25 So he said,
“Cursed be Canaan;
A servant of servants
He shall be to his brothers.”
26 He also said,
“Blessed be the Lord,
The God of Shem;
And let Canaan be his servant.
27 “May God enlarge Japheth,
And let him dwell in the tents of Shem;
And let Canaan be his servant.”


When was a time you observed the sin of another person and removed yourself from the situation to not become involved? When was a time you observed the sin of another person but did not remove yourself and became involved and were guilty of further sin yourself? The latter was the case in today’s passage.

Noah had sinned before God by drinking too much wine and had passed out in his vineyard. Not only had Noah become drunk on wine, but he also passed out without any clothes on. To say he was experiencing the shame of his sin is putting it lightly.

Following these events, one of Noah’s sons, Ham, saw what had happened with Noah. Ham went and told his brothers, who then sought to honor their father by covering him up and looking away from him as they did so. After Noah awoke, he pronounced a curse on Ham and his family.

Noah’s response may seem harsh or unnecessary to us, but the indication here is that Ham did not simply observe his father and then report to his brothers out of concern. Rather, it seems that he reported to his brothers possibly by means of mockery regarding his father. Ham was guilty of dishonoring his father, which was sin in and of itself.

We should be careful to stay on guard, that we don’t multiply sin. As we have discussed in recent weeks, sin spreads quickly like a deadly virus. Apart from continual dependence on the Spirit of God and assessment of our own hearts, we will easily fall into the trap of committing further sin. Ham was an example of this multiplication of sin, while his brothers were an example of the kindness of God, who did not leave Adam and Eve in their deserved shame, but covered their nakedness and shame.

• How does dependence on God change the way we respond to sin compared to when we depend on ourselves?

• Where do you need to seek renewed dependence on God and the ability to fight sin this week?

• Pray and thank God that He has not left us in our shame, but has covered our sins by the blood of Jesus.