Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 2 * PART 2 * BOOK 3
BABEL: FALSE GODS
Genesis 9:1 – 12:1-3
Let’s just pick up where we left off last week as we were in chapter 9. Noah and his sons have now come out of the Ark and God has given them new instructions. Now they are permitted to eat of anything that lives, except they were not to partake of the blood. And life is indeed precious and so God makes the stipulation now that human life is to be protected by a civil government and that civil government was to exercise law and order by setting up a deterrent, which in this case we call capital punishment.
And again, we have to realize that there are many influential people who are aghast at capital punishment. And of course I can be, because there’s always that fear that you may be executing an innocent person. But I think the Bible takes all that into consideration. We’re talking about people who are without a shadow of a doubt, guilty of murder and they have to be dealt with.
No one wants to see an innocent person put to death, and that would be horrible, we know that. But as we move on then, in verse 7, God now continues to instruct. Remember God never leaves the human race without a knowledge of His will. Now back here they had no written law, they had no written Word, but nevertheless, God gave instructions and then it was expected that they would pass it on to the coming generation. And to a certain degree isn’t that our responsibility?
You know I’ve told people years ago when my own children were just babies, “You know we’re only generation away from paganism.” That’s all. One generation. Because you see, if we don’t instruct our little ones in the things of God and they grow up ignorant of all this, what are their kids going to be? Pagan. Or they’re going to be out in something as bad. And so it’s a responsibility of every generation to teach their children the things of God.
And of course, it’s been the failure of the human race from day one not to do it. And this has been the problem, even beginning with Adam. I’ve often had to think, Adam lived 930 years into that 1650 to the flood, he must have already seen the breaking down of the morality and how it must have torn at the man to see what was happening to his offspring. We’re going to see the same thing now after the flood. These three sons of Noah are going to be the progenitors then of another, within a matter of a couple of hundred years a civilization of people that go off the deep end into paganism.
“And you, be fruitful, and multiply; bring forth abundantly in the earth, and multiply therein. 8. And God spake unto Noah, and to his sons with him saying, And I behold, I shall establish my covenant with you, and with your seed after you;”
Now remember that this word covenant pops up all the way through Scripture but especially here in the Old Testament. And a covenant is always from God to man, and consequently it cannot be broken. God’s Word cannot be broken.
Now when man makes a covenant with man, usually they don’t last very long. We call them treaties today. A treaty usually isn’t worth the paper it’s written on, but when God made a covenant, it was eternal and it could never be broken. And now, He’s going to come in this covenant with Noah and it’s simply the one that you all know about, where “He sets the rainbow as a promise that He would never again destroy the earth with water.”
Now way back in Genesis chapter 1 when I referred to that first flood, I made mention of the fact that I think the reason God put this extra emphasis on not ever flooding the water again, was because He’s now done it twice. And He says, there’s not going to be a third time. Now He’s going to destroy it, we’re coming to the day, I think speedily when again this old earth is going to be completely renovated but it’s not going to be done with water, rather it will probably be with the forces from within, again volcanoes and earthquakes and cosmic disturbances, meteorites and various things, the earth is going to go through a complete regeneration in order to be fit then for the 1000 year Earthly Kingdom that is coming.
But here He established this covenant with Noah that He’ll never again destroy the planet with water and the rainbow, a lot of people have put a question out, well why the rainbow? Well, you want to remember before the flood, it never rained. There was no rainbow, but now after the flood we have weather and we have storm clouds; we have thunderstorms and the accompanying rainbow, and so God could verily literally say, “now when you see that bow, always be reminded that the flood was a literal happening but it’ll never happen again.”
Now I think we can leave that and we can come all the way down to verse 19.
“These are the three sons of Noah: and of them (those three men) was (what are the next two words?) the whole earth overspread.” Now again, flying in the face of what most people are taught in our secular educational system, contrary to most of science today, we maintain that the earth that now is – our mountains and our rivers and our plains and our streams, as well as our population, all began on this side of Noah’s Flood. Our present day mountain ranges came up as a result of the flood. Our present day river basins were all formed as Noah’s floodwaters receded and God established the seas.
I’ll have to beg your forgiveness. I forgot to cover a question that comes up so often. We’re going to cover it, because I think it’s interesting. It must have crossed your mind, when God took the water off the earth, which previously evidently was up there in the atmosphere in some sort of a vapor belt, and yet there’s nothing in Scripture to indicate that He lifted water back off the earth after the flood. And so the question has come up over the years, well where did all that extra water go after the flood?
So let’s just stop a minute, go back with me to the book of Job because it’s interesting that this old Book leaves no stone unturned. Go back to Job chapter 38, and let’s just reflect a moment on the floodwaters of Noah. And then we’ll come right back to his three sons. But the floodwaters of Noah are definitely on the planet and they’re in a particular place.Job 38 and drop down to verse 30 and I’ll give you a second to read the verse. And then you can tell me, where is the excess water? Sure! On the frozen icecaps, Antarctica and the Arctic. Frozen as a stone.
Now you see that rings a bell with the environmentalists, what are they scared to death of? Oh, the global warming. And you know I can remember telling my classes twenty years ago, that if the atmospheric temperature would raise an average of two degrees worldwide, New York City would be under water. And people used to look at me almost cross-eyed and I said, “It’s a fact.” If the average temperature would rise just two degrees, enough of those polar icepacks would melt that it would flood most of the coastal areas of the land masses on this earth, and now you see we’re hearing it.
I read it again, just the other day, if indeed we’re having global warming, and I doubt it. I think it’s just a big flap. But if we are, they’re scared to death that New York will go under water and LA could go under water, for God took the excess water and He froze it as stone up there on the northern icecap but predominately in Antarctica, on the South Pole. Well, I wanted to cover that because I think it’s kind of an interesting little tidbit.
Now if you’ll come back with me then to Genesis chapter 9, the three sons of Noah from whom the whole earth was populated. In other words, we can segment the whole mass of population tonight, into three areas: the sons of Ham, the sons of Shem and the sons of Japheth. And the more archaeologists dig the more they come to proving Genesis chapter 9 and particularly chapter 10. But we’ll leave it with that for just a moment because now we want to go to verse 20 and the Bible is, what shall I say? It never glosses over anything, does it? It tells everything like it is.
Now I think you and I would just as soon skip verses 21 through 23 because it’s not a very pretty picture. But God doesn’t do that. He doesn’t gloss over it, He doesn’t cover up even His choicest servants such as Abraham, David, Moses – when they failed God still puts it out there in front of us. All right, now look what happens to Noah, verse 20:
“And Noah began to be a husbandman, (in other words, he began to cultivate) and he planted a vineyard:” Grapes. And when you normally think of grapes, what’s your first product? Wine. And so Noah is the first indication, I’m not saying that it wasn’t before the flood, but it seems from Scripture that this is the first instance of the use of alcohol. And look what it did to the man. Even this great man, Noah. Man of Faith, a man who found grace in God’s eyes, a man who survived the judgment of the flood and yet alcohol got to him, and what happened?
“He drank of the wine, and was drunken;…” And I mean he must have been drunken to the place of having passed out. He’s out like a light.
“…and he was uncovered (or he was naked) within his tent. 22. And Ham, the father of Canaan,…” Now the Scripture is careful to point that out, because Canaan immediately reminds you of what other thing in Scripture? The Canaanites living in the land of Canaan, which now we know as the land of Israel.
All right, Ham then, one of the three sons of Noah, usually listed in the middle; it’s usually Shem, Ham and Japheth:
“…(Ham) 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.” Then verse 24, if you’ve got any insight at all into language, verse 24 should tell us something.
“And Noah awoke from his wine, and (what’s the next word?) knew what his younger son has done unto him.” I always tell my classes lately, twenty years ago, fifteen years ago, I would almost pass by these verses because you didn’t even like to touch on the subject, but we’re living in a day now where it’s in our every magazine. It’s in every newscast and we’re up against it in our society. And I personally think, and I can’t prove it, there’s enough evidence in Scripture based on verse 24, that something more than just ‘seeing’ Noah’s nakedness took place. Because of the verb “he knew.”
A drunken person in a stupor would never know that someone came into the room and left and saw his nakedness. So I have to feel that something homosexual took place here and it had to be something drastic like this for Noah to come back and place a curse not upon Ham, but upon his son Canaan. Now it’s interesting to note that the offspring of that grandson Canaan then were the people that we’ll be touching on somewhere down the road in Sodom and Gomorrah. And what was the problem in Sodom and Gomorrah? Homosexualism. And so it all ties together and we don’t want to over do the subject but I think we’ve said enough that this was not just a casual thing but it was something of intense importance. Verse 25.
“And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.” And so when Noah realized what had taken place, “he cursed Canaan” not Ham, but the son of Ham. And I’ve often wondered and I’ve had people ask me more than once, why did he curse Canaan, and not Ham himself? And the best explanation I’ve ever read I’ll pass on to you because I think it’s the best one, is that in the ancients and to a certain degree today, a son did not receive credit so much himself as his father.
Now let me give you an example. Remember back in the Old Testament when David came upon the scene, the first thing when King Saul saw what a specimen this young man was, what did he ask? “Who is his father?” And so the glory of David was a reflection upon his father Jesse.
And I think you have the same thing here in reverse. Had Noah placed the curse upon his son, Ham, it would have been a reflection upon whom? Himself. And so he skips that and he puts the curse upon Canaan, so that some day someone could say regarding Canaan, “Hey, whose son is that?” And they wouldn’t say, “Noah,” they’d say what? “Ham.”
Now I said, I think that’s the best explanation. But anyway the curse isn’t laid on Ham, it’s laid on Canaan and Canaan is the one who, remember, now maybe I can put a makeshift map and I always make sure that people understand that this is not drawn according to scale, but here’s our Mediterranean Sea, and here’s present day Jerusalem. (See map below.)
There’s the Sea of Galilee and the Jordan River, the Dead Sea, and this whole area now we understand as Canaan.
Now down here will be ancient Sodom and Gomorrah. And this is present day Jerusalem. But this is what we normally picture as the land of Canaan, throughout all of Scripture. Today we refer to it as the land of Israel, but for our sake of study, we’re still going to refer to it as Canaan because the Canaanites, the offspring of this grandson of Noah, are now occupying the land of Canaan.
Now this carries all the way into the coming of the nation of Israel, and hopefully within just a little while, we’ll be getting to Genesis chapter 12, which to me is the benchmark of Genesis because from Genesis chapter 12, we’re going to get the setting of everything that leads into our own doctrines in the Church Age.
And I’ll be almost boring you with it I think, because I make so much of the Abrahamic Covenant in Genesis chapter 12. But what I’m saying is when it comes to the choosing of a bride for Isaac. You know what the Old Testament says? Abraham had been told of God that Isaac’s wife was not to be a citizen of what? Canaan.
Abraham said “my son shall not marry a Canaanite.” Well, it comes all the way back to what took place here and that’s why we’ve got to take our time and look at all these things detail by detail, because there’s a reason for everything. This isn’t like some people try to say, just a bunch of Jewish myths that came about sitting around a campfire. This is the literal unfolding of God’s program and He’s giving it to us detail by detail and it all fits. Nothing comes into the picture that you can say, “Well now that just doesn’t fit.” It all fits. All right, so Canaan is the one who is cursed. And then he goes on to say:
“…Blessed be the Lord God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant. 27. And God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.” Now I’ve always been real careful that we do not imply that through these three sons of Noah and because of the curse place on the son of Ham, that God has given an inferior race or that he has made others superior. Now we’re going to see the whole human race divided from these three men and they’re going to be different in their role.
Now I like to use the word role in more places than one and we can use an analogy of an athletic team. Now you take a football team, just for an example, you certainly know enough about sports that the lineman has a totally different role than a running back. And a wide receiver has a totally different role from the quarterback. Some are on camera a lot more than others, but yet, take one of those players off the team and what happens? Well, the people who are most visible can do nothing because every member of that team has to play his role in order for the whole thing to work. And it’s the same way now with these three basic races of humanity. They are not one superior over the other, but they all have their particular role.
Now then, what are the roles that God has stipulated? Well, the offspring of Ham, who are going to be in the next chapter, predominately responsible for the building of the Tower of Babel, so somehow or other some of these offspring of Ham, and we’ll call them that, we’ll call them Hamites, make their way and then come to the land of Canaan. And from the Canaanites then we know that there is a migration down into what we would call southern Africa and maybe even southern Arabia and well, you come down later and you get to the Queen of Sheba, who probably came from some area down in that south.
Then from the Euphrates River, and we’ve seen that in the news lately, the Tigress and the Euphrates and remember I’m not drawing to scale. But somewhere east of the Euphrates River, we have the establishment of the offspring of the other son of Noah – Shem – and then from that Tower of Babel as they began to migrate up predominately toward Europe and western Russia, we have the offspring of Japheth.
I guess, it would be perfectly safe in saying that’s predominately what we call the white race, or the Caucasians are the Japhethites. Now out of the line of Shem, we’re going to follow predominately the man Abraham, who then becomes the father of not only the nation of Israel, but who else? All the Arab people. So our Middle Eastern people are predominately from Shem. And that’s why I put it over here on the board.
The offspring of Japheth are going to migrate up to Europe, Scandinavia, Great Britain and all up and down western Russia. Now all you have to do is reflect on human history. And we know that from the Tower of Babel, we have the population going to the Orient, China and I think from China, the Mongolians and those are the people that migrated then across the Pacific and were probably the forerunners of the American and the South American Indians, the Incas. But never lose sight of the fact that those people had tremendously advanced civilizations. In fact the Chinese were way ahead of the Caucasian races when it came to materials such as silk and mathematics; the spices, and many other areas. So you see, there’s no superiority here in the Caucasians over some of these others, but it’s the role.
Now it’s never dawned on me until the other day as I was just thinking, and I do a lot of my thinking just riding in the tractor, believe it or not. But it all of a sudden dawned on me that when God said here that He would enlarge Japheth, I think I can see now where it came about. And go with me if you will to the book of Acts, and chapter 16. Now up until this time, the Caucasian people or the Japhethites, were for the most part barbarian.
If you’ll remember when Rome was at the pinnacle of its power, Rome was actually overrun by the barbarians from the north, you remember? From the Gaul’s who sacked Rome and burned it, well they were the people of Europe and Northern Europe. And so the Japhethites were really of not much impact on the human race until we get here to Acts chapter 16. Remember Paul has been spending all of his time there in Asia Minor, which today is the land of Turkey. Now verse 6:
“Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Spirit to preach the word in Asia.” Asia Minor, in fact was where Paul had really intended to go, according to this he had been in Asia Minor and he intended to go back to the east, that was his intentions, but the Holy Spirit stopped him and instead it sent him due west to the land of Greece and thence the Gospel went to what continent? Europe.
And the Gospel as we now know it today is what Paul was given to preach to this Age of Grace we’re still living in for salvation. “How that Jesus died for our sins was buried and rose from the dead,” as found in I Corinthians 15:1-4. And all we have to do to be saved is believe that! So Paul went to Europe and it just simply overwhelmed them by what he preached. And as the Gospel went over Europe that in turn prompted European people by virtue of their convictions to go where? To America. And so we’ve seen now in the last several hundred years, how that the Caucasian races have taken the things that were more or less lying there dormant for ever so long and they’ve exploded it with intellectualism, with technology, and yet I think the engine behind it was Christianity itself. And so all of this again, ties together. Paul would have gone right back to Asia but the Holy Spirit said,“No, I want you to go to Europe.” And from Europe the Gospel of salvation spread to us.