A Stereotype to Choose From
“And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.
And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.
God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.”Genesis 9:25-27
Everything Depends on God’s Blessing
The origin of every nation is given in the book of Genesis. Every ethnicity can trace its heritage to one of these three men- Ham, Shem, and Japheth- and their wives. And in the origins of every nation, God reveals the three branches of blessing. The Lord stereotyped people after the Flood.
This is scientific. Keeping precise records is key to deducing the truth. The Flood was the ‘great reset’ God sent to scramble the minds of every archaeologist or paleontologist or radiologist who rejects the Scripture. Their theories have us all related to one single cell in a warm mud puddle, so having every nation categorized in the sons of Noah actually requires less faith; and it is certainly more than a theory. Their clues and discoveries come to a halt at 2349B.C. They are forced to trust the Bible for the 1,600 years prior… or lie. The Bible’s precision makes it the only reliable authority for pre-Flood history.
The Lord reduced mankind to his common denominator in Noah. When his sons encountered the FIRST SIN of the new world, the Lord who sent that Great Flood was watching– watching to see if the grace He had given to Noah was worthwhile. Shem, Ham, and Japheth are distinct individuals, for sure, but when faced with sin, they blazed three divergent paths on which all of humanity has trodden ever since.
Racial stereotyping is only a small part of the larger picture. Some of my readership may have already gotten hung up on just the title alone. But being able to separate things that are dissimilar is key to sanity.
God calls this virtue, ‘discernment.’ Discernment is the ability to determine one thing from another. It is the ability to see differences. Without discernment in color, you’ll be no artist. Without discernment in truth, you’ll believe anything. Without discernment in taste, you’ll eat some rotten food. Without discernment in life, you can’t separate reality from fiction. Mankind has too long looked for similarities where he should be considering polarities.
“And that ye may put difference between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean;”Leviticus 10:10
The fall of the second ‘first father’ indelibly marked his descendants. Each one saw, each one recognized the sin, and each one responded according to his heart. Consequently, Noah in his shame (and hangover) brutally acknowledges that there are three types of blessing for people in the world.
This is Noah’s sentence on these three, not necessarily the Lord’s. Scripture carries the record to assert the patriarchal authority on the postdiluvian earthlings; however, it also assents to the truth of what Noah said. Had God not recorded it, it would still be true, but would not carry the weight and power of being the word of a King.
The categories are conditional. Not all must be cursed. Not all will be blessed. The reaction to sin determines into which place you fall. You can break out of the stereotypical mold, but only by 1. acknowledging the mold and 2. supernatural grace.
Ham earned a curse for reveling in sin.
“Who knowing the judgment of God” Ham and his father both had witnessed with their own eyes the genocide of civilization because of sin. They knew the severity of God- yet in light of the guaranteed global tolerance by a rainbow, they added sin to sin. It went from Noah to Ham, and from Ham to his son, Canaan. “They which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.” (Romans 1:32)
This curse did not die out with Ham. In fact, Ham isn’t even mentioned by name in Noah’s rage, but Ham’s son– Canaan– is. The repercussions of this are bottomless: a man who revels in sin reduces his family, his children to a never-ending cycle of bondage. I’m sure Ham never thought it would be a big deal, but generations of people repeating his error are proof of just the opposite.
Are you the type of person who smirks at the faults, failures, or perversion of another? You’ve earned your stereotype.
Shem became a blessing because he acted in the Lord’s behalf.
“But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first,” (Romans 2:10) Shem is listed first in the covering of Noah’s sin. Shem saw his world covered in water and death for lack of repentance and he chose not to recall that world. Instead, he chose to cover with a garment and the grace of forgiveness. As David would later say, “Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.” (Romans 4:7) Shem wasn’t trying to hide anything from God, deny what happened, nor did he secretly revel in it.
Shem was moved by the same thing his father was: fear. “By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house;” Noah believed God would drown the world. Shem saw Him do it. Shem responded immediately to this new sin in the new world, not as Adam did by hiding, but as God did for Adam, by covering him with a coat. (See Genesis 3:21) “by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.” (Hebrews 11:7)
“Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.”2 Corinthians 5:20
Are you the type of person who repents quickly, and responds to sin in your life according to God’s word? You have made your stereotype.
Japheth received a blessing for following what was right.
“For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:” Japheth probably did not know what was right to do, but he had enough sense of who was right to follow. Noah said, “He shall dwell in the tents of Shem.” And that’s a good place for him. Japheth is only as good of a leader as he is a follower of what is good. “Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;” (Romans 2:14-15)
Japheth was in the middle. He didn’t know just what to think about all that had happened to his earth, his family, or his father or brother. But he knew there was a God, and his conscience pricked him about this sin. He could have excused it, but then Shem boldly opposed his younger brother’s foolishness, and suddenly the finger of conscience pointed straight at his own heart. He could not stay undecided. His response would either agree with the sin of his brother and father, or it would answer according to the Lord God of Shem.
Are you the type of person who listens to their conscience and wise counsel? Will you learn what is true and right when you don’t know? You have decided your stereotype.
You rise or fall based on what God says to, and about you.
“Everything depends on God’s blessing.” I’ve seen this to be true in my life, and in the lives of every person with whom I’ve interacted.
If God had spoken these words, every man would be locked into the caste into which he was born. Thank God, He didn’t! Yet the recording of both the actions and reactions of our three predecessors in Scripture is noteworthy, even warning worthy.
These categories are empirically scientific, both racially and spiritually. The categories are undeniable; but they are also conditional.
Which one will you be?
2 Replies to “A Stereotype to Choose From”
Very good, brother. Thank you.
I’m almost done reading a popular history book called, “Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind” and it’s amazing how many of the “problems” of history that he admits to are solved by the early chapters of Genesis. Those chapters also answer problems he doesn’t admit to, but that is another topic…
I’m so thankful to have a Final Authority for the topic of history. God is good, brother!
Lord bless you.
LikeLiked by 1 person
I know I didn’t do this passage justice- but thanks for the kind words.
That book sounds interesting. I’ll add it to my reading list.
Yes, the Lord IS good!