“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. 19 These are the three sons of Noah: and of them was the whole earth overspread. 20 And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard. 21 And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent. 22 And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without. 23 And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father’s nakedness. 24 And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him. 25 And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren. 26 And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.9:27 God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant. (Gen. 9:18-27)
Probably the most understated fact in the world is that the truth is hard to take. It could very well be a fact that the hardest undertaking for man is to accept, or acknowledge the truth. This is borne out by the example of man’s relationship with God. God is Truth; but most people cannot accept God. That means, basically, that most people cannot accept the truth about themselves, because the truth of God’s Word tells them how they are and how they need to change; and people don’t like that. In the Gospel of John, chapter 3 and verse 19 we read:
“And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.”
“men loved darkness rather than light”.
Truth goes against human nature; and man will always fight against the truth. But when someone REFUSES to do the right thing or refuses the truth it means they are hardhearted. God condemns man for his hardheartedness. But praise God because Jesus came to remove our hard hearts and to give us another spirit: a soft and malleable spirit where God’s will can reside. That means I can accept the truth about myself – my sinful nature – and accept to change. But according to scripture, few are willing to take up the offer.
Let’s conclude with some truths contained in the above portion of scripture.
It is unfortunate but there was something immoral in the nature of one of Noah’s sons, Ham, for when he saw his father’s nakedness he went and made fun of it to his brothers Shem and Japheth.
But the other two boys did not think it was funny. On the contrary, they considered their brother’s action as evil. Their father’s nakedness ought to have been covered, not made fun of.
(We love comedies, but God is not in the fun business.)
So Shem and Japheth went and covered their father; and they dared not look at him.
That there is a big lesson for the church – and for the world too. God created order and authority, and we are to respect that. We are to respect God, we are to respect our parents, we are to respect church leaders, and we are to respect the government. You can bet that a person who manages to respect all those institutions is a well rounded person in character.
When I was a young boy, living in my African village, there was a man in the village, a father to one of my friends. This man would often say, “The white man is a child of God.” He loved to say that, and he said it with a lot of respect. The fact that our country had just come from colonial rule did not seem to have any negative impact on his belief. Many years later, I understood why my friend’s father used to say that about the white man. It was not so much about the cars that he drove or the planes that he flew. Rather, it was something in the CHARACTER of the white man that this man noticed, and he was willing to acknowledge it.
In an unrelated incident, I have a friend who went to the US many years ago. In the course of the racial violence that engulfed the US recently, this friend told me that one day as he was standing at a store waiting to be served, a young Negro man ran up and stood in line behind him. The attendant was nowhere to be seen, and after a while the young Negro got agitated and, looking over my friend’s shoulder, he began shouting, “They won’t serve us now, huh?”
“Who?” my friend asked.
“Why, these White people!”
Right at that moment a man emerged from an inner room and came to serve them. But the man who came out to serve them was not a white man; he was Black.
My friend told me something else. He said, “Here in the US I have been served both by the white man and by the black man, and by far the white man will serve you far much better than the black man.”
Ham had a character flaw which his brethren did not have. If only Ham had acknowledged that he had sinned I am sure his father would have forgiven him and the outcome would have been much different.
The black man needs to acknowledge his failings and look to change them instead of playing the victim, which is the surest way for one to fail in this world. Depending on such victim-mentality organizations like the Black Lives Matter for liberation is a one way ticket to doom. The Black man should not desire to be liberated from the white man; the truth is, he needs to be liberated from his own self: he needs liberation from a failure in character.
This is why the black man needs the gospel of Jesus Christ. Jesus came to set man free, free from his own failings so that he can fulfill his destiny in this world, not through a victim mentality but through freedom of spirit, where he is able to take his position in life and become responsible in the family and in society. Where he is able to love and not hate his enemies, and to overcome evil with good. That is the unique opportunity that the black man has been offered.
This post is not a defense of the white man. Far from it. Actually, the white man is not any different from the black man. But the bottom line is that the white man has his unique position and responsibilities in life and he, too, can only fulfill them in Christ Jesus. Without Christ we will see him only exhibiting more of the failings that we already see in him.
The truth shall set us all free.