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Bible Story of the Day: God of Shem

Updated on April 15, 2018

Bible Story of the Day

Scripture is the story of Jesus, from Genesis to Revelation. There are over 400 prophecies and representations of Jesus in the Old Testament alone. The Old Testament pointed forward to the coming Christ, and the New Testament points back to Jesus. The Bible is a record of redemption through Jesus Christ who conquered sin and death when He died on the cross and resurrected three days later. The New Testament was written almost 2000 years ago. Some of the Old Testament was written over 4000 years ago. The Bible Story of the Day not only shows Jesus throughout scripture but shows how scripture is relevant to our lives today. Seeing Jesus in scripture is a major step into understanding who our God is, and how He impacts and affects our lives in every moment. I pray that the Holy Spirit opens your mind to understanding the verses and how they affect your life and gives you a better understanding of our Lord Jesus Christ. I will post a link to the chapter that each passage is from, so that you can read further on your own.

God of Shem

Genesis 3:24-27

24 When Noah awoke from his wine, he knew what his youngest son had done to him. 25 So he said,

“Cursed be Canaan;
A servant of servants
He shall be to his brothers.”

26 He also said,

“Blessed be the Lord,
The God of Shem;
And let Canaan be his servant.
27 “May God enlarge Japheth,
And let him dwell in the tents of Shem;
And let Canaan be his servant.” (NASB).

Where is Jesus and What Does This Mean to Us?

As obscure and irrelevant that this verse may seem it is one of the earliest prophecies of Jesus and the nation of Israel. Shem is one of the sons of Noah. Noah consumed too much wine one day after the flood. He became drunk and passed out without a full covering of clothes. Noah’s grandson, Canaan, saw Noah this way and told Shem and Japheth, both are sons of Noah. Shem and Japheth covered Noah up and were respectful in not looking at Noah in his embarrassed state. When Noah woke up and heard what happened, he cursed Canaan and his descendants and blessed Shem and Japheth and their descendants.

We look at Abraham as the split between major groups of people such as the Jews and Muslims, but arguably, the greatest split was at this moment in Genesis 3. Canaan’s descendants lived in the Middle East, including the Promised Land that the Israelites claimed after the Exodus from Egypt. The Canaanites were either killed or put in servitude to the Israelites just as Noah had said. Japheth’s descendants settled primarily in Europe and became a great and powerful people as evident from the Roman empire and even today. Noah also blessed Shem. Shem’s descendants would be the Jews, and from Shem’s descendants would come Jesus.

What does this mean to us? Genealogy can be a tedious study with seemingly infinite details. A prophecy involving ancestry is very difficult, if not impossible, to fake. This scripture was written and circulated long before Jesus was born. The Israelites would have known the ancestry of the Messiah before the Messiah was born. There would only be a few men that could claim to be the Messiah. Jesus was this man. Matthew begins his Gospel telling of Jesus’ ancestry so that there were no questions of where and who he came from. The coming of Jesus was a well-developed plan that was laid out to God’s people over thousands of years. God has a well-developed plan for all of us.

Throughout the Old Testament there are numerous groups of people cursed because of their ancestors, just like the Canaanites. We are all under a curse, because of our ancestors Adam and Eve. We do not have to continue carrying those curses. Jesus came to break those curses. Jesus came to free all humans from the curses that enslave us to other people, other things, to sin, and to death. Through Jesus we are made new. It does not matter who your parents are, or your grandparents are, or even who you were 5 minutes ago; Jesus has come to break those ties to your old self and start a new self through Him. We all can be children of God, where there are no curses, only blessings.

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