BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 8, Day 5: Genesis 9:18-29

Summary of passage:  Noah’s sons are Shem, Ham, and Japheth and from them came the people who were scattered over the earth.  Noah got drunk and naked.  Shem & Japheth covered him up.  Noah cursed Ham (the father of Canaan and the one who told of his nakedness) when he found out he had tattled to be slaves to his brothers.  At the same time, he blessed his other sons, asking for Canaan to be Shem’s slaves and Japheth’s territory to grow and live in Shem’s tents as Canaan is Shem’s slaves as well.

Noah died at age 950.

Questions:

12a)  It seems to me Shem and Japheth loved their father more.  They didn’t tell of his situation but instead did their best to cover up their father.  Proverbs says “love covers over all wrongs” so even if getting drunk was wrong love makes it disappear.

b)  Proverbs 17:9 says “He who covers over an offense promotes love, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.”  Ham told his brothers (and not in a loving way–in a mocking way) of his father’s nakedness and what happened to him (which we don’t know) and Shem and Japheth covered their father’s offense in love.  When Noah wakes, he is so mad he curses Ham and his descendants–in effect separating the brothers because like Cain and Abel I’m sure  jealousy and dissension arose amongst them.

God does not like the man who stirs up dissension amongst brothers.  It appears there was something else going on here we just don’t know about.  I think there was dissension before this incident.  Sibling rivalry if you will.  Either way love was missing in Ham’s heart.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I should respond in love.  Not engage in gossip.

13)  Noah curses Canaan to be slaves to his brothers.  Commentators say that Genesis 9:27 predicts the Messiah coming that God (Jesus) will dwell in the tents of Shem.  The land of Canaan is the land where Sodom and Gomorrah lie and is known for its evil.  It is also the land Moses will flee to and the land God gives Abraham.  So in one way it could be a warning not to mix with the Canaanites.

We don’t know why Ham was condemned and the others were blessed.  Many believe there was underlying sin here that something bad (such as sexual abuse) happened to Noah while he was sleeping and Ham boasted of it to his brothers.  However, all of this is speculation.  All we know is what the Bible says: Ham boasted; Shem and Japheth covered with love; Noah’s reaction.

Conclusions:  The lesson I got out of this is the difference in acting out of love or acting out of self and how gossip, boasting, and pride lead to dissension between close friends.  Whatever happened Shem and Japheth loved their father more and were blessed because of their actions.  This is my take-away:  love leads to blessings.

Question 13 is a challenge because even bible commentators don’t agree on what the curse means and its implications.

An interesting lengthy paper on the curse found here:

http://joelnothman.com/downloads/interpretation-gn9-25.pdf

Interesting Side Note:  This curse is what was used to justify slavery of Africans who were believed to be the descendants of Ham and thus preordained to be slaves.  This is what was believed and taught by early Americans.  I found this fascinating because early Americans (and others who enslaved) truly believed this verse justified their actions. Great example of how misinterpreting the Bible can have devastating consequences or the pitfalls of using the Bible to justify extreme behavior.

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 8, Day 4: Genesis 9:1-17

Summary of passage: God blessed Noah and his sons and told them to be fruitful and fill the earth. All animals will fear and dread you and God placed them in man’s hands. God gave everything that lives and moves now as food for man as well as the plants.

Man must not eat meat that has lifeblood still in it.  God will demand an accounting from every animal and from every man and accounting for the life of his fellow man.  “Whoever sheds the blood of man by man shall his blood be shed for in the image of God has God made man.”

God establishes His covenant with Noah and his sons and with every living creature on earth. God promises to never again destroy the earth with a flood.  The rainbow is the sign of this covenant between God, Noah, and all on earth.  God will see the rainbow in the sky and remember this covenant.

Questions:

8a)  In John Jesus says we must be born again of water and of the Spirit in order to see the kingdom of God.  In Genesis, atonement of a blood sacrifice.

b)  I see no difference.  All the same.  Means we are the image of God and made to be like Jesus.

9)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Probably enhance and ameliorate them.

10)  A believer’s mind and heart are opened and receive the indwelt Holy Spirit, which changes him or her to be more like Christ.  The veil of ignorance is lifted and Truth enters and reigns.  And we now reflect the Lord’s glory and are being transformed little by little into his image.

11)  Personal Question.  My answer.  I had forgotten the rainbow was a sign of the covenant!  I had just remembered it was a sign of God’s promise not to flood the earth. I’ll never look at a rainbow the same again.  God is good and He is faithful.

Conclusions:  Repetitive is the word that comes to mind with this lesson.  When I read question 10, I sighed and thought Not again.  This question has nothing to do with Genesis 9.  It just doesn’t.

Bay’s Last Rainbow

I liked the rainbow since me and my kids love rainbows and photograph them every chance we get!  We will definitely talk about this one this week!

Although not the best picture, this rainbow is special to me.  It was taken on my dog’s last day and she was in the car with us.  It was right after her vet’s appointment–the appointment that had given us hope.

I still wonder what God was trying to tell me with this.  It was so beautiful I had pulled over to take the picture and I had completely forgotten about it in the chaos of her death until I downloaded my pictures.  And Bay was with me that day.

I hope it was a sign that God was remembering her as He promised He’d remember all living creatures.  I call it “Bay’s Rainbow” for I truly believe it was put there by Him for her.  And for me.  She was truly special.  And in my heart forever.

And I liked the idea of seeing other’s as images of God.  So often we see people (especially relatives) as the broken humans we all are.   I would extend this to not just Christians but to all people.  For all are made in His image even if the Spirit is not in them.

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 8, Day 3: Genesis 9:1-7

Summary of passage:  God blessed Noah and his sons and told them to be fruitful and fill the earth. All animals will fear and dread you and God placed them in man’s hands. God gave everything that lives and moves now as food for man as well as the plants.

Man must not eat meat that has lifeblood still in it.  God will demand an accounting from every animal and from every man and accounting for the life of his fellow man.  “Whoever sheds the blood of man by man shall his blood be shed for in the image of God has God made man.”

Questions:

5)  God told both Noah and Adam to be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth.  God allowed Noah to eat the animals and not Adam.  God told Noah not to eat meat that has its lifeblood still in it (same for Adam).  God blessed both of them.  God told both Noah and Adam to rule over the earth and its inhabitants but for Noah he made the animals afraid of man.  God told Noah He will hold man accountable for every animal and for the life of his fellow man.  This was unnecessary in Eden since man was sinless at the time.

6)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Because the life of every creature is in its blood and it was the blood of animals that gave man atonement for their sins before Jesus came.  Thus it was sacred, reserved for this very important purpose in man’s life.

7a)  “Whoever sheds the blood of man by man shall his blood be shed (death); for in the image of God has God made man.”  Basically, murderers attack the image of God and must therefore give an accounting.

b)  No.  God knows man’s heart and how evil his tendencies are.  It’s like an eye for an eye.  It seems to me to be God’s reckoning.  God knows some people can become so evil that they need to be punished so they can’t hurt others.  That’s why all throughout the Old and New Testament God lays down laws for the death penalty (Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy).  Murderers pollute God’s earth.

Numbers 35:33:  “Do not pollute the land where you are.  Bloodshed pollutes the land, and atonement cannot be made for the land on which blood has been shed, except by the blood of the one who shed it.  Do not defile the land…”

Murder is against the law and it is government’s job (granted by God) to institute judgment and penalty (Romans 13:1-5).

Conclusions:  Here we see God’s laws again in action.  First, He forbade man from eating from the tree of knowledge.  Now, He forbids man from eating meat with lifeblood.  I find it interesting how the forbidding list just gets longer and longer.  In Eden, it was only one:  no fruit from that tree.  After Noah, the list just grows and grows.

It’s like the laws of countries (and most noticeably in the United States lately).  There are so many laws enacted cause of one stupid person that no one can even count.  Sin just seems to never stop and keeps growing.

I did like the capital punishment study.  I’ve never looked at it in the Bible.  Good to know when talking to people about it.  I like the idea of how it’s attacking God’s image. Never thought of it like that.  Attacking God’s creation.  In a way, attacking God himself, especially if the Holy Spirit is indwelt.

I also like the image of how spilt blood pollutes and defiles the land.  For all the talk of “pollution” in this world, you never hear it referenced in terms of the pollution murder does.  Another emphasis on how all life is sacred and only God has the right to take it.  How sacred and precious is ALL His creations including the land we walk upon.

BSF Study Questions Lesson 8, Day 2: Genesis 8:20-22

Summary of passage:  Noah built an altar after he left the ark and sacrificed burnt offerings to the Lord. The Lord said he would never again curse the ground because of man even though his heart is evil from childhood and destroy living creatures.

Questions:

3a)  Personal Question.  My answer:  It was the first thing Noah did after more than a year aboard the Ark.  He gave God thanks through worship for all God’s goodness to him.  He also sacrificed animals (a BIG deal since there weren’t really any to spare).  This one act brought about God’s resolve to never destroy the earth again–because there is goodness in man despite the evil inclinations of the heart.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Great question because I really don’t have a daily time of worship with my family.  It’s something we’ve fallen out of and it ends up being usually on Sundays only.  Something to work on and pray about!

c)  It’s hard to say since details on sacrifices to God from Adam to Noah are not recorded.  We know Abel killed animals for God and these were accepted.  I believe burnt (animal) offerings were around since Abel’s time and that Noah had probably done them before.  In this case after the Ark, however, I believe God did not order Noah to sacrifice to him and He was pleasantly surprised by Noah’s act of sacrifice–hence, God’s determination to never destroy man or the earth again.

Since Noah walked with God (Genesis 6:9) I believe he knew how to please and praise our Lord.  Hence, I believe Noah offered this sacrifice to God of his own free will, knowing the cleansing power of blood over sin.

4a)  Psalm 27:6:  Sacrifice with shouts of joy; sing and make music to the Lord

Psalm 51:17:  A broken spirit, a broken and contrite (penitent) heart–come with a penitent heart, truly sorry for sins

Romans 12:1:  Your bodies

Ephesians 5:2:  Live a life of love like Jesus

Philippians 4:18:  Gifts to others in this case Paul is speaking of monetary aid

Hebrews 13:15-17:  Praise to God, do good and share with others; obey your leaders

1 Peter 2:5:  Spiritual sacrifices (ourselves) to God

b) Personal Question.  My answer:  All in a sense because 1) I need to work on all and 2) because they all cost me something like God sacrificed Jesus at such a high cost.

Conclusions:  Great lesson on how we can and should sacrifice to God and how we are even if we don’t recognize it as such.  My take-away was the daily time as a family with God.  I do my lesson alone in the wee hours of the morning.  I need to model this for my kids so they see what I do.  I do help them with their lesson but we do it Sunday night.

We had a daily time with God during homeschool but we have gotten away from that due to the busyness of our lives.  Been convicted of that one.