'The Curse of Canaan' Chad Taylor
The story is found in Genesis 9. It tells of a moment in Noah's life when he was vulnerable and naked. "And Noah began to be a farmer, and he planted a vineyard. Then he drank of the wine and was drunk, and became uncovered in his tent." (vs. 20-21). Many times the Lord will allow us to be "uncovered" before those around us, not to reveal our nakedness and need for covering, but rather to reveal the motives and intents of the hearts that are around us. Watch the younger son's reaction to his father's obvious nakedness and vulnerability, "And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brothers outside." (vs. 22). Ham's tragic mistake was that he revealed or exploited his father's moment of weakness and nakedness. Whatever his motive was, it brought down a curse that is still alive and active in the Body of Christ.
Look at the two elder brothers' reaction to Ham's revelation, "But Shem and Japheth took a garment, laid it on both their shoulders and went backward and covered the nakedness of their father. Their faces were turned away, and they did not see their father's nakedness." (vs. 23). The garment they took to cover their father is symbolic today of the blood of Jesus. "Their faces were turned away...
" They wouldn't even allow themselves to see their father's nakedness. Now watch what happens when Noah wakes from his stupor, "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." (vs. 24-25). We are still abiding under Canaan's curse today. When we run to reveal our brother's and sister's nakedness and obvious vulnerability we ignorantly and even willingly at times bring down this curse upon our household. The curse of Canaan.
Now, look at the second part of this curse, "a servant of servants he shall be to his brethren..." The church has become by and large a slave to a system. Bound by laws and traditions and archaic formulas and rituals. Instead of a Body where every part has equality we have become a ruling faction where the stronger rule over the weaker, we have become slaves to one another. Jesus taught us just the opposite, "But Jesus called them to Himself and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. "Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant." (Matt 20:25-26). But the curse of Canaan has created an opposite force to be at work amongst us. The root of it is our exposing and exploiting of one another. Yet the greatest tragedy in this whole scenario is that the world sees right through it and eventually a harvest is lost...
What we so desperately need right now is the blessings of Shem and Japheth, "And he said: "Blessed be the LORD, the God of Shem, and may Canaan be his servant. May God enlarge Japheth, and may he dwell in the tents of Shem, and may Canaan be his servant." (vs. 26-27). The major reason we have not been "enlarged" and come to fruition in our visions and desires is because we have walked in the footsteps or Ham and exposed and exploited one another in the Body of Christ. We have become like the mob that drugs the adulteress woman to Jesus and cast her to His feet demanding judgment and justice. Jesus did give them His justice though; His mercy.
Until we are able to stoop down in the dirt with the downcast and broken, with our brothers and sisters, we will never look revival eye to eye. We will continue to skirt around true transformation, entertaining each other from meeting to meeting, and all the while the world perishes around us. We must break this curse of Canaan at all cost in Jesus name. The only way to do this is to react in the opposite spirit that Ham did. We must become Shem's and Japheth's and cover one another. In doing this the curse can be reversed.
The word "covered" in Hebrew is (kaw-saw) which literally means to: fill up hollows; by implication, to cover (for clothing or secrecy): clothe, conceal, cover (self), or hide... This is exactly what Shem and Japheth did to their father in his nakedness, they concealed him, hid him and literally clothed him. We find the same principle in the New Testament, "And above all things have fervent love for one another, for "love will cover a multitude of sins." (1 Pet 4:8). Does this justify my sin or anyone's sin? God forbid. But our reaction to one another is critical.
The world watched the spectacle of the Church and her reaction to Jim Baker and they screamed, they cried, and they died. Every time we react out of the context of God's love the curse of Canaan extends its borders to encompass more of this generation. We need to cry out above all for WISDOM in this hour. We need to cling to the wisdom of the Lord as the battle intensifies. We need to put out the fires of gossip and slander, not add wood to them with our words and accusations. "Where there is no wood, the fire goes out; and where there is no talebearer, strife ceases..." (Prov 26:20).
Lord, give us your heart in this hour. As the greatest harvest in earth's history dawns upon us, give us the wisdom of Solomon, the heart of David, and the prayer of Paul, "Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails... (1 Cor 13:4-8). Then and only then will the world know that we are Christians by the love we have for one another.
"A talebearer reveals secrets, but he who is of a faithful spirit conceals a matter." (Prov 11:13)