As they say, there are always two sides to every story. In order for there to be a winner, there must be a loser. Even God has chosen a side. “As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated” (Romans 9:13). The enemies of Israel were not faceless, unknown people. They were the people that had been cursed by God. Beginning with Cain and Abel, there was an intentional effort to separate good from evil and in the end, there could be only one winner.
The struggle between good and evil started in the garden of Eden, but it was really the sons of Noah that determined the boundary lines. Noah’s three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth were given the opportunity to start over after the flood. With a clean slate, they could have established a society where morality was the norm, but shortly after leaving the ark, sin began to creep in again.
“And Noah began to be a husbandman, and he planted a vineyard: And he drunk of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent. And Ham the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without” (Gen 9:20-22). As a result of this incident, Noah cursed Canaan and said, “A servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren” (Gen 9:25).
“The sons of Ham; Cush, and Mizraim, Put, and Canaan” (1 Chronicles 1:8) populated the area known as the Promised Land, but it was primarily Canaan that was targeted when the descendants of Jacob came to take possession of the land.
Hundreds of years passed between the time when Ham uncovered his father’s nakedness and the Israelites moved into the Promised Land. It doesn’t seem fair that a curse should affect people so many generations later. Of course, the other side of the story is that Shem was blessed because he covered his father’s nakedness and Abraham happened to be his descendant, the one on whom the blessing eventually fell.
Sometimes I’ve wondered to myself, why was I born into a family that is so messed up? Why did my dad become an alcoholic? Why was I raped? Sometimes it seems like I must have been cursed. Then I think about being saved and all the wonderful things that have happened to me since I accepted Jesus as my savior and I realize how blessed I now am. I’ve lived both sides of the story. The good news is, thanks to Jesus, we get to choose which side we want to be on.