How Does God Build Relationships? (Genesis 9)

How Does God Build Relationships? (Genesis 9)

– Going through a book of the Bible called Genesis. If you don’t know where it is, easy. Just open, you’re there. You’ve made it. Congratulations. And as we’re going through this great book of the Bible, I want you to know that is the book that God wrote. This is the only perfect thing on earth, and if we want a word from God, we need to open the Word of God. And not only is it true, and some of you have had these questions as we’re in Genesis. Are these mythical or historical realities? The people, places, and events, they’re all true, but the Bible is not just true, it’s truer than true, because there are some things that are true, like an accounting survey or like a phone book, but here what we find is it’s true, not just for the people it was written to, but it’s true for everyone, everywhere, and what happens, when we open the Bible, the Spirit of God works through the Word of God, and all of a sudden, we go from studying the Bible to the Bible studying us. All of a sudden, our motives and our intentions and our thoughts and our commitments, they’re called into question, and we enter into this sort of conflict with the Word of God, where it is challenging us and is seeking to change us. That’s the power of God’s living Word, and what we learn as we’re opening Genesis, the first book of the Bible, is that the theme is God. It said, “In the beginning, God.” So it all starts with God, and if you don’t start with God, nothing comes together. Before you can know who you are, you need to know who he is. And what we learn is that then God reveals himself as the creator of all people and things, as the center of human history, as the author of the story of human history, which is really his story, and the Rescuer and the Savior in the middle of history. And so once we get the big story of God in place, it allows us to then look at our lives and say, what is my little story, and how does my little story fit with God’s big story? Until you get the big story, you can’t make any sense of your little story. This is why every group, every ideology, every movement tries to create its version of the big story. And so probably the one that is most contradictory to the storyline of Genesis is what we would call modern day progressivism, and that is that we are good and we are getting better, and if we just get more time, we will make massive moral improvements. And so the result is then, if the big story is that we are good and that we get better over time, that evolutionary myth, then my little story is I need to jettison and reject everything from the past, traditional religion, morality, traditional understanding of gender, marriage, and family. We need jettison all of that, because it is oppressive and restrictive. It is limiting my capacity and ability to move forward with progress, to evolve and achieve my full potential. The converse of that progressive myth is Genesis, that God is good and we are bad, and that if God gives us time, we don’t get better, we get worse. So what we learned in Genesis 1 and 2, and I’ll catch you up to speed on Genesis 9, where we find ourselves. God, Genesis 1 and 2, made everything and everyone, and it was perfect. God nailed it. No sin, no sickness, no suffering, no death, no destruction, no devastation. All good. Genesis 3, our first parents, Adam and Eve, they align with Satan. They sin against God. They commit cosmic treason. Here comes death to all of human life, and also a curse on all of creation. They have two sons, Cain and Abel. We find them in Genesis 4. Abel worships the Lord. Cain gets angry and murders his brother. We were up to four people. Now we’re back down to three. The progressive myth isn’t working. There’s a planet, and two brothers can’t get along, so one kills the other. By Genesis 5, we see then that culture is advancing. They’re making technological advancements and creating cities. This is where the

progressive myth misunderstands, because they think that if we’re making external progress, we must be making internal progress. Not true. What we find is that people live a long time, and they have technological ability, and it only increases their capacity to do evil. So the progress is out there, but the regress is in here. And so what God does, he replaces Abel with Seth, so that there would be an option to all of us to descending from this murderous man, Cain, and what we see is then God determines that he is going to shorten human life, and this is such a grace and a gift. I mean, we saw this weekend. I mean, it’s pretty horrifying. We’re seeing one nation invade another, and see, we in our country, we have four-year terms for our elected officials, ’cause we don’t trust anyone for five years. That’s just too much, okay? We’re Americans and

we have our own guns. So we’re Americans, and the result is, when you’re up a dictator, they’re not making four-year plans. They’re making 40-year plans. They are stockpiling cash. They are amassing resources. They are training soldiers. They are strategizing and sequencing generationally. Now, imagine if someone like that lived not 40 years in office, but 800, and they were able to continue to make advancements in technology and weaponry. So what God does, God says, “I’m going to shorten human life.” We see in Genesis 6 that it says that God looked at everyone who existed. Their actions and their motives were constantly and only evil all the time, and God was grieved, and in addition, it broke God’s heart. So God had no one to work with. So he picks one guy named Noah, and it says that Noah received favor or grace. It’s the first occurrence of the Hebrew word for grace in the Bible, in the eyes of God. God says, “I’m gonna love you. I’m gonna save you. I’m gonna forgive you. In 120 years, I’m gonna judge all the sinners through a flood. You, your family need to follow my instructions. It says in Peter that he’s gonna preach and invite other people to worship God, and no one does. For 120 years, no one gets converted except for his family. They build the ark, and then they board it, and the lesson for you men is this. Eventually a storm comes, and if you are the head of household, you need to figure out how to build the ark to save the family.

– [Woman] Amen!

– And the government can’t save you, but ultimately your family is your responsibility. My family is my responsibility. And Noah takes responsibility and leads his family, so his whole family is spared. Then the flood comes, and all the sinners die, and then the water recedes, and then they exit. He builds an altar, sacrifices, worships to God. This is an overwhelming moment in human history. How many people are left on Planet Earth? Eight. The question is, what happens next? Where do we… Is God gonna show up, or are we on our own? Have we been abandoned? What comes next? And this is where we pick up the story. We plan death, and God plans life. Genesis 9:1 through 7. God… Isn’t that awesome? God blessed. Doesn’t say that they asked for it or they deserved it. If I had to pick one word in my life, it’s blessed. “God blessed Noah and his sons.” See, we want your families blessed like his family was blessed. “Said to them, “Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth.” He echoes what he said to Adam and Eve. “The fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, upon every bird of the heavens, upon everything that creeps on the ground, over all the fish of the sea. Into your hands, they are delivered. Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you.” We go from vegetarians to carnivores. This is a great verse. For some of you, you just got your new life

verse. You’re like, “That’s it, it’s my life verse.” If you like to grill, if you like to barbecue, you are having a bummer of a day until Genesis 9. “As I gave you the green plants, I give you everything. But you shall not eat flesh with a life in it, that is, its blood. And for your lifeblood, I will require a reckoning: from every beast I will require it and from man.” He’s talking about murder here. “From his fellow man I will require reckoning for the life of man. For whoever sheds the blood of man,” murder, “by man shall his blood be shed.” Capital punishment. “For God made man in his own image. And you, be fruitful and multiply, increase greatly on the earth and multiply in it.” So here’s Noah, and God speaks to him. Here’s what’s awesome. God speaks to us. We don’t just walk into the world and say, “I have no idea what to do.” God’s like, “Just listen to me, and I’ll tell you what to do,” and he tells him what to do. And he says, “First of all, here’s your relationship with me.” And he’s gonna talk about his relationship with others, and then animals and then the planet. And so God is going to give to Noah and for us these four categories of relationship, and in relationship to God, and what he says is, “I’m still your God and I’m still gonna bless you.” This is such good news. And how many of you, the world curses you, Satan opposes you, but God blesses you? Be wary of this. Sometimes when bad things happen, we’re like, “God, why are you attacking me? Why are you harming me?” Let me say this. The world is cursed and you have an enemy. Our God blesses his people. Now, Satan opposes and creation curses God’s people, but God blesses, and then it’s, “Okay, in addition, Noah, to my relationship with you, what’s your relationship with fellow human beings?” What he says is this. Even though we are sinful, we still bear the image and likeness of God. He told us in Genesis 1 that God made our first parents in his image and likeness, and here he echoes this, because after we have sinned and we’ve inherited a sin nature, the question is, are we still God’s image bearers? The answer is yes, yes. The result is human life is sacred, and you’re not allowed to murder anyone. Now, this gets misunderstood. The same author here, Moses, gives us the 10 Commandments, and one of the 10 Commandments is often mistranslated, “Thou shalt not kill.” It’s not what it says in the Hebrew. “Thou shot not murder.” What’s the the difference? Murder is the taking of an innocent life. Here God says, “If they murder, you can kill them.” That’s capital punishment. You say, well, you’re killing two people. Why is one good, one bad? Because murder was of an innocent person. Capital punishment is for a guilty person.
This is injustice, this is justice. And what God is saying is, unless we have laws and rules and we have governments to enforce them, this is why we believe in law enforcement. This is why we believe in the military. We don’t believe in the myth that everybody’s good and you should just let them do what they want. We believe that everyone has a sin nature, and ultimately, if there isn’t law to create equality and preservation of human life and flourishing and governments and those who are armed to defend human life, ultimately, evildoers will end human life through murder. This is where this progressive myth, we’re good and getting better, and all the shenanigans in the last year, like we need to not have police officers. Well, if you don’t have cops, then you don’t have life, because we’re bad, not good. And given an opportunity, we’ll do evil and destruction and death. And we just, human history is a bunch of arrogant fools going around a cul-de-sac, talking about their progress, and every generation believes the same dumb ideas, and comes to the same erroneous conclusions.

– [Man] Amen, that’s right!

– In addition, what he says is that the relationship with animals is now going to change. So you have a relationship with God, you have a relationship with others, you have a relationship with animals. What he says is animals are no longer going to obey you. They’re going to dread you. See, previously, God brought all the animals to Adam to name them. God brought all the animals to Noah to enter the ark. How many of you have dealt with animals, and they no longer obey? I have a dog that won’t do anything. I’ll just tell you. It’s obviously a non-Christian dog. He won’t do anything. How many of you have tried to get a pet to do anything? It doesn’t work. Let alone a wild animal. The animals no longer obey. And as a result, we can eat them, so it’s fair. So this is the beginning of carnivores. How many of you love meat? Right? Okay, good, yeah. And all the vegetarians, we love you, ’cause there’s more meat for us. But up until this point in human history, we ate vegetables, and then we add a little protein to the diet. So this is a good day. And then the relationship with the earth, with the planet that God made, what he says is this, that ultimately, this is a new creation. What God did, he flooded, and so there was no land, and then the water receded and the land emerged. Noah and his family exit the ark. It’s like a new creation, and what he says now is we’re kind of starting over. So this is like we had the Creation, Genesis 1 and 2, and then the fall. This is like the new creation. We had the first at Adam and Eve and their three named sons. Now we have Noah and his unnamed wife and their three sons. It’s like God is starting over. He’s resetting humanity and human history. So what we see here is that Noah replaces Adam, and I’ll give you some comparisons and contrasts. Both Adam and Noah are the fathers of all humanity that descend from them. We descend from Noah and Adam. Both worlds are brought forth out of watery chaos. Both men are said to, quote, bear the image of God. Both men, quote, walked with God. Both men ruled over animals. Both men are given the cultural mandate to increase the population and to create culture. Both men work the ground. Both men sin against God. Both men experience shameful nakedness following their sin. You’ll see that in a moment. Both men had their nakedness covered. Both men were in covenant with God, and both men have three named sons. And what happens is we think, okay, you know, maybe Adam and Eve just blew it, but I’m sure there’s a good person somewhere that’ll get it right. And God waited 1,656 years, and everyone sinned. Enoch walked with God, was taken to heaven, and Noah got grace from God, so then God saves this family, gives them 120 years to mature in their faith, to build their boat, and to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, to invite people to turn from sin and trust in the living God, and then God is going to start over with Noah and his wife. And the question is, are they gonna do any better? And sometimes we look at Adam and Eve, and we think, “I would’ve done better.” No, you wouldn’t. No, you wouldn’t. So then here’s where the story continues. We bring chaos. God brings covenant. One time previously in Genesis, this word covenant appeared, and here it appears repeatedly. “Then God said to Noah,” God speaks, “and to his sons with him, “Behold, I establish my covenant with you and your offspring,” covenant families, “and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the livestock, every beast of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark; it is for every beast of the earth. I establish my covenant,” there’s the word again, “with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood.” I’m not gonna flood the earth again. “And never shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.” And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant that I make between you and me and every living creature that is with you, for all

future generations; I’ve set my bow,” it’s a rainbow, “in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant.” Covenants have signs. That’s why I’m wearing a wedding ring. I mean covenant with Grace, and the wedding ring is the sign of our covenant. “Between me and the earth. When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh. All the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant.” So for all of human history, until the Second Coming of Jesus, this covenant remains, “between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.” God said to Noah, “This is the sign of covenant that I’ve established between me and all flesh that is on the earth.” So all of a sudden, the question is, what’s a covenant? I mean, God keeps saying, “I got a covenant relationship, covenant relationship, covenant relationship.” A covenant relationship is a grace-based relationship, not a works-based relationship. The difference between a grace-based relationship and a works-based relationship is one you have to earn and you have to keep earning. So there’s a lot of pressure to perform. In a grace-based relationship, you don’t earn it, and you don’t have to keep working in an effort to maintain it, because it was a gift to you. Let me tell you a lot about covenant relationships, and depending upon kinda where you’re at theologically, not to get super deep into the weeds, there are either five or six covenants in the Bible. I’ve got a book called “Doctrine.” You can go to, click on the store. There’s an ebook there of the “Doctrine” book. It’s a massive systematic theology I authored. There’s a whole chapter on covenant, so you could read for yourself. There is a debate as to where God had a covenant with Adam. Here, we see that he has a covenant with Noah. Coming up, you’ll see a covenant with Abraham, and then there’s a covenant with Moses, and then there’s a covenant with David, and then there’s the New Covenant with Jesus. So throughout human history, there are these series and successions of covenants that are established by God for relationship with his people. The Bible speaks of covenant very frequently, hundreds of times, using numerous words, but in this occasion, what it refers to is God’s loving kindness, the consistent, ever faithful, relentless, constantly pursuing, lavish, extravagant, unrestrained, one-way love of God. See, so much in our life is, I give to get. It’s two-way. If I do that for you, what will you do for me? Hey, yeah, I did that. You owe me. A covenant relationship is literally one-way love. God says, “I have, you need. I give, you don’t.” It’s just one-way love. The reason that it is so hard for us to even conceive of this, because we don’t have relationships like this. All our relationships tend to be works-oriented. You’ve gotta earn it, and you’ve gotta keep earning it. And it’s two-way, it’s a give and a take. It’s not just a give. Sometimes it’s translated this word covenant in various English translations, loving kindness. I think about this. God just did what? He flooded everyone, and what that means is he is holy, bad things happen, horrible things happen, heretical things happen when we take one attribute of God and we make that into God. God is holy and he’s just. He just killed everybody except for eight people. He’s also loving. So if he loves you, you should be really grateful, because he doesn’t have to. He’s not obligated to, because it’s a grace-based relationship. Sometimes translated loving kindness, other times, mercy. How many of us, there’s just certain days, you’re like, “I know I had a bad day, and I could just use some mercy today.” Steadfast love. How many of us have had people, you’re like, “I thought they loved me, but man, they were not steadfast. I couldn’t count ’em. They were inconsistent or inconsiderate.” In addition,

it’s called loyal love. Loyalty’s that beautiful language of devoted friendship. I am loyal to you and my loyalties, when tested, will be proven that I’m loyal to you. Sometimes it’s translated devotion, commitment, reliability. This is different than God’s general love for everyone. This is his covenant love for his kids. I think it’s in Hosea, he talks about that he’s a Father and he loves his children with a covenant love. So it does say that God loves the whole world. So God does love the whole world, but this is a unique, this is a fierce, this is a narrow, this is a specific, this is a devoted love for you as this children. So for example, I love the whole world. I really love my kids. I got five kids, love ’em with all my heart. I love everybody, but not like I love them. I will do things for my kids that I wouldn’t do for other people. I will give things to my kids that I won’t give to other people, and I will make sacrifices for my kids that I won’t make for other people. It doesn’t mean I don’t love other people. It means that I have a covenant love for my children. This is the Fatherhood of God. God’s a Father. If you’re a Christian, you’re his kid. You’re in a covenant relationship. Now, the Jesus Storybook Bible was a Bible that I read to our kids when they were little. They’re big now, so they could read their own Bible, but when they were little, I’d tuck ’em in at night, and I’d read the Bible and I’d pray with ’em, and if you can even believe it, I would sing with them, and I have a terrible voice, but they were little and they didn’t judge. So this was kind of our nightly bedtime routine, and in the Jesus Storybook Bible, it has, I think, one of the most lovely definitions of covenant. It’s called, quote, the never stopping, never giving up, unbreaking, always and forever love. Isn’t that? I used to say that many nights over my children. It’s the never stopping, never giving up, unbreaking, always and forever love. I would say, “God loves you like that, and so does your dad, not as perfectly as God does.” One time, I’ll never forget, my oldest daughter, big brown eyes. She looked at me, she said, “Oh!” I said, “What?” She said, “I have two dads. I have a dad in heaven and a dad on earth, and they both love me.” I just got teared up. I thought, I better love her well, ’cause he shared his name with me. We’re both called Father. And so if I can have a covenant with her, she can understand a covenant with him. One-way love, grace-based, loyal devotion. I want to give, not take. So what happens whenever there’s a covenant, there are six components to a covenant. There is a mediator between God and the people. There are blessings. There are conditions, and if you break them, you bring curses, so it’s blessing or cursing. There is a covenant community. There are promises of the coming of Jesus, ’cause the point of every covenant is to get us ready for the coming of Jesus and the New Covenant. And then there is a sign for the covenant. So with the Noahic Covenant, who’s the mediator? Noah. God says, “Okay Noah, I’m gonna talk to you, and this is for your family, and then for everybody who’s gonna descend from you.” So Noah is the mediator of the Noahic Covenant. The blessings he is given is, well, you get to live. A lot of people died. You get to have kids and grandkids, so you’re gonna have a blessed family, and God is going to never flood the earth again. So you know, when it starts raining, no PTSD for you. Can you imagine that? Can you imagine after that, Noah’s in bed night and hears rain. God’s like, “Go back to sleep, son. I’ll stop it eventually. You’ll be all right.” And then there is the sign of the covenant. Well, so the blessings are no flood. The conditions are no murder. No murder. You can’t just run around taking human life. Now, there can be capital punishment and justice, and there could be just war, but no just haphazard murder, as we saw with Cain, the first murderer in the history of the world. The covenant community here is a family. It’s a family, and you need to know that I have a family, and when my kids get married, they have their family, and

our church is also a family. You need to know that we’re a covenant. We’re God’s people. You’re God’s people. You’ve never felt like you belonged, well, welcome. We love you. We’re glad to have you, and if you’re a Christian, you’re part of God’s family. God’s a Father. He says that we’re to treat each other like brothers and sisters. The language is very family, and in a world of broken family and traumatizing family and disrupted family, God’s family is an additional blessing. And sometimes, sometimes church family is what you need to overcome what you got from your family, and so here, the language of the covenant community is family. So you just need to know my heart as your pastor is, this church is a family. That’s who we are. We’re a family. We’re gonna love each other, help each other, serve each other, and drive each other crazy, ’cause that’s what family does. And the promise is that Jesus is coming as the Savior. Just as they were saved from destruction and judgment, Jesus is going to come and save from judgment and destruction. So what is the sign? What is the sign of the covenant? It’s a rainbow. So let me show you this. When we see that, what do we tend to think of? You don’t wanna say
it, ’cause you’re in church, but I know what you’re thinking. So June is Pride Month. You know, it’s really weird. We don’t have Humility Month to balance it out. In fact, pride is demonic, and Satan is the father of pride. I can’t get it off my Google calendar. I tried. I tried. Apparently Satan runs the internet, so… What happens is… I just probably got kicked off. That’s fine. I don’t care. What happens is God puts a rainbow in the sky. Now, let me explain this to you, so pay attention. In the ancient world, what was the weapon of war? It was the bow. Today, it’s the gun, okay? I’m not gonna ask you if you have a gun at your house. We’re in Arizona. I know you do. And if you’re new, you need to get one, okay? So… You need… It’s part of your citizenship requirement, right? We’re those people. So it’s like, “Welcome to Arizona. Here’s a driver’s license and a gun, you know? Good luck.” So if you came home and you were, let’s say, a wife or a kid, and dad was gone and the gun was gone. Ruh-roh! Yeah, something’s going down. It’s a bad day. In their day, the bow was their weapon of choice, and it would hang on the wall, just like some of you have got a firearm somewhere near, you know, your bed or your entryway to your home. And so what God did in the flood, he came as a warrior and he judged humanity, and what would happen in the ancient world is, after the war, the warrior would come home, and when he hung his bow up, it was to the note that peace had come. It was no longer wartime. It was peacetime. So what God says is, “I’m putting a rainbow in the sky. That’s my way of hanging up my bow. I’m not warring against you anymore. I’m gonna give you grace. I’m gonna be patient with you. I’m gonna love human beings, even if they don’t love me. And I want you to turn from your sin and trust in me. I wanna have a relationship with you.” And everything that God creates, Satan counterfeits. The rainbow was the icon, it was the symbol or the logo of the Noahic Covenant. When you have a company, you have a symbol, you have an icon, you have a logo, you trademark it, so that what? Nobody steals it. Satan stole God’s logo. And now those who are rebellious and sinful against God, they mock him by taking his symbol for covenant and using it for rebellion. The result is this first flag was created in 1978. It originally had eight colors. It was created by a drag queen artist. The pink represents sex, and I think that might have been out of Nazi Germany, because those who are alternative lifestyle were forced to wear the pink triangles. Red was for life. Orange was for healing. Yellow was for the sun. Green is for nature. Turquoise is for art and magic. Blue is serenity, and purple is for the spirit or demon. So it begins with sex and it ends with demons. Everything God creates, Satan counterfeits. So we live in this

bizarre world where God says, “I could kill everyone, but I won’t.” And we say, “Great, then we will mock you.” Do not be deceived. God will not be mocked. We will reap what we sow. It’s a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. It’s one thing to struggle. It’s another thing to celebrate that which is wicked in God’s sight. If you’re struggling, God wants to help you, but if you’re celebrating, you are picking a fight with an undefeated warrior. So then the question is, how’s it gonna go with Noah and his sons? You know, Adam and his sons didn’t go so good. They’re gone. Noah and his sons, how’s it gonna go? Are they gonna be good people, or are they gonna do better? Nope. Genesis 9:18 through 29. So you’re like, “Where’s the good people? Where’s the good people?” You gotta read for a long time. You’ll meet a guy named Jesus. He’s coming, okay? “So the sons of Noah who went forth from the ark,” were Larry,

Curly, and Moe. Shem, Ham, and Japheth, okay? “Ham was the father of Canaan.” Those are the bad guys, okay? If this was an old Western, they’re wearing the black hats. “These were the sons of Noah, and from these the people of the whole earth were dispersed.” Everybody comes from these three sons. “Noah began to be a man of the soil.” He picked up gardening, “and he planted a vineyard.” Do you know how much you gotta want to drink to learn how to… Grow a vineyard? Noah gets out there. He’s like, “I need a drink so bad, I gotta figure out how to farm, so that I could have a vineyard that I could cultivate grapes, that I could turn the grapes into wine, and I could get drunk to remember the flood.” That’s where he is at, okay? “He drank of the wine and became drunk.” Noah is drunk, “and he lay uncovered in his tent.” This is a hillbilly redneck saga of biblical proportions. This is the beginning of NASCAR. This is the beginning of the 4th of July. This is the beginning of country music. There’s a lot of things that start here. And it gets weird, though. Okay? How many of you are you like, “I didn’t see this Veggie Tale.” They didn’t… I didn’t. When they had the flannelgraph in my Baptist church when I was a kid, we didn’t… We didn’t have this puppet. I didn’t see this. “And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the…” The Texas International Version, “the nakedness of his father, and told his two brothers outside. Then Shem, Ham, and Japheth took a garment, and laid it on both their shoulders, and walked backwards.” You know… “Hey, dad’s naked.” “Huh.” “Hey, you get a blanket, okay? One, two, three…” Right? “Did we hit ’em?” “I don’t know, I’m not checking. I’m just… We tried.” “Covered the nakedness of their father. Their faces were turned backward. They did not see their father’s nakedness.” When they got out of the tent, there’s only two guys in the tent. When they got outta there, they’re like, “Just to be clear. Waited and waited and waited.” Eyes straight ahead. “We did not, did not deviate from the plan.” “When Noah awoke from his wine.” He’s hungover, passed out. “Knew what his youngest son had done to him.” He said, “Cursed be Canaan.” That’s the son of Ham. Ham looked, and Canaan was was cursed. The whole family is under a curse. I don’t think here Noah is cursing them, but I think he is declaring that God is cursing them. “Cursed be Canaan, a servant of servants shall he be to his brother.” He also said, “Blessed.” So here’s the blessing in the cursing. 80 times-ish Genesis talks about blessing. It’s the book of the Bible that mentions blessing the most, and there’s only two ways to live your life, blessed or cursed. “Blessed be the Lord, to God of Shem; and let Canaan be his servant. May God in large Japheth, and let him dwell in the tents of Shem, and let Canaan be his servant.” After the flood Noah lived 350 years. All the days of Noah over 950 years, and he died.” Human life is here going to begin to shorten. So what usually happens is, when we talk about Noah, everybody goes to Genesis 6, nobody goes to Genesis 9. It says in Genesis 6 that he found

favor and grace in the eyes of the Lord, that he was a righteous man, blameless, and he walked with God. And we’re like, Noah was a great guy. Genesis 9, he’s also drunk and naked. So let me say this. He’s not Jesus, amen? He needs Jesus. The point is this. He was saved by grace. He was… He was forgiven, not perfect. And he was a man that God did good things for, but that doesn’t mean that he was a good man, okay? And what we do, we look at Noah, and we try to turn him into this mythical superhero. He was a great guy. You’re like, “Well, he, what? Huh?” Well, he is also naked and passed out in a tent, and some of us would look at Noah, and just check your own heart. We’d say, “Oh my gosh, I would never do that.” That’s ’cause you don’t have a tent, okay? But that’s it. The only difference between most of us and Noah, is you’re like, “I don’t have a tent.” Other than that, his story is our story. How many of us have, don’t raise your hand, but… Right, you gotta see that, ’cause if they had a few drinks, “Oh, okay.” So, but how many of us, we’ve eaten things we shouldn’t have eaten, we’ve smoked things we shouldn’t have smoked, we’ve taken pills we shouldn’t have taken, and we drank too much? You guys need to know we are next to a casino. If you wanna know what this looks like on the way out, just continue to the left. There are places that people constantly overindulge, and here, Noah does. So he is a loved man, but he’s not a perfect man. And let me say this. He’s a believer, but he has a bad day. Do believers have bad days? Yeah. He is a believer, but he’s having a bad day. And sometimes what we learn here is the worst sin happens at home with your family. We tend to think of the world as a dangerous, evil place. Sometimes home is a dangerous, evil place. Sometimes the worst things that happen happen with family members, and what happens here, it doesn’t tell us a lot, right? How many of you got questions. You’re like, “Huh?” You know pun intended, but all we have is the bare details. That’s all we have. That’s all we got. So the question is, when Ham went in, was he lusting? Was he mocking? Did he do something? What happened? We don’t know. One guy goes in a tent, the other guy’s naked and passed out. The guy wakes up, and he’s really angry. Something happened, but it wasn’t good. Now, that being said, there are only two ways to live your life. Ham, and his family line through Caanan, his son, Noah’s grandson, cursed. Shem, blessed. The whole point of this family and the covenant is to have the nation of Israel come into existence through Abraham. That’s coming up. And then ultimately, someone’s gonna come from this family and this nation. His name is Jesus Christ. So there’s three boys. One of them is gonna bring forth Jesus. Well, not Ham and not Canaan. They’re out. So Shem gets chosen by God to be the family line through which Jesus Christ would come. Let me say this. God thinks generationally, God think in terms of legacy, and we need to as well. Now, in studying it this week, one thing that I missed previously, who went into the tent? Ham. Who was cursed? Canaan. Canaan was Ham’s son and Noah’s grandson. Now, it doesn’t give us details why, but what we can see from the line and the legacy and the lineage of Canaan, he is a sick, perverted, rebellious, demonic, evil person and family line. Sometimes it’s like father like son, and so the curse is not just on Ham, but it’s also on Canaan, because the whole family line that’s gonna come through them is going to be evil and demonic. And let me say this. There are sometimes family lines, they’re just all bad. Now, God can save someone and start a new family line. He’s gonna do that coming up with Abraham, but sometimes it’s just generational. They’re like, those people are wicked and they’re dangerous. I mean, every one of ’em. That’s the Canaanites. So from Canaan, and he is cursed. Let me say this, Canaan is cursed, and then there is, there is this racist theology I just wanna correct. And since many

people who are Black or non-white descend from Canaan, some racists have taught wrongly and horrifically in history that the curse of Cain is being Black, because there were some people who descend from Canaan and they live in Africa. Well, the truth is a bunch of white people descend from Canaan as well. There’s a whole bunch of people that descend from Canaan. So it’s not about the outside. It’s about the inside. And ultimately, he’s cursed ’cause God knows his heart, and it’s just rebellious and it’s sick. Now, from Canaan comes a couple of different people groups, the Egyptians, the Babylonians, the Assyrians, the Philistines, and the Canaanites. So as you read the rest of the Old Testament, you’re gonna see all of these different nations that come from Canaan, and they’re all at war against the descendants of Shem and Japheth, that sons become nations, and that if one son doesn’t walk with the Lord and the others do, then the conflict that started in heaven between God and Satan and showed up in the garden between Satan and Adam and Eve continues into nations that proceed from sons. Wherever the descendants of the Canaanites go, these descendants of Canaan, they do the most wicked evil in the Old Testament. They combine politics, demonic spirituality, sexuality, and child sacrifice. These are the people that Solomon intermarries with, has 700 wives, 300 concubines, and is murdering children to the demonic gods of Molech and Chemosh. That’s the descendants of Canaan. Imagine if the White House was also a brothel and a cult with an abortion clinic. That’s how they ran their government wherever the descendants of Canaan went. Just horrific evil.
And what happens? This is very curious. So what is being reported in Genesis was not written until many years later by Moses. God’s people had been enslaved in Egypt, which were the descendants of Canaan. So God’s people go into Egypt, the Egyptians descend from Canaan, the Pharaoh, who was a descendant of Canaan, enslaved God’s people, murdered their sons. God delivered them to freedom. They are now walking in the wilderness, 40-year wandering, to get to the promised land that was promised to their father Abraham coming up. And it says in Deuteronomy 7 that when they get home to the promised land, after having been gone 400 years in bondage and 40 years of wandering, 440 years, when you get home, who’s gonna be living on your land? The Canaanites. They moved in. Let me say this. Satan likes to move into places that belong to God’s people, that God’s people tend to build things, and then Satan tends to steal them and hijack them and occupy them. That’s what he tried to do in heaven, that’s what he did in Eden, and that’s what he does in the promised land. I mean, I’ve seen whole churches and denominations that God built, and then Satan moved into. And what’s happening here, he tells them in Deuteronomy 7, “When you get to the promised land, kill all the Canaanites.” So God here is preparing them for war. They’re going to have to defend that which is theirs. Well,
let me ask you this. So we had Adam and his sons. How did they do? Not good. We had Noah and his sons. How did they do? Not good. It’s been a long time now. We’re pushing somewhere in the neighborhood of 2000 years. All the fathers and sons, not good. Point is, we need a different father and we need a different son. We need a better father and we need a better son. This leads us to Jesus. The whole Bible is about Jesus Christ. Don’t get distracted. Let me just riff for a moment. Don’t get distracted in Genesis. You’re like, “Oh, there’s a big boat. What’d they do with the animals? How about the dinosaurs?” Look, it’s about Jesus. The rest is all, you know, it’s all props on the stage, but don’t miss the whole big idea. He told us all the way back in Genesis 3:15, God did, when sin entered the world, that Jesus was coming. Through the line of the woman would come the dragon-slaying, sin-crushing, eternity-opening Savior. So the whole

point is, the big idea is we gotta get to Jesus. Everything’s a disaster unless Jesus shows up and fixes the mess we’ve made. Jesus is arguing in John 5 in the New Testament with some religious guys, and he says, “You think you know scriptures. You don’t.” He said, “These scriptures testify about me.” The point is this. You don’t know the Bible unless you know Jesus, ’cause the Bible is about Jesus. So what happens? Eventually, God the Father sends God the Son. What we’ve looked at so far, we saw genealogy of fathers and sons in Genesis 5. The point is, these fathers and sons, they’re part of the problem. That Father and Son, they alone are the solution. So what happens is God the Father sends Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and Jesus is celebrating something called Passover. It comes from the days of the Exodus, and it was something that God’s people, who were wandering in the wilderness, receiving Genesis, had been practicing since they were in Egypt. It just got instituted, and that is that God’s people would come together and they would confess their sins and they would lay hands on an animal and they would impute their sins, and then they would slaughter it, showing that sin requires death, that sin requires sacrifice, but that their sin had been imputed, and all of this was to prepare them for Jesus Christ, our Passover Lamb who was slain. When he shows up, John the Baptizer says, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world.” The whole point of Passover, like everything else, was to point to Jesus. And they would then take the blood of the sacrifice substitution animal, and they would then paint the doorpost to their home, and when the angel of death came to town, it would literally pass over those who by faith had confessed their sin and put their trust in the coming of Jesus. It’s that Passover meal. It’s been celebrated since the days of the Exodus. The people who received Genesis, many of them were still alive, and they were the first ones to actually have Passover, and it continues all the way up until the coming of Jesus. And Jesus sits down with his disciples, and he goes to celebrate Passover. We now know it as the Last Supper. And therein, he’s gonna call God his Father. We’ll read it in just a moment. This is Jesus favorite designation for God. 80-plus times, he calls God his Father. It’s a perfect Father and a perfect Son coming to save imperfect fathers and imperfect sons. And they’re sitting down at the meal, and there were things that they would say that had been unchanged since the days of the Exodus, and Jesus alters human history. He says things that have never been said, and he shows that he is the fulfillment of the Passover and all of the Old Testament. We’ll read it together. Matthew 26, 26 through 29. “Now, as they were eating, Jesus took bread. After blessing it.” See, he’s the God who blesses. The God who blessed in the Old Testament is Jesus. “He, blessing it, he broke it. He gave it to his disciples, and said, “Take and eat.” This line is new. “This is my body.” That’s new in human history. What he’s saying is, “My body is going to be broken for your sin.” “And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them saying, “Drink it, all of you, for this is my,” here’s a new line. “This is my blood. My body will be broken. My blood will be shed Of the,” what’s the word? Covenant. This is the New Covenant. All covenants lead to the New Covenant. “Which is poured out. My blood is going to be poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” See, there’s two options, the flood or the forgiveness. “I tell you I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.” It’s a new Father, new Son. We looked. Jesus was coming through Shem. He came. And he came to bring the New Covenant. The New Covenant is incredible, because rather than God ending our life, he gives us his life. Jesus here is about to be betrayed by Judas Iscariot. He’s about to be arrested and

murdered. He is about to be crucified and put to death, and what he says is, “Let me tell you why I’m going to die. Not for my sin,” ’cause he has no sin, “but for your sin, ’cause you need to be forgiven.” He is inviting them and us into a grace-based covenant relationship, one-way love of God. This is why, when we take communion, we use these elements of bread and wine or juice, depending upon your conscience, to remember that through the sacrifice of Jesus, we have loving New Covenant relationship with God. Do you know Jesus? Do you love Jesus? Do you belong to Jesus? Are you trusting in Jesus? Is your hope in Jesus? Yeah, that’s the heart of the New Covenant. See, God… What I love is, you and I, we should die in the flood, or we should be hung on the cross. And instead, the Son of God comes and dies in our place for our sins. He doesn’t end our life. He gives his life. This is the love of God. I wake up every day, and I can’t believe that my sins are forgiven, and that God loves me. I’ve been a Christian since I was 19 in college. I’m 51. Every day I wake up, I’m like, “How do you put up with me? I’m sick of me.” Like, you know? And the older I get, the more I’m convinced he didn’t pick me ’cause I’m helpful. It’s just this great mystery, Paul says, and see, there’s something in us that just says, “Why does God love me?” It’s not ’cause I’m good, it’s ’cause he’s good. And it’s not ’cause I deserve it, but because he gave it. Jesus goes to the cross, his body is broken, his blood is shed, and he became cursed so you could become blessed. He died so you could live. He became unrighteous so you could be declared righteous. He endured the wrath of God so you could receive the grace of God. See, Jesus didn’t come to curse us. He came to lift the curse for us and bless us. So all of this Old Testament is leading to Jesus, and all of these covenants are leading to Jesus. Let me close and explain the difference between a covenant and a contract, and I’ll tell you a story. Most of us don’t understand covenant, because all of our relationships are contract, okay? Let me give you a comparison and contrast, and I’ll use marriage as an example. My wife, Grace, is here. We’re gonna be married 30 years, this August, okay? So we’re in a covenant, and I wear, like I said, a wedding ring is the sign of the covenant. My relationship with Grace should not be contractual. Husbands, write this down. It should be covenantal. A contract is between two people. We sign contracts all the time. A covenant is between three people, so like it’s Grace and I and the Lord. That’s why we get married in a church with the presence of God. God is part of our covenant. In a contract, I seek my will. Here are my deal terms. This is what I want. In a covenant, we ask, what is God’s will? So Grace and I can’t look at each other and say, “Here’s what I want.” We have to pray together and ask God, “What do you want?” In a contract, you serve me. In a covenant, we serve each other. In a contract, your performance is recorded. Performance review, punishment, bonus. In a covenant, no record of wrongs is kept. Paul says that love doesn’t keep a record of wrong. In a contract, failure is punished. If you don’t do your job, you’re fired, you’re demoted. In a covenant, failure was punished at the cross so we don’t punish each other. It’s a grace-based relationship. A contract is a win-lose. I’m trying to get more than I give. In a covenant, it’s a win-win. We both win. A contract is good for a professional relationship. A covenant is good for a personal relationship. Let me explain this. So I pastor here at the church, and I’ve got Real Faith, so I’m the head of two organizations, and I have to do a lot of contracts in my professional relationships. Like if we’re gonna buy a building, we’re gonna hire subcontractors, we’re gonna do construction, we’re gonna buy gear, life insurance, attorneys, accountants. 100%, I need contractual relationships. I need some contracts. The problem is, if I take that thinking and bring

it home, I will win at work and lose at home. This is a crucial lesson for everyone to learn, but especially the men. Most men, all we know is contractual relationships. Military, work, sports, we do great. We think, “Well, that’s how you do it.” We go home, and we do contracts in our personal relationships. Stupidest thing I ever said to Grace. There are many candidates. I think this is probably the winner. Okay? Can I tell them? Sure, okay, yes. So… So we were arguing one time, and I looked at Grace and I said, “You know what? If you worked for me, I would’ve fired you by now.” I’m glad you can’t see the women. It’s it’s pretty scary. It’s pretty scary. And she looked at me, she said, “Yeah, that’s your problem. I’m your wife, not your employee.”

– [Woman] Amen!

– Okay, her name is Grace, but sometimes you can’t see it. Okay, so… And I thought, “Oh, yeah, she’s right.” I should have a grace-based relationship with Grace. Yeah, I should, I should. I should remember that. Instead, I had a works-based relationship. Here’s the expectations, and if you don’t meet them, then we’re gonna have a performance review and talk about your failure. Okay? These two covenant and contractual relationships are like a left and a right hand. You need both. At work, you need your contractual relationships. At home, you need your

covenantal relationship. If all you do is covenant, you’re gonna win at home. Your spouse, your kids are gonna love you. You’re gonna get eviscerated at work, right? We could find the business owners. They’re all gonna laugh loud. Like how much does it cost? We’ll pray about a number. You know, I trust you. You know, just do your best, and you know, if you don’t do it, that’s fine, too. And, you know, no performance. Like right now, we call that America, okay? It’s not going good, it’s not going good. If all you have, though, are contractual relationships, you go home, all the people that you’re supposed to love don’t feel loved, and all of a sudden, the people that you’re supposed to encourage, you discourage, and all the people that are supposed to be family are treated like staff. And some of you grew up in a home that was very law-based, very works-based, not covenantal, highly contractual. What God wants us to do, he wants us to have contracts at work and covenants at home, and a covenant relationship with him and with others. Let me close with this story. So, let me just presume that almost all of you think contractually, not covenantally, even in your relationship with God. God can’t love you any more. God won’t love you less. There’s nothing you can do if God has covenanted to you that he will remove his relationship from you. I had a interesting week. I like to go hiking in the mountains. I like to go hiking in the woods, and my way in, different places I go to hike, on my way in, I pray thankful prayers, all the things I’m grateful for. On the way out, I pray for the needs of myself and others. That’s just my day with the Lord, and this week, it snowed up in the mountain, so I was really excited, and as I was getting ready to go on my hike, God spoke to me and he said, “Bring cash.” I was like, “I’m in the woods. There’s no ATM in the woods.” I’m like, I was like, “Okay, Lord, I’ll do it. I don’t know why I gotta bring cash.” So I got a wad of cash and I hiked in to a really isolated place. There’s nobody there, just me. I got it all to myself. And so I go down to this lake and this dock, and I’m sitting there and there’s snow and sunshine, and I’m just talking to the Lord, and I’m thinking about the sermon and I’m praying about covenant versus contract, and all of this, and the Lord spoke to me and said, “Go to your Bronco and get your journal.” I’ve got a journal, like prayers, and notes and thoughts and stuff. So I was like,

okay, maybe the Lord’s gonna tell me something, or maybe he’s maybe he’s got something he needs me to record, ’cause I’ll forget, I don’t know. I was like, “Okay.” So I hiked, you know, from the lake back up to the parking lot where my Bronco is, and there’s one other person at the park, and he’s digging in the garbage can for something to eat. It’s an older man, and he’s got a car door open, beat up old car with a sleeping bag airing out. He’s obviously living out of his car, and he walks up to me and he’s like, “Hey, is that your Bronco?” I was like, there’s only two of us, so that’s not my car, you know? I said, “Yeah that’s it.” And so he’s sober, he not on, doesn’t seem to be on drugs. Seems to be coherent. He’s got a broken life, obviously, and he’s talking to me about the Bronco. “You like the Bronco?” “Yeah, I love the Bronco.” We’re talking about the Bronco, and I said, “Well, what are you doing today?” He said, “Well, I’m just trying to survive.” I said, “Well, is there anything I could do to help with that?” He said, “No, no, no. I don’t want a handout.” And I’m thinking, “I’m wondering if this is why God told me to bring the cash.” I said, “Well, I’d like to help.” He’s like, “No, no, no, no. I can’t take anything. I’m not looking for a handout.” I said, “Well, is there anything I can do to help?” He’s like, “No, I’ll take care of myself.” Contractual. He can’t receive grace. So I go to my Bronco, I get my journal, I come back around, and I just felt the presence of God very strongly. I had sunglasses on, and my eyes began watering, and I looked at him. I said, “Do you believe that there’s a God?” He said, “Yes, I do.” I said, “Do you believe that that God knows you?” He looked at me, he’s kind of spooked. He said, “Yeah, I believe he knows me.” I said, “Do you believe that he loves you?” He said, “No.” He said, “If you knew the things that I have done, you would know that God couldn’t love me.” He said, “I’ve destroyed my own life,” and he said, “It’s my fault, and it’s the decisions that I’ve made, and so I’m gonna pay, I’m gonna pay the price for the decisions I’ve made.” Contract. I looked and I said, “Yeah, you’ve done some horrible things,” I said, “But the reason you do those horrible things is when you were a little boy, those men who assaulted you, they broke you and they cursed you and they traumatized you, and they oppressed you, and the spirit of oppression came on you as a little boy, and you’ve been living out of your brokenness and trauma ever since.” And he looked at me, he’s like, “How did you know?” I said, “I don’t know, but I know a God who knows you, and I love a God who loves you.” I said, “I think the reason that you and I are here today, there’s only two of us, so we’re apparently supposed to meet.” I said, “And I was down in my chair and God told me to come up here, and I didn’t know you were here.” So I shared with him about the Lord. And I said, I said, “There is a God, and he does…” I explained his best I could, relationship of love, not of works. I said, “Here’s the thing I need you to know. That God, he can forgive you for everything you’ve done, and he can help you forgive everything that was done to you.” I started crying. I said, “I am sorry that those men did that to you when you were a little boy. That should have never happened to you. It was horrifying, it was evil, it was demonic. And I’m sorry for the demonic oppression that came on you and the torment that you have lived under ever since, and your addictions and your vices are trying to just avoid the pain that you feel when you’re awake and remember.” And he started weeping and he said, “I don’t want to talk about that. I can’t have that conversation. I can’t go there.” I said, “You don’t need to go there with me, but you need to go there with him.” I said, “He knows you, and he loves you. He will forgive you and allow you to forgive them, and then you will be free to live in the love and the grace of God.” I said, “So I’m gonna go down to my chair on the dock, and I’m gonna pray for you, and I’m asking you to talk to him.” And I went

down to the end of the dock, and I sat there and I prayed for him, and he was wailing and weeping so loudly that it echoed across the entire lake. If you live under works, you’re cursed. If you live under grace, you’re blessed. You don’t need to punish yourself. Jesus was punished for you. You don’t need to pay God back. Jesus already did. You don’t need to remain stuck in bitterness and brokenness, because the grace that God has for you is grace that you can share with them, so that you can be delivered from those ties to them, and you can live free with him. I want all of you to receive the grace of God through Jesus Christ, and it comes by the power and the person and the presence of the Holy Spirit. So I walked up before I had my final moment with him, and I handed him a bunch of money, and I said, “Today, you learn how to receive, because you need and my God gives, and you need to receive.” I’m gonna, I didn’t think about this, but I’m gonna ask you right now, just I’m gonna pray over you, pray a blessing over you. Why don’t you just open your hands, close your eyes, lift your hands, open your hands, close your eyes. Father God, as these dear people have their hands open and up, what we are saying is that, like the days of Noah, we deserve judgment, but because of the days of Jesus, we receive mercy and grace to help us in our time of need. And God, we confess, we are needy. We need grace. We need mercy. We need forgiveness. We need new hearts and new natures. We need a new power through the Holy Spirit. We need a new hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. We need a new identity to live out of. God, for those who are having a hard time receiving grace, Holy Spirit, please pour out your grace on them. Because they’re broken, Lord, and life is hard and people are cruel, and then we contribute to it through our own wickedness and foolishness. So God, please pour out grace on them, and let that grace flow through them, to share it with others, so that we would be recipients and dispensers of the grace of God through the power of the Holy Spirit, and in a broken world, would we experience some healing, and for some broken people, could we bring healing in Jesus’ name? Amen.

Mark Driscoll
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