Monday, July 27, 2009


This is my hotty hubby back in the day.... Have you attended a high school reunion lately? Who was the biggest shocker? Maybe the dweeb that’s now the refined and charming businessman? Or could it be the well-remembered star athlete, who can’t bend down to tie his shoe laces? Well, my husband would probably qualify as a shocker. Not because he was a dweeb, and he is quite capable of tying his shoes. But he was indeed one of the better athletes in our class. I’ve known Roy Andrews since third grade – a red-headed little brat, ornery to the core. By the time we were friends in high school, he exuded all the cocky invincibility an eighteen year-old feels when he’s received a basketball scholarship to a Texas college. One problem. He flunked off the basketball team his senior year because he was failing Calculus (the class-clown and “out-standing” student – out-standing in the hall for most of his class-time). However, the immediate problem was playing in the basketball sectional, so he picked up Home Economics for 1 ½ weeks, got an “A” and played the rest of the season. Second semester, senior year, Roy flunks off golf team because he’s failing Government – and his college plans were to major in Political Science and Pre-Law. Oops. At this point in his life, he had attended church only a few times – mostly vacation Bible schools, from which he’d probably been kicked out because he couldn’t sit still. I tell you these things (with his permission) so you’ll understand why the classmates at our 25th high school reunion shook their heads in wonder, when they discovered Roy had his PhD in education and taught at a Bible College in Portland, OR. Shocker, believe me. It’s impossible to look at a child and know their potential, to know what path God has planned for his/her life. Roy is a great example to warn us against pigeon-holing people into a single position. He started college thinking law was his choice, graduated college and became a high school teacher and coach. Then was a pastor for fourteen years. See what I mean? It’s best just to keep the path clear so God can position us for His purpose.…

Some of the names/generations have been removed to save space. Please refer to your own copy of the Scriptures for a complete listing of Noah’s descendants through his sons, Japheth, Shem and Ham.
Gen. 10:1-5 – “This is the account of Shem, Ham and Japheth, Noah's sons, who themselves had sons after the flood. The sons of Japheth: Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshech and Tiras…(From these the maritime peoples spread out into their territories by their clans within their nations, each with its own language.)” (emphasis added)

  • “Maritime people” are those who travel by water – boats, ships, etc. Were Japheth and his sons the adventurers? Or did they simply hate all the family squabbles and escape to the high seas? Whatever the cause of their occupation as sailors, realize that the craft of building boats was handed down from Noah – knowledge from the Most High. Also consider this. If you were Japheth, would you EVER want to get back on a boat? Would you be willing to re-visit your days of testing, remembering the sounds of the earth’s destruction, people’s cries. Or perhaps Japheth described the journey of the ark in such great detail that his descendants wanted to experience the life of faith, setting out on a vast expanse of water, trusting God to lead them to lands they couldn’t see.
Gen. 10:6-20 – “The sons of Ham: Cush, Mizraim, Put and Canaan…Cush was the father of Nimrod, who grew to be a mighty warrior on the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the LORD; that is why it is said, ‘Like Nimrod, a mighty hunter before the LORD.’ The first centers of his kingdom were Babylon…From that land he went to Assyria…Mizraim was the father of the Ludites, Anamites, Lehabites, Naphtuhites, Pathrusites, Casluhites (from whom the Philistines came)…Canaan was the father of Sidon his firstborn, and of the Hittites, Jebusites, Amorites, Girgashites, Hivites, Arkites, Sinites, Arvadites, Zemarites and Hamathites. Later the Canaanite clans scattered and the borders of Canaan reached from Sidon toward Gerar as far as Gaza, and then toward Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboiim, as far as Lasha. These are the sons of Ham by their clans and languages, in their territories and nations.” (emphasis added)

  • Ham’s sons became mighty warrior/hunters, but who was there to war against? Noah’s other sons – Japheth and Shem. Japheth sailed away, so Shem’s descendants bore the brunt throughout history of Ham’s vengeance. Note the similarities between Ham’s sons and Adam’s wayward son, Cain (Gen. 4:17-24) from the names “Cain” and “Canaan” to the magnificent cities they built in their own honor. Though it seems Nimrod’s hunting abilities were originally devoted to the Lord, the ambition of his descendants caused God’s judgment to fall on their great Tower of achievement (Gen. 11).

Gen. 10:21-32 – “Sons were also born to Shem, whose older brother was Japheth; Shem was the ancestor of all the sons of Eber. The sons of Shem: Elam, Asshur, Arphaxad, Lud and Aram…Arphaxad was the father of Shelah, and Shelah the father of Eber. Two sons were born to Eber: One was named Peleg, because in his time the earth was divided; his brother was named Joktan…These are the sons of Shem by their clans and languages, in their territories and nations. These are the clans of Noah's sons, according to their lines of descent, within their nations. From these the nations spread out over the earth after the flood.” (emphasis added)

  • Notice that in the account of Shem’s descendants, no specific tradition or profession is mentioned. Shem’s line is defined by the condition of the world in which God positioned them. Peleg was named such because his father’s heart was tuned to what God was doing in the world around him – the division of Babel. We’ll discover later that Abram, Isaac and Jacob came from Shem’s lineage…leading to Jesus Christ, the ultimate God/Man Savior of every tribe and tongue. Shem’s family was called to keep their hearts tuned to the world around them and listen for God’s direction.

Lord, serving you doesn’t always have a well-defined, clear-cut path or definition. I know that some are called to serve you with their vocation, but we don’t all have to be a preacher or missionary to serve You full-time. Accept every thought, every word, every deed as my offering to You. Teach me to think of my daily activities as Your calling, Your positioning of my life for Your service. I don’t want to run away from conflict as Japheth might have or let ambition ruin what could be a pleasing offering – as Ham’s descendants did. I want to be a student of my culture and understand how You are working…and join You there. Let it be so, Lord, in my heart, in my words, and in my actions.

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