of another vegetable that grows in the ground. After consulting with his posse, the boy responded: spaghetti?

Later in life, Steven's wife used to take her children's friends out back to the family garden to warm them up to the idea of eating vegetables; but the strategy sometimes backfired. They'd back away slowly saying: Oh maaaaan! those things touched dirt! Ewwww!

Accustomed to shopping with their moms in a well-lit, shiny supermarket stocked with pre-washed, pre-sorted, neatly piled vegetables, the kids were brought up to believe that all dirt is 100% unsanitary; and really, how could you blame them when every advertisement they see on television for sanitizers, cleansers, and detergents always portray dirt as bad?

It's not just kids who are uninformed about agriculture. When author Barbara Kingsolver once submitted some material to an editor, the editor nixed the part in the story about pineapples growing out of the ground. The editor insisted they grew on trees.

In another incident, one of Barbara's friends expressed amazement when told that peas, potatoes, and spinach were "up" in Barbara's garden. The friend wanted to know how potatoes could be "up" since to their knowledge potatoes grew down in the ground rather on the surface. The friend was seriously taken aback to discover that potato plants have stems and leaves.
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[/COLOR][B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 9:20b . . was the first to plant a vineyard.[/B]

Was Noah the first ever to plant a vineyard? I strongly suspect verse 20 means that he was just the first one to raise grapes in the new world; not the first ever in all of human history.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 9:21a . . He drank of the wine and became drunk,[/B]

How often did Noah drink and pass out? I ask because the wrath of God isn't upon drinkers per se; but upon heavy drinkers.

"Woe to those who rise early in the morning to run after their drinks, who stay up late at night till they are inflamed with wine. They have harps and lyres at their banquets, tambourines and flutes and wine, but they have no regard for Yhvh's deeds, no respect for the work of His hands." (Isa 5:11-12)

I'm unaware of any woe to those who've had too much to drink. No; it's the people who subsist on alcohol that get the bad marks; for example:

"It happened, as she continued praying before Yhvh, that Eli watched her mouth. Now Hannah spoke in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard. Therefore Eli thought she was drunk. So Eli said to her; How long will you be drunk? Put your wine away from you!" (1Sam 1:12-14)

Eli suspected that Hannah was a wino; which is very different than just getting hammered now and then. In other words: I seriously doubt that Noah was a candidate for AA. He was just a guy who let his wine sneak up on him.

I once knew a girl in high school with such a low tolerance for alcohol that just one can of ordinary beer made her start acting silly. She was by nobody's definition either a wino or an alcoholic; just a regular girl who liked to have fun on Friday night with the other kids.

"Joseph took servings to them from before him, but Benjamin's serving was five times as much as any of theirs. So they drank and were merry with him." (Gen 43:34)

The Hebrew word for "merry" in that verse is from [I]shakar[/I] (shaw-kar') which means to become tipsy; viz: to satiate with a stimulating drink. It might surprise some people that God gave Man grapes for that very purpose.

"You make the grass grow for the cattle, and herbage for man's labor that he may get food out of the earth-- wine that cheers the hearts of men" (Ps 104:14-15)

Some folk object that the Bible doesn't say Joseph and his brothers drank wine at that meal. Well; if those with that objection can come up with another beverage in the book of Genesis besides wine that had enough wallop to make Joseph and his brothers tipsy; I might be persuaded.

[B][SIZE=1]NOTE[/SIZE]:[/B] Noah's episode with the wine didn't disqualify him from becoming one of three most righteous men in the Old Testament. God still placed him right up there alongside Job and Daniel at Ezek 14:12-20 so apparently some people's idea of a righteous man is not same as God's idea of a righteous man. The focus in this incident isn't upon Noah's conduct anyway; it's upon his Ham's.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 9:21b . . and he uncovered himself within his tent.[/B]

Noah wasn't a flasher. And he was indoors; passed out in the privacy of his own home. Plus the Bible only says he was uncovered; it doesn't say whether it was his front side or his backside that Ham is about to gaze upon.

Noah's home at this point in time was a tent; which isn't the typical domicile of a man who farms. Nomads live in tents, farmers live in houses. Vineyards take time to grow to maturity and a nomad isn't likely to wait around long enough for that.

So why was he living in a portable shelter instead of a permanent building? At this particular time, Noah's home was probably under construction. No doubt he put a higher priority on his livelihood than on his quality of life. A nice home is a senseless luxury when there's no food on the table.

"Finish your outdoor work and get your fields ready; after that, build your house." (Pro 24:27)

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 9:22a . . Ham, the father of Canaan, saw his father's nakedness[/B]

What if Ham had barged in on his mother like that? Gawd! Didn't anybody ever teach that man to knock or call out before entering someone's bedroom? What was he doing sneaking around in there anyway?
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†.[/COLOR] Gen 9:22b . . and told his two brothers outside.[/B]

Ham wasn't just a little kid who stumbled into his parents' bedroom. He was a grown man, married, and quite possibly by this time his son Canaan was already born. Catching his dad naked was probably an innocent enough accident; but Ham couldn't let it go. No, he just had to broadcast it and make sport of his dad. Good grief, you'd think he would at least pull the covers so no one else would see his dad in that condition.

Ham didn't seem to respect his dad very much. It's a very black-hearted demon's seed who takes pleasure in opportunities to mock their parents. I wonder if that's what Ham felt as he gazed down at his dad. Did it actually make him feel good to see the old gentleman wallowing in disgrace?

So although the Flood wiped out sinful people, it didn't wipe out sin did it? No, sin survived, and stowed away aboard the ark within the very family of Noah; the most righteous man on Earth; before the Flood and after the Flood. (cf. Ezk 14:13-20)
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[/COLOR][B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 9:23 . . But Shem and Japheth took a cloth, placed it against both their backs and, walking backward, they covered their father's nakedness; their faces were turned the other way, so that they did not see their father's nakedness.[/B]

Good lads! Those two men respected their dad and did the right thing by him. It's only too clear that Ham despised his father. You know, when you love people, you won't demean them, nor ridicule them, nor wish them disgrace, nor do anything at all that might tarnish their reputation. Love reveals itself by always looking out for the best interests of others.

Ham's act is seen even more reprehensible when juxtaposed with the Flood. Noah's ark saved Ham's bacon, and this is how his son repaid the favor? When Noah got off the ark, he reciprocated God's kindness with gratitude and burnt offerings. Ham reciprocated his father's kindness with mockery and public disgrace. There are those among the Serpent's seed, as were Cain and Ham, who hate good simply for the very good's sake; viz: good disgusts them.

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