Talebearing – Genesis 9:22

Proverbs 11:13 – A talebearer revealeth secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter.

Following the events of the great flood, Noah planted a vineyard and subsequently made wine from the resulting fruit. Having drunk too much of the wine, he apparently passed out in his tent. “And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without” (Genesis 9:22). Instead of honoring his father, Ham disgraced him by sharing Noah’s error with others. As a result Noah cursed his son and his progeny (Canaan) to be servants of his brother and their families.

While I am not pleased with Noah’s excess, his sin should not have been made public. Rather than showing concern for his father, Ham seems to have reveled in the embarrassment. The Apostle Paul pronounces the condemnation that falls upon those who have abandoned the clear revelation of God in the first chapter of Romans. Paul concludes that those given to wanton sin mock God. “Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them” (Romans 1:32).

While we were not present during the events described in Genesis, we know from the rest of the Old Testament that Ham’s ancestors suffered from his wrong doing. They were indeed made servers and slaves of their peers. Had he simply reacted differently, generations of people could have avoided hardship.

While there are times to witness to uncomfortable truths, we should never relish the experience. Instead we should love our brothers and sisters and even strangers enough to desire their good. “And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8).

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