(Key verses: Gen 9:1; 18-21)
For those who can receive and know the truth, the Word of God is the only solid foundation for true knowledge which gives the right understanding in all things, even much more concerning life eternal. Only through the Word of God faith is given and only through the same Word, that faith can grow (Heb 5:12-14; Rom 1:17; Rom 4:20-21; Heb 11:6):
Joh 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
Rom 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
2Pe 3:18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.
What is written in the Scriptures about the very earliest populations and cultures are given as the only key to the true history of humanity and nothing can compare with the written record in God’s Word. There is a physical application to all of God’s Word, but for those who desire the deep spiritual things of God that is not their primary concern (Rom 1:20):
Joh 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.
God’s invisible things cannot be seen and appreciated by comparing physical with spiritual things, but only when we compare spiritual with spiritual:
1Co 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
1Co 2:10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
1Co 2:11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.
1Co 2:12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
1Co 2:13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
This revelation comes only through God’s chastening fiery judgment when our perspectives on the things pertaining to spirit life become so much clearer (Rev 1:1-3; 1Pe 4:12; Heb 12:5-10; Isa 26:9). This clearer vision is what Noah and his family experienced typically through the global flood when they exited the ark to a new earth that looked very different from the one they left behind (1Pe 3:20-21). Seeing that the Bible does not mention any new children born to Noah, the first thing we see here is that the three sons of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth, are important to God’s command to them to be fruitful, multiply, and replenish “the whole earth”. All of them were married and at a very high age at the time of the flood (almost one hundred years old), yet all were childless at that stage (before the flood):
Gen 5:32 And Noah was five hundred years old: and Noah begat Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
Gen 7:6 And Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of waters was upon the earth.
Shem means “name” in the Hebrew which is always mentioned first in the Scriptures in relation to his other brothers, suggesting the order of their births. Ham, meaning ‘hot’ or ‘warm’, and Japheth, meaning ‘expansion’ or ‘opened’, were both born after Shem. These three sons of Noah, and their sixteen sons in total, have been used to make various physical categorizations of humans throughout history and unfortunately also fed those with carnally twisted superiority and inferior complexes:
Gen 9:18 And the sons of Noah, that went forth of the ark, were Shem, and Ham, and Japheth: and Ham is the father of Canaan.
Gen 9:19 These are the three sons of Noah: and of them was the whole earth overspread.
Gen 9:1 And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful [Hebrew: “akarpos”], and multiply, and replenish the earth.
We know that from these three sons of Noah the three main family lines of all physical nations came forth, and are indeed important for those who are keenly interested in the natural distribution and boundaries of those three divisions of mankind. But they all form part of one family or generation in the first man Adam:
Act 17:26 And hath made of one blood all nations [Greek: “ethnos” = race] of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation.
These nations from their beginnings until this hour are in constant friction because of how things were designed by God to dominate world news to this hour and focus most people’s attention on outward differences and racial separations:
Psa 2:1 Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?
Psa 2:2 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying,
Psa 2:3 Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.
Psa 2:4 He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision [“…forgive them; for they know not what they do”].
The three sons of Noah and their offspring were given attributes that are indeed diverse, which sadly have lead to many wars throughout human history, yet they also have much more complimentary issues that are not seen by those with carnal perspectives, as per God’s design. But all these vain things which drive humanity have one common purpose after God’s counsel and will – to “take counsel together against the Lord and against His anointed”. The generation in the first Adam is of one flesh (“one blood”) and is always in opposition to the generation of Christ who is of one spirit – the one blood or mind of Christ (1Co 15:45-50; Gal 5:17; Joh 3:6):
1Co 6:17 But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.
Eph 2:18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
Eph 4:4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling.
Although flesh is a divided house which will eventually fall and be completedly removed from existence, when it comes to the spiritual truths of God, flesh will always unite to oppose the truth. The flesh is united in all its efforts against the spirit of God:
Rom 8:5-8 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. 8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
Flesh is a necessary evil as it supplies the resistance and persecution to the spiritual elect of God who is in need of being productive in bringing forth spiritual fruit. As the one physical family of flesh follow three lines to “be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth”, even so does the spirit of God distribute spiritual gifts within the one body “to profit withal”. Through God’s spirit the body of Christ is also joined fitly “for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, [and] for the edifying of the body of Christ” (Eph 4:12).
1Co 12:4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.
1Co 12:5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.
1Co 12:6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.
1Co 12:7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.
The offspring of Noah’s three sons were given specific functions and areas to fill the earth and to be productive and industrious in those particular situations. The antithesis is seen in spiritual terms in connection with the “diversities of gifts”, the “differences of administrations” and the “diversities of operations” by which the spirit of God takes each one through his or her own spiritual growth process and to be of “reasonable” service in the body of Christ and to the rest of creation at a later stage (Rom 8:22-23; Php 2:9-13; Col 1:15-20; Rev 20:8-15):
Rom 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Col 1:24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church:
Through this work of God the whole earth will indeed be filled with the knowledge of God, even in the literal thousand year reign on earth by God’s kings and priests, and afterwards progressively during the great white throne judgement which will be used by God to bring all to spiritual perfection (Isa 11:1-16; Rev 20:1-15):
Hab 2:13 Behold, is it not of the LORD of hosts that the people shall labour in the very fire, and the people shall weary themselves for very vanity?
Hab 2:14 For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.
Industriousness or fruitfulness is a foundational theme which also featured prominently after the flood as Noah and his three sons typify for us. This theme of fruitfulness helps us to be diligent to maintain good works and to “avoid [unprofitable] foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions”:
Tit 3:8 This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.
Tit 3:9 But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.
Noah set the example for his sons to be productive and obedient to God’s word, even in the one hundred and twenty years when he continued to build the ark amidst a perverse generation who had no idea what he was aware of (Gen 6:3; Gen 6:14-16). It is not conjecture to assume that Noah’s example inspired his sons to help him with that task as that is what good parents do for their children. Job was also such a good example to his children when he “sent and sanctified them [his ten children], and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all” (Job 1:5; Gen 18:19; Deu 11:18-19; Pro 22:6; Pro 13:22 Eph 6:4):
Psa 78:4 We will not hide them [God’s works and words] from their children, shewing to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done.
Psa 78:5 For he established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children:
Psa 78:6 That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children:
Psa 78:7 That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments.
This industrious and obedient nature in Noah continued after the flood in obeying God’s commandment to be “fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth” (Gen 9:1):
Gen 9:20 And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard.
We are admonished by Scripture to be productive within our natural environment because it prepares us for our functions within the spiritual body of Christ:
2Th 3:10 For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.
2Th 3:11 For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies.
2Th 3:12 Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.
To be idle is a temptation to “wandering about” (to live without the knowledge of the “only true God, and Jesus Christ”) and to speak and do things prematurely or out of season for which we will suffer humiliation:
1Ti 5:13 And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not.
1Pe 4:15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters.
Ecc 3:1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.
The theme of productivity links with integrity and uprightness as we will be diligent even when no-one sees us. We will do everything “as to the Lord and not to men” (Pro 6:4):
Eph 6:7 With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men:
Col 3:23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;
Like Noah, the apostle Paul showed integrity by working with his own hands (which also points to privacy away from public view – “to men”) which enabled him not only to minister to his own needs, but also for the needs of others who were weak physically and spiritually (Mat 6:1-8):
Act 20:33 I have coveted no man’s silver, or gold, or apparel.
Act 20:34 Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me.
Act 20:35 I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.
After the global flood Noah “began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard” and that helps us so much to appreciate that our heavenly Father is not sleeping or slumbering at any time, but indeed the true industrious God who works all the time – even through Christ and the church (Psa 121:1-8; Joh 5:17; Php 2:13):
Joh 15:1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
Joh 15:2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
Joh 15:3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
Joh 15:4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
Joh 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
Every fruitful branch in Christ is diligent and productive whether through the “diversities of gifts”, the “differences of administrations” or the “diversities of operations” to be of “reasonable” service in the body of Christ (1Co 12:4). This is how the spirit of God takes each one through his or her own spiritual growth process – there is no other way to become mature to “the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ”:
Eph 4:13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
Eph 4:14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
Eph 4:15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
Eph 4:16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.
But in the story of Noah, we see how we all naturally get intoxicated with our productivity at first as we drink too much of our own importance, and our own nakedness is then revealed:
Gen 9:21 And he [Noah] drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent.
This is the first mention of drunkenness in the Scriptures, and the uncovering of Noah’s nakedness is very revealing and instructive. Although there is nothing written here that condemned Noah for drinking wine specifically, in the sum of God’s Word we can see that drunkenness was never something good as it is regarded as a sin (Lev 10:9; Pro 20:1; Isa 5:11; Hab 2:15; 1Co 6:10; Gal 5:21):
Eph 5:18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit.
This also typifies our own drunkenness in our time in the spiritual wilderness (the dry land) when we spiritually fornicate with the false doctrines of Babylon and get entangled in the philosophies and temporal issues of the world. That is when the harlot is seated in our heavens, and we blaspheme God:
Rev 17:2 With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.
Rev 17:3 So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.
This phrase to “uncover nakedness” is always referring to something of a sexual nature in the Scriptures. Spiritually we display all types of sexual perversions when we commit spiritual fornication with the seductive “man of sin” within ourselves through the lusts of self-worship and pride in our hearts (Lev 18:6-30; 2Th 2:3-4; Rom 1:1-32). These sexual perversions are also exhibited in the company we keep spiritually when we want to be puffed up and patted by others who we gather around us in evil self-pleasing spiritual orgies (Eph 2:2-3; Gal 5:21):
1Co 15:33 Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.
2Ti 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
2Ti 4:4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
Noah in his drunken state “uncovered” his own nakedness and was totally unaware of his condition, which shows us how our own natural man is blind to his own ignorance and vulnerability to be exploited by those who want to benefit from our blindness (Lev 18:6-20):
Lev 18:6 None of you shall approach to any that is near of kin to him, to uncover their nakedness: I am the LORD.
Nakedness equals shame as we think too much of ourselves when we cannot in childlike fashion acknowledge how we are dependent on the Lord and all in the Christ (Mat 18:1-4). We are all weak in the flesh and we all need the strength of the true angels God has ordained to serve us and “watch” with us as that is how we also overcome pride in our hearts (Mat 26:36-46; Luk 22:39-46; 1Jn 2:16):
Psa 10:4 The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.
Php 4:5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.
Php 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.