Genesis 9:22,24-25 – And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brothers outside. So Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done to him. Then he said: “Cursed be Canaan; A servant of servants He shall be to his brethren.” NKJV
When my husband was in the Navy, he was a pilot. This elite group of young men were mostly white. My husband shared with me of a time that he and a young white pilot were out having dinner. During the course of the meal, slavery and marriage came up. The young man, feeling free to express himself with my husband, declared that Black people were enslaved because of the curse of Ham, and it basically their destiny. He also believed that it was wrong to mix the races. Interestingly enough to note, my husband felt he was quite sincere in what he believed; but for the record, he was sincerely wrong! It was his upbringing; and he was brought up with a distorted view of the word of God and the reasons behind slavery.
The flood waters had receded, the ark had landed, and Noah and his family was living on land again. The Bible doesn’t tell us why Noah got stinking drunk, just that he did. Ham, his son, went into the tent, saw his father naked, and went back and told his brothers. His brothers went into the tent backwards, and covered their father. When Noah got up the next day, he knew what his sons had done. Now whether he was half alert, or God had shown him this, we don’t know. But what we do know is that the Bible tells us that Noah knew what had happened as he lay in his drunken stupor.
When he saw his sons he cursed Canaan. Not Ham, but Canaan, Ham’s son! Ham was never cursed! He told Ham that Canaan would be a servant to his brothers. Let’s investigate this curse for the record. The first thing to note is that Noah said that the Canaanites would serve his brothers. Noah doesn’t say it will be in the form of slavery, but for the sake of argument, we will assume it as such. Those who teach the curse of Ham also state that instantly, upon being cursed, Ham turned black. I know for a fact that if you or I witnessed someone turn from white to black, we’re going to react to that, and especially if it’s our kindred. I believe it would have been noted in some way in the text, if that had been the case, much like Miriam turning leprous in front of her brothers were noted.
If you take a look at the location of the land of Canaan, you will notice that it is not in the land of Africa. You will also notice that the land of Canaan became God’s promised land to His people.
Exodus 6:2-4 – And God spoke to Moses and said to him: “I am the Lord. I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as God Almighty, but by My name Lord I was not known to them. I have also established My covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land of their pilgrimage, in which they were strangers. NKJV
As the children of Israel took possession of the promised land, most of the inhabitants were destroyed, but many of the inhabitants became their slaves.
Joshua 16:10 – And they did not drive out the Canaanites who dwelt in Gezer; but the Canaanites dwell among the Ephraimites to this day and have become forced laborers. NKJV
So, if there were a people who were to be slaves, because they were marked, it would have been those who lived in the land of Canaan; and there is no mention of them being black people.
But for the sake of argument, let’s say some of those Canaanites were black. Did Noah say that this curse would be upon Canaan’s children’s children, for thousands of generations? He did not! So how did we get Canaan’s descendants being black and doomed to being slaves? This line of thinking was nothing more than another form of justification for having slaves. In the 1980’s this ideology was still being peddled to white people, because this young man felt justified in his opinion, as if it was the gospel truth!
I wish I could say that was the last and only time I heard of the curse of Ham being a part of the reason Blacks were slaves, but it is not! Recently, a friend called me asking me to explain my understanding of the curse of Ham. I shared what I knew; but tonight I did a little more research, and I can’t even go into all of that in this blog. It’s really sad what people will do and say to justify their behavior. And even sadder, is when we involve God in our mess!
If you have followed me for any length of time, I hope you have sensed my love for God and for His people. I can truly say that I am not writing to incite hate, but to silence lies that have been propagated in the Name of of our Lord!
Here’s my very last point on the curse of Ham. Even if all of that had been true against Black people from the mouth of Noah, Paul had this say about being cursed:
Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree” ), that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. Galatians 3:13-14 -NKJV
If Jesus’ blood was capable of redeeming of us from the curse of the Law, you can best believe that it was more than capable of redeeming the descendants of Ham, whomever they are, from Noah’s curse. This redemption came before the Atlantic slave trade ever happened!
My hope is that if someone you know bring this foolishness up to you, that you now have answer for them. I also hope that if you have believed this, in regards to yourself or another human being, that you have seen the light of God’s word and has been set free from it. You may need to do some soul searching and repentance, but that’s okay, God has great forgiveness in His heart for even this!
This concludes my look at our heritage, as February ends! Again, these blogs have been for information and inspiration, not for agitation or accusations. I’m a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, and I am Black. I am thankful for who I am because I was fearfully and wonderfully made. It’s unfortunate that we have to have a month to celebrate our heritage, when we’ve spent a lifetime trying to overcome our past! I have a dream that one day there will be no need for Black History month because we will all realize that Black history is all of our histories! Be encouraged in His love for you! Wonderful Jesus!