Genesis 9-11

This reading contains two really interesting stories that can be confusing to our modern minds.

The first tells of a day when Noah got drunk and naked. We don't have a lot of details but he was obviously behaving shamefully. Where the story gets confusing is when Ham comes in. Ham sees Noah and tells his two brothers about it. Evidently this was a big taboo, because his behavior gets him in a lot of trouble with Noah. Some scholars have speculated that Ham must have also done sexually perverse things to Noah in his drunken condition, but since the text doesn't go there, neither will we. I think Ham's sin was that he dishonored his father by treating the situation too lightly. He was open about looking on his father's shame and shared it openly with his brothers. His brothers were very respectful in the way they dealt with the situation. I think it all goes back to "Honor your mother and father."

The second story is the tower of Babel. The people of the earth get together and decide to build a great city with a great tower. God doesn't like this and confuses their speech, giving us all the different languages of the world. For us, it seems like building a tower shouldn't be such a big deal. In fact, it should probably be celebrated, right? The issue with God wasn't the tower. The issue was the rebellion of the people. God's plan was for them to disperse and populate the earth. They choose the exact opposite and start building a man-centered society rather than one that is centered on God. The initial population of the earth is too big of a deal for God to allow them to screw up, so he confuses the languages which causes them to disperse as he originally planned.

We are also introduced to Abram who we'll be reading a lot about next week.
Monday's reading: Genesis 12.

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