God has given us the great privilege to have been born and raised in arguably the greatest nation on this earth – the United States of America. It is my view that my homeland is greater than Greece, the mighty Roman Empire, and even Babylon, in their prime. As incredible as this may sound, one of the strangest incidents in Scripture holds the key for the founding of this country. I speak of Ham’s involvement with Noah, his drunken father recorded in Genesis 9. Noah gave a prophecy which I believe holds the key to all of human history – but in particular to the history of the United States of America. This history is fleshed out in the identity and dispersion of the seventy nations which are the product of Noah’s three sons, Ham, Shem, and Japheth (Gen. 10-11). Understanding who these nations were and where many of them ended up is crucial in the formation of world history.
Bible students have spent much time focused on the meaning and purpose of the words “cursed be Canaan” – and rightly so. But this attention has lessened the impact of two other parts of the prophecy. “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Shem.May God enlarge Japheth and may he dwell in the tents of Shem” (Gen. 9:26-27). Here is the basis for the genealogical line of the Lord Jesus Christ and the people who will be used of God to bring Him into the world and to help Him achieve His purpose. Zero in on the words, “Blessed be YHWH, the Elohim (the living creator God) of Shem.” In order to understand this more clearly, we must go back to the fountainhead spring – the original source for God’s water of life.
Remember that this water of life stream began with Abel, who brought to God the right sacrifice of blood. Both brothers, Cain and Abel realized that God had covered their parents with animal skins (Gen. 3:21). This had to stick in their memories. These skins covered the couple’s fig leaf clothing and clearly marked God’s way back to the garden. The boys obviously knew that these coverings had been taken from animals who had been killed. When it was time for the boys to sacrifice to God, Abel seized on that event and brought a blood offering. Cain brought an offering of the work of his own hands. The Lord respected Abel and his offering, but He did not respect Cain, and his. Cain became very angry (Gen. 4:3-5)! But why? They both had the same info. The answer is clear! Cain rebelled. Cain knew what God required, yet he rebelled. He had probably reasoned in his heart, “I will bring my own sacrifice.” Do the words “I will be like God” ring a bell? God gave Cain a window of time to make things right. God told Cain that sin was at the door ready to consume him, but he must conquer it (Gen. 3:7). Conquering it meant bringing the right offering. But Cain would not! Cain’s rejection caused him to be furious with God, and his seething anger and crushed pride drove him to kill his bother Abel.
There was much more to the scene than meets the eye. John said that “Cain was of the wicked one” (1 Jn. 3:12). Satan was the force behind Cain’s rebellious offering. Jesus called Abel a prophet. Prophets speak for God though it is never recorded that Abel said anything. Abel spoke through his offering. He made the right sacrifice (Matt. 23:35; Heb. 11:4). Amazing! God was not shocked. He simply moved around Cain and plugged His stream of living water into Seth (God’s appointed one), Adam’s third son (Gen. 4:25). The living water then flowed from Seth’s generation to Enosh (weak, no power in self). It was through Seth’s people and the people of Enosh that people began to call upon the Lord before the flood (Gen. 4:26; 1 Cor. 1:26-31). The water kept flowing to the generation of Mahalalel (praise of God) and then through Cainan (deplorable) to the generation of Jared (decent). Jared’s name reminds us that God will always have a people throughout all of human history.
No matter how dark life gets, God always reserves for Himself a people (1 Kings 19:18). God’s line moved through Enoch (to put trust in God) who walked with God and was not, because God took him (Gen. 5:23-24). Jude wrote that Enoch preached against the sin that was moving quickly to take over the world (Jude 14-15). God may have removed Enoch from the earth in order to spare his life. This is a beautiful picture of the Rapture that will keep believers from the wrath to come (1 Thess. 1:10; Rev. 3:10). Methuselah means “when he’s dead, it [the flood] will come.” God passed the living water to Noah (Gen. 4:25-5:21). Noah’s ark landed on Mount Ararat and Shem, Ham, and Japheth and their families stepped off on dry land (Gen. 8:18). The first thing that Noah did was to build an altar and offer a sacrifice to God. Noah knew without question Who had miraculously spared him and his family. And he paused to give glory to Him. This is always a good idea! More to come. Blessings!