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Current series in Galatians:


Monday, May 13, 2019

2019.05.13 Hopewell @Home ▫ Genesis 9:18-29

Questions for Littles: Who were Noah’s sons who went out of the ark (Genesis 9:18)? Of whom was Ham the father? What happened to the whole earth from these three (Genesis 9:19)? What did Noah begin to be in Genesis 9:20? What did he plant? What did he drink (Genesis 9:21)? How much? What did he end up doing? Who saw (Genesis 9:22)? What did he do about it? What did Shem and Japheth do about it (Genesis 9:23)? How did they walk? Where did they turn their faces? From what did Noah “awake” in Genesis 9:24? What did he know? Whom did he curse in Genesis 9:25? What was he to be? To whom? Whom did he bless in Genesis 9:26? By what title did he call Yahweh? Whom did he prophesy to be Shem’s servant? Whom did he prophesy for God to enlarge in Genesis 9:27? In whose tents would Japheth dwell? Who would be his servant? How long did Noah live after the flood (Genesis 9:28)? How many years total did he live (Genesis 9:29)? Then what happened?  
This passage announces to us that it is our family’s story, “from these the whole earth was populated.” That’s a problem for us, because it concludes with, “and he died.” That’s discouraging and encouraging at the same time. It’s discouraging, because it reminds us that we are descended from the first Adam, through another covenant head whom we find drunk and naked in this passage, and in both of whom we deserve death and bring all the more upon ourselves through our own sins.

But the conclusion is also encouraging, because it takes us back to chapter 5, where we saw that over and over again, as we looked forward to the Seed of the woman Who would crush the serpent’s head. The line of the Savior seemed to be doing so well, until those opening verses of chapter 6, through which we ended up in a place where only Noah, from his entire generation, was right with God by grace. From just one in all the earth, we’re back up to 100% through a flood that brought both wrath and salvation!

But, there must be constant vigilance to believe in Jesus and live as those who belong to Him. We, like Noah, can turn the greatest blessings into instruments of the greatest curse. Noah went out of the ark—salvation blessing! “From these the whole earth was populated”—reminder of God’s commitment to re-fill the earth with those made in His image. Noah began to be a farmer—literally, “man of the dirt”… that same dirt that God promised not to curse ever again, and which brought forth not only thorns and thistles but grapes—blessing of the covenant of grace! But rather than use the wine for all of those glorious things for which God created and gave it, Noah uses it as an occasion for great sin, and more specifically one great sin that leads very quickly to many other great sins—in this case the sin of uncovering nakedness by exposing (Noah) or looking (Ham). Noah may have been chosen by God to get us through the flood, but he certainly can’t be the one in which we escape the curse or stand at the judgment.

And there’s a hint at Who this is going to be in our passage. The Savior has to be a man, the seed of the woman. But He is also God. For, it is not blessed be Shem but rather “blessed be Yahweh.” Shem’s blessedness does not come so much in being Noah’s son. Ham had that, and look at what he ends up bringing upon his own son! Shem’s blessedness isn’t even in being in himself. Rather, his blessedness is in belonging to the Lord Himself. Even Japheth, who finds his blessing as a covenantal member of Shem’s household, must find his blessing not so much in Shem, but in Shem’s God.

At last, there must be One who does have blessedness in Himself. And that One is the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the substance—the reality, the “true stuff”—of covenantal blessings. And, if we are to enjoy that which is displayed and promised in that covenant; and, if we and our children are to be included among the covenant people on earth; then, we must be joined by faith to Jesus Christ, that we may have Him who is the substance of the covenant. The outward form is not enough for those so guilty and wicked as we are!
How does one become part of the last Adam instead of the first? In which Adam are you?
Suggested Songs: ARP179 “Now Blessed Be the Lord” or TPH564 “Now Blessed Be the Lord”

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