20 Noah, a man of the soil, proceeded[a] to plant a vineyard. 21 When he drank some of its wine, he became drunk and lay uncovered inside his tent. 22 Ham, the father of Canaan, saw his father naked and told his two brothers outside. 23 But Shem and Japheth took a garment and laid it across their shoulders; then they walked in backward and covered their father’s naked body. Their faces were turned the other way so that they would not see their father naked.”
NIV Genesis 9:20-23
12 “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.”
NIV Exodus 20:12
The sin of the situation was not necessarily the drunken stupor of Noah at the time, but rather the focus on what Ham done to his father. Yes, drinking and passing out naked is definitely not a good thing to do, however speaking foul about your father while spreading rumors and lies is a major violation of trust in the family. The Middle Eastern society at the time had great respect for the family and especially the parents. When Noah became drunk and passed out naked, Ham saw what had happened and saw his father there exposed. The sin wasn’t seeing his father as many people think in church today, but going behind his father’s back and spreading the gossip about him. He obviously told some additional tall-tales to everyone about the story as well. When Noah woke up, he was very displeased with Ham and cursed him.
The moral of the story is that you must always respect the family bond. Do not trust anyone with family business. Many times, you can’t trust family with family business. Do not tell your second cousin what happened with the argument between you and your mother last week. The cousins’ intentions are not always going to be good with that type of information. Most of the time the story is told and irrelevant opinions and evil are spoken of in the situation. This brings the wrath of evil on your family empowered by those criticisms. Things often get said that wind up hurting other people that would have never been hurt. This brings to the light how many of todays’ wrong doings were some of the same things going on today. To think that many people call the Old Testament irrelevant when it is very similar really is a disadvantage to them. Instead of looking at the books of the Old Testament as old customs, they really need to reflect back on it with a principle directed mindset and they will see many of those principles still exists today.
Davis, John J. Paradise to Prison. Salem, WI: Sheffield Publishing Co., 1998. ISBN: 978-1-879215-35-7.
Walton, John H. Chronological and Background Charts of the Old Testament. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1994. ISBN: 978-0-310-48161-4.
The Holy Bible. NIV. Crossway. Wheaton Illinois. 2007