The earth was 1500 years old when God decided to destroy man because he had filled it with corruption,violence and evil. Rebellious angels, leaving their place in heaven(Jude 1:6),were breeding with human women creating spawn of rebellious supernatural beings. Needless to say this caused quite a mess. Genesis 6:5&6 describes it this way: 5 Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.6 And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.
Gen 6:8 says,“But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.” He was considered blameless by God in this world filled with corruption and when wrath was to be released on the earth. Because he knew the end was coming, he preached righteousness for one hundred twenty years while he worked on the ark. His heart knew the terrible wrath of God that was coming on mankind and his ears heard those terrifying final cries of civilization. His mind experienced the destruction of every man, woman and child on the face of the earth.How messed up would you be if you experienced the end of the world? We don’t know how Noah processed this, but when things started getting back to a semblance of normal,we read where Noah grew grapes, made wine and drank too much. Can we blame him ?
Genesis 9:18 Now the sons of Noah who came out of the ark were Shem and Ham and Japheth; and Ham was the father of Canaan. 19 These three were the sons of Noah, and from these the whole earth was populated. 20 Then Noah began farming and planted a vineyard. 21 He drank of the wine and became drunk, and uncovered himself inside his tent. 22 Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brothers outside. 23 But Shem and Japheth took a garment and laid it upon both their shoulders and walked backward and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were turned away, so that they did not see their father’s nakedness. 24 When Noah awoke from his wine, he knew what his youngest son had done to him. 25 So he said, “ Cursed be Canaan; A servant of servants He shall be to his brothers.” 26 He also said, “ Blessed be the Lord,The God of Shem; And let Canaan be his servant. 27 “ May God enlarge Japheth, And let him dwell in the tents of Shem; And let Canaan be his servant.
Noah farmed and planted a vineyard that produced juice which fermented into wine.When he drank it, it made him drunk and he collapsed in his tent. But God wasn’t pleased with the way Noah’s son Ham and his youngest son,Canaan acted toward him. Canaan discovered grandpa naked and drunk, then told his dad, who went and saw it for himself. Instead of graciously covering his dad up and leaving, he went out and told his two brothers all about it. Ham used the situation to dishonor his father, reporting it to them. But his two wiser brothers, Shem and Japheth, took a piece of clothing, walking backward with a sheet on their shoulders and covered Noah with it. Ham dishonored his father by seeking to expose him; Shem and Japheth honored their father by covering him. This passage suggests our future and even the future of our children can be tied to how well we understand the value of honor,as well as the curse that follows dishonor. Paul reminds us of the 5th Commandment:
“ Honor your father and mother (which is the first commandment with a promise), so that it may be well with you, and that you may live long on the earth.” Ephesians 6:2-3
There is also a complementary passage in Proverbs: Pr 22:4 “By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches honor and a long life.” Another way of saying it is: “The legacy of dishonoring your father and mother is: things will NOT go well with you and your life will be shortened”. When Noah found out,he cursed Ham’s son, Canaan.
Why didn’t Noah curse Ham instead of his son? According to Francis Frangipane,“Noah knew that,as Ham had been to him, so Canaan would be to Ham. Noah said Canaan would be“a servant of servants” (see Gen 9:25). Why? Because if you can’t honor an imperfect parent or leader, you will never advance but will always be a slave. You see, there are no perfect fathers,mothers or leaders,only imperfect ones. Your boss, pastor,teacher, mother or father are all imperfect. When we expose them to humiliation or dishonor by telling others of their weaknesses, it brings a curse.We will never progress or advance in life with that attitude.”
So we don’t want to repeat the failure cycle. To be successful in life,we need to learn how to submit to parents,bosses,authorities and leaders who are all imperfect but without dishonoring them. An authentic Christian esteems and respects ALL people. This doesn’t mean that you can’t share concerns when you see a problem. You may have good advice, insights or revelation that can help. But we don’t want to open the door to dishonoring parents or leaders, especially in church. If you see a problem, don’t follow Ham’s example of telling your brothers; instead, cover the situation in love. I am not advocating “covering up anything” and if you need to follow Jesus’ prescription in Matthew 18 of confronting sin , just remain respectful and meek without self-righteousness and have an attitude to help!
If you suffer lack or repeated setbacks and seem unable to move forward in life,it’s possible you live under a curse like Canaan, due to a dishonoring spirit from your parents. That curse can be broken in the name of Jesus by asking God to forgive you and your parents for not honoring the imperfect authorities they had and learning to pray for those over you and blessing them. The Word tells us how to pray for those in authority and Paul has much to say about how to treat your husband, boss or pastor.
Generations after Ham became slaves. Just look at the problems of the Canaanites.How you relate to the flaws and imperfections of your superiors can determines not only your future, but also the future of your children and children’s children. Do they hear you complain about your boss? Do they listen when you criticize your father or mother? Is a curse being passed on to them when they overhear you self-righteously criticize your leaders? Kids watch more what you DO and SAY then you could ever imagine. A dishonoring spirit will cause them to do without,poor and frustrated. Right now, your children are patterning their lives after you. From you they are learning how to deal with the imperfections and ups and downs of life. Will they become bitter and angry at authority? or will they be free to relate to imperfect authorities and do so with honor? Make sure to find ways to honor and teach them the rewards of honor but also the costs of dishonor!
Pastor Marc Lawson
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