The sons of Noah are named because they are the germ of the new earth. Out of them the human race develops in three directions. From them descend all future generations and peoples. One people is named by name: the Canaanites, of whom Cham is the father.
The earth has been cleansed, but man has not changed. After the blessing there is the failing of Noah. So it has always gone in the history of man. We see it with Adam in the beginning and here with Noah. Later we see that after establishing the priesthood the sons of Aaron fail (Lev 10:1-31Now Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took their respective firepans, and after putting fire in them, placed incense on it and offered strange fire before the LORD, which He had not commanded them.2And fire came out from the presence of the LORD and consumed them, and they died before the LORD.3Then Moses said to Aaron, “It is what the LORD spoke, saying,
‘By those who come near Me I will be treated as holy,
And before all the people I will be honored.’”
So Aaron, therefore, kept silent.) and after appointing a king, king Saul, he fails. It has been not different with the church (Revelation 2-3).
Noah, who has been given authority over creation, has no authority over himself. He uses the blessing of the earth for his own enjoyment, the blessing takes possession of him. Isn’t that what often happens, also with us Christians? Love of drink drags the former preacher of righteousness (2Pet 2:55and did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a preacher of righteousness, with seven others, when He brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly;) into the mud. Noah cannot handle the wealth of the new earth. He splurges on it and so his nakedness becomes public.
It is like with the church of Laodicéa. She also finds herself so great and blessed. But blessing apart from God, blessing that is abused for one’s own pleasure, results in nudity. Therefore the Lord Jesus says to that church: ‘You are naked’ (Rev 3:1717Because you say, “I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,” and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked,).
Noah’s sin is the reason for Cham’s failure. That is a serious lesson for every father. Cham ridicules his father with his brothers. That is clear from the context. It is not a question of justifying Noah’s sin – that cannot be justified – but for the son, his father’s failure should not be a reason to mock him. This is an important principle at a time when parental authority is often undermined. Parents are not perfect, they make mistakes. Yet the Scriptures say, “Honor your father and mother” (Eph 6:22Honor your father and mother (which is the first commandment with a promise),).
The other two sons treat their failing, naked father with the necessary respect. Not only do they not want to see the nakedness themselves, but they also make sure that no one else sees it. They use the garment as it were as a garment of love they throw over their father’s lack, something that is an example to us in our dealings with the evil of others (1Pet 4:88Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins.).