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These notes are posted here by request.

We all now live in the age of slob worship thanks to the “sixties.” I never experienced sitting for prayer until 20 years ago. Jesus was unhappy when His disciples could not watch and pray for one hour. Today’s slob Christians complain if they have to stand for five minutes. It’s pretty pathetic when you get right down to it. Our forefathers would be amazed. The only people who sat for prayer in the entire history of the church were the infirm and the elderly. Sitting for prayer is one generation old.

So, for younger readers, here are some basic rules of liturgical etiquette.
1. Stand for all prayers, save for communion and if possible confession. Jesus was seated when He gave thanks at the Last Supper, so that is the one instance of seated prayer in worship.
2. Stand at “easy attention,” hands at your sides, feet slightly apart. Or with hands raised (palms up at your shoulders, or crossed and resting on your shoulders, or pressed together over your chest).  NEVER with hands in pockets. NEVER slouching on one leg. NEVER.
3. The normal alternative to kneeling for confession is standing.
4. Those who cannot stand or kneel, if kneeling is employed, should sit on the edge of their seat and lean forward with arms on the pew/chair in front of them, like everyone else, and their legs bent under them.
5. Kneeling is NOT crouching. We kneel at attention, back straight, looking forward or at the prayer in the book/bulletin. Crouching is for the prayer closet. In worship we kneel as an army.
6. Now, to be sure, all this has to be taught. Once it was, and it lasted for 1900 years. As creationists, we believe the body is supremely important, and hence so is posture. So, give instruction on it.
7. Also, we stand at attention for the Creed. We do not pledge attention seated.
8. If you’re stuck with a bad tradition in these areas, make it a matter of teaching and upshapingness.
So, get going!

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This was a one-day post. The day has passed and the post is removed. Conversation can continue under the previous post, Thoughts on the Death of bin Laden. Questions and concerns placed under this post can be reposted there for continuing discussion.

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1. On September 11, 2001, Jesus brought judgment upon the United States of America. Following His normal procedure, He used an even more evil force to do it (Habakkuk 1-3). The warning Jesus gives throughout the Bible to those He uses to punish others is that they need to repent, or they shall in time also be judged.

2. Certainly the United States has not repented. It burns Bibles sent to Afghanistan. It promotes child murder. It steals from future generations in order to preserve prosperity by increasing debt. It does all but promote homosexual activity in its military. And so forth. The election of The Fool in 2008 shows the willingness of the American people to promote antichrist through one of the most sickeningly degenerate associations of people the United States has ever known: the Democrat Party.

3. Still, as revolting as the present eurosocialist rule is in America, and as sad as are its evangelical running-dogs, Islam is a far greater evil. Islam is arguably the most fully demonized religio-cultural establishment in history, for it was demonized post-Christian, when seven worse devils have come to fill the one original exorcised. (Eurosocialism may prove even more demonic, however.)  It was the goal of Osama bin Laden to (re)-create an Islamic Caliphate in the Islamic lands, and his attack upon the United States was designed to galvanize Islamic youth to his banner; and he has not obeyed Jesus and repented.

4. Bin Laden did not understand how history moves, for that is revealed in the Bible and is under the control of Jesus Christ, who has revealed to His people how He does things. There can never again be a Caliphate because the world of human beings is quite different now from what it was then, and that is because of pervasive Christian and post-Christian influences.

5. This comforting fact does not change the reality that bin Laden was the head of an extremely evil anti-God and anti-human movement. His attack upon the United States enabled Jesus to use the United States to destroy him. Though the United States is no longer specifically committed to Jesus’ rules of warfare, it did operate correctly in this instance. Jesus makes it plain in the Bible that the fundamental principle of war is the assassination of the head of the enemy power. See the books of Judges and Samuel, and James B. Jordan, The Bible and the Nations, published by Biblical Horizons. www.biblicalhorizons.com

6. Should Christians rejoice in the death of this evil man? Of course. True, Proverbs 24:17 says not to rejoice when your (singular; thine) enemy falls, and Jesus says the same kind of thing to us as individuals in Matthew 5:44. But as regards those who rise up against God, Jesus laughs at them when He destroys them (Psalm 2), and so do His people (Exodus 15; Judges 5; many of the Psalms; Revelation 18-19).

7. We shall, of course, read many statements to the effect that we should not rejoice at the death of this evil murderous leader. Some of these people are simply ignorant of the Bible. Revelation 18:20, for instance, commands us to rejoice at the destruction of those who attack the people of God. Others, however, are not so much ignorant of the Bible as they are committed to a pharisaical otherworldly sentimental gnosticism that makes them holier than God. Such thinking was common in the 19th century as known as liberalism. Today it is all over evangelicalism, though happily not everywhere.

8. Yet, as Christians, we need to avoid being Americanists at this time. At present, the United States is spreading the evils of secular humanism, Bible burning, homosexuality, free-love, infanticide, and the myth of democracy. It is not spreading the Bible, Christocracy, servant capitalism, hard work, protection of women, and other historic American values. The Fool and his running dogs are not only anti-Christ, but anti-historical-American. Hence, as Christians we tread a tightrope between being favorable to much of what America used to stand for (because it was Biblical), and against almost everything America stands for today (because it is anti-Christ).

9. So what we stand for is Jesus and His kingship. We draw aside during the Day of the Lord to enter into the heavenlies, there to engage in liturgical warfare against principalities and powers as we chant psalms straight from the text and feed at the warfeast in front of the eyes of our demonic enemies (Psalm 23). When we do this, the King promises to crush Satan under our feet, and to do it shortly. So let us who take the Kingdom seriously continue to do this, setting aside the weights of exclusively metrical psalm paraphases, goofy choruses, and grapejuice gnostic communion, and let us always be sure to let our children dine with Jesus from their earliest years, for it is their voices and participation that the enemy fears the most (Psalm 8:2). Only in this way will the thoroughly demonized forces of both Islam and Eurosocialism (represented by The Fool) be defeated.

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Because of Donald Trump, the “Birther” issue is heating up. It is not going away, and is only part of a larger cluster of issues in regard to the President. Virtually all of the relevant documents concerning who he is and where he has been, have been suppressed, at great expense. It is not only a long form birth certificate that is missing, but a baptismal certificate, all of his student records and papers, from elementary school through Harvard Graduate School. His passport information is suppressed, as are all travel records. And finally, why on earth is this man using a Social Security number that would never have been issued to a resident of Hawaii? Who is this man? Nobody knows. What will happen if things heat up enough that it becomes impossible to suppress the question of the very legitimacy of his entire presidency?

I don’t think anyone knows what will happen. If enough came out, would it Nixon like, lead to resignation? Or Johnson like, decline to stand for re-election? Or have the Democrats simply become lawless enough that …who knows…?? It is a great unknown.

It seems to me that like Europe, 75 years ago, Nietzsche has become the defining figure. Nietzsche understood, as only a handful of people did, that Jesus Christ is the watershed. In his hatred of Jesus, he wanted to re-assert a bald pagan, Grecian, antithesis. However corrupted his vision became, under the rubble of confusion, that became Nazi-ism. I don’t see any appetite for movement in that direction here (or anymore, in Europe). On the other hand, what he saw with such clarity was that Leftism was Christianity (we would say, very confused and completely corrupted Christianity). That is what he hated. We are getting everything he hated. If the devil can’t beat you by moving you to complete and
bald paganism, then he tries to beat you by giving you corrupted Christianity. So, by moving Left in the complete Marxist direction, or by moving Left in the syrupy, caring, effeminate, Euro-socialist direction, you get destruction. Euro-socialism now makes every man (and woman) a parasite, every citizen, a pigmy cipher. This smallness is achieved through pretend Christianity (Christianity reduced to the ideology of the brat, demanding, ungrateful, destructive, adolescent). This goes far enough that we finally get the pretend adolescent Messiah (under it all, Obama on inauguration day could have worn shorts, jogging shoes, a baseball cap backwards, and skateboarded to the White House after grunting out at the end of his oath, “Hey, yeah man, sure,,,whatever). But the pretend goes so far that it reaches all the way down to what amounts to a double life, and double identity.

At this point, Limbaugh is the best illustration. Half the time, he treats Obama as though he is an incompetent fool. The other half, he treats him as though he is an evil genius. Which is he?

Well, its very confusing. The unity under it all that accounts for his looking like both at various times, is he is a double identity. Have you ever known anyone who lived a double life (a homosexual, a bigamist, or a pastor who practices “sexual abuse” on lady counselees)? I have known one person who lived a double life for years. It was eerie. On looking back…there was so much that was so strange, so confusing, for years. Finally, when it all comes out…ahhhh!!! Now I see, now I see. Yes, he kept that business because it allowed him to be out and about all night with no one suspecting…. uhuh, I see now…(for example).

In the providence of God, the Left has finally put up a candidate that is the perfect embodiment of what it is…pretend all the way through. So far through that his whole being is a double identity. Of course, that is exactly what “anti-Christ” is. He is not THE anti-Christ. It is just that in the Christian world if you are one who wants to establish total human autonomy and complete statist power (which is a demonic enterprise),  the only way you can finally do that is to pretend you are a new Jesus.  Obama in his hiddenness is ironically, the unmasking of the Left.

I have no idea how the System will deal with all of this. No one does.

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                                                    Notes on Judges

A. Israel’s failure to hold land against the Canaanites. Progressive compromise, leading to judgment. 1:1–2:5.

  B. Israel’s idolatry, the cycle of judges, and war as God’s chastisement. 2:6–3:6.

    C. Northern Gentiles (Mesopotamia), and Othniel. 3:7-11.

      D. Lot: Moab, and Ehud. 3:12-13.

        E. Minor judge: Shamgar. 3:31.

          F. Canaanites opposed. Women crush the serpent’s head. Deborah & Barak. 4–5.

            G. Gideon’s faithfulness. 6:1–8:26.


            G’ Gideon’s fall. 8:27-32.

          F’ Canaanites embraced. Woman crushes the serpent’s head. “King Abimelech.” 8:33–9:57.

        E’ Minor judges. 10:1-5.

      D’ Lot: Ammon, and Jephthah. 10:6–12:15.

    C’ Southern Gentiles (Philistia: Egypt), and Samson. 13-16.

  B’ Israel’s idolatry. 17-18.

A’ Israel’s faithfulness in destroying “Canaanites.” Faithfulness, leading to blessing and resurrection. 19-21.

 The Twelve Judges

Othniel – Judah (lion, Gen. 49)
Ehud – Benjamin
Shamgar – likely Judah (son of Anath // Beth-Anath, Josh 15:59; Philistines in southern area)
Deborah – Ephraim
Gideon – West Manasseh (Machir)
Tola – Issachar
Jair – East Manasseh (Gilead)
Jephthah – East Manasseh (Gilead)
Ibzan – Naphtali (not Bethlehem-Judah; this is in the north)
Elon – Zebulun
Abdon – Ephraim
Samson – Dan (lion, Dt. 33)

 Interesting correlations

Othniel – Judah (Leah’s lion, Gen. 49)
   Ehud – Benjamin (Rachel)
      Shamgar – likely Judah (Leah)
         Deborah – Ephraim. Barak of Naphtali assisted her.
            Gideon – West Manasseh (Machir) (almost fought Ephraim)
               Tola – Issachar (Leah)
               Jair – East Manasseh (Rachel)
            Jephthah – East Manasseh (fought Ephraim)
         Ibzan – Naphtali
      Elon – Zebulun (Leah)
   Abdon – Ephraim (Rachel)
Samson – Dan (Rachel’s lion, Dt. 33)

 “Chicks in Chainmail”

Joshua is about men conquering. Judges adds the theme of women preserving. We move from named women who form archetypes, to unnamed archetypes in the second half of the book. Delilah is the exception, and she is named archetype of the Harlot. The movement is Daughter, Mother, Wife in each cycle. This leads me to suspect that Delilah was indeed an Israelitess, and hence the Harlot-Daughter. She is followed by the Harlot Mother in ch. 17 and the Harlot Wife in ch. 19.

1. Achsah – the Daughter
4. Deborah – the Mother
5. Jael – the Wife

9. Unnamed – the stone-thrower

11. Unnamed – Jephthah’s Daughter
13. Unnamed – Samson’s Mother
14. Unnamed – Samson’s Wife
      16. Unnamed – Samson’s Harlot
      16. Delilah – Samson’s Babe

17. Unnamed – Micah’s Mother
19. Unnamed – Levite’s Wife
21. The Daughters of Israel

 Things to Notice

First Introduction:
 – AdoniBezek and the 70 kings: symbol of world rulership and world conquest.
 – After initial victory, pictures of compromise, each worse than the previous: vv. 27, 29, 30, 32, 33, 34.
 – Judgment, but then sacrifice and peace.

Second Introduction:
 – A. 2:14-19 – God raised up plunderers, then deliverers (“Joshuas,” yasha’)
 – B. 2:20-3:6 – God left Canaanites around, to teach the antithesis.

 – enemy from outer edges of world: The Ethiopian from the Land of the Two Rivers

 – The incense-filled Tabernacle of Gilgal versus the poop-filled tent of Eglon.
 – Enemies killed at fords of Jordan; 7:24; 12:28 — official border of land.

Deborah, Warrior Princess:
 – Women and reformation: Miriam, Jephthah’s Daughter
 – War of Mothers: Barak’s “Mom” versus Sisera’s Mom
 – Head Crushing Chicks: Jael, 9:53, and Delilah
 – Women songwriters: Miriam, Deborah, Hannah, Mary

 – wheat being threshed in winepress: Secret Kingdom; Buried Kingdom
 – Angel of Yahweh’s conversations with Gideon parallel with Moses:
  O Valiant Warrior!
     Who, me?
  You can do it!
     I can?
  Let’s go!
     I’m scared!
 – Fleecy allegory:
  wet fleece = Spirit on Gideon
  dry fleece = Spirit passed from Gideon to deliver Israel
 – Evangelistic warfare:
  Name of Deliverer
 – 7:25 – now who hides in winepress?
 – 8:27 – fall of Gideon, pivot of book

 – brother murder to establish kingdom — Cain
 – parable of the hardworking trees
 – revolution breeds revolution: Gaal and his motorcycle gang

Chapter 10:
 – 7-fold idolatry, v. 6
 – 7-fold deliverance, vv. 11-12
 – beginning of next two stories, v. 7

 – wisdom with words, before war
 – sought dynasty
 – did not burn up his daughter
 – Daughter is same age as Samson and Samuel, part of reformation
 – Ephraim getting more and more arrogant — part of long history

 – miraculous birth; cp. Samuel (same year)
 – Spirit-impelled offer of marriage: evangelism
 – Riddle-life: events are all eye for eye, but how?
 – Sphinx: lion, riddlemaster
 – After 20 years, fall into sin
 – Visit to harlot, contrast Rahab
 – Defeat by Delilah: more riddles
 – Samson began work same time Ark taken to Philistia (1 Sam. 5), and his visit to Philistia is parallel
 – Samson destroyed the entire leadership of Philistia immediately before the victory at Mizpah (1 Sam. 7), and is the reason for that victory

An Anti-Exodus (ch. 17-18)
 – spoils from woman build false tabernacle
 – new priest ordained
 – movement through wilderness
 – conquest of area not given to Israel
 – establishment of Dan as center of idolatry
 – event happened early, and Samson’s family is part of remnant of Dan that did not participate in this evil.
 – no king in Israel because Levites failing in their jobs. 
 – Bethlehem: Where David was from.

An Anti-Passover (ch. 19)
 – Sodom as proto-passover; Lot left with unleavened bread
 – passage marches through the night; bride killed, not delivered
 – Levite failing in his job: no king in Israel, wickedness and anarchy rule
 – Gibeah of Benjamin: Where Saul was from.

The War Against Benjamin (ch. 20)
 – first two battles lost; then worship, and victory

New Birth for Benjamin (ch. 21)
 – not a series of evil events, but a new beginning
 – Massacre of Jabesh-Gilead is in accordance with law (Dt. 17:7; Judg. 20:13). It’s possible Saul’s ancestry included one of the maidens (1 Sam. 11).
 – The dance of the maidens is “writhing/twirling” and is a Husband-Catching Dance. There is no reason to think any maiden was forced to go off with a man she did not like.
 – Judges ends on hopeful note.

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The great question for the emerging East, for Asia and other awakening third world areas, for an emerging nation like China is, “what fate awaits them?” They are now emerging from an analogous paganism that the West emerged from centuries ago. Here an amazing quotation from David Aikman, the Time Magazine religious editor. He is a quoting from “a scholar from one of China’s premier academic institutions, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) in Beijing, in 2002.”

“One of the things we were asked to look into was what accounted for the success, in fact, the pre-eminence of the West all over the world,” he said. “We studied everything we could from the historical, political, economic, and cultural perspective. At first, we thought it was because you had more powerful guns than we had. Then we thought it was because you had the best political system. But in the past twenty years, we have realized that the heart of your culture is your religion: Christianity. That is why the West has been so powerful. The Christian moral foundation of social and cultural life was what made possible the emergence of capitalism and then the successful transition to democratic politics. We don’t have any doubt about this.”[4]

There is a speeding up of history. What took hundreds of years to conquer in the Western Roman Empire in the conquest of Caesarism, appears to be earnestly underway in China at a much more rapid pace now. Mao Zedong, the Communist revolutionary dictator of China, was an odd figure. With more than Caesar like powers, he undid Caesar and caesarism in China in only a few years. I heard more than once when I was in China that he was the Cyrus the Persian, and the Alexander the Great, of China. He swept China clean of its old ways, gods, and traditions as they did the Persian and Grecian Empires centuries before. They left enormous vacuums that were then filled by Christianity, and so did he. Mao ironically undid the possibility of his own Communist authority in his quest for modernity by sweeping everything “old” away. He undid his own Caesar’s platform. Like Cyrus of old, he was unbeknownst to himself, merely the servant of the God of the Bible (Isaiah 45:1-6).

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Paul contends that with the death of Christ on the Cross, there was an overcoming of the Principalities and the Powers (Col. 2:15). A great deal has been written on this subject over the last 60 years. What was for a long time either ignored, or regarded by liberal scholars as a mythological element in his thought, recaptured scholarly imagination after World War II when it seemed brutally and baldly clear that such entities as Paul describes had been let loose on the earth once more in civilization destroying World Wars. Principalities and Powers are not themselves personal demonic figures, but are rather elements of the creation that in and of themselves bring order, authority, symmetry, and method to the world.

Examples of Principalities and Powers would be the state, the family, the clan and tribe, and the nation. In the modern world, new examples of Principalities could be industry and the media. Each of these entities in a fallen creation cease to be subordinate to God as the creator, and attempt to establish their own hegemony and absoluteness. And, in each of these cases, the Principalities are linked to, and become subject to, personal demonic figures.

Paul makes clear that in the ancient world, the Principalities were tutors and keepers of the world, and functioned often in a relatively benign way. With the coming of Christ, and with His death and resurrection, the Principalities and Powers are “disarmed and…triumphed over”, and again are called to take their rightful ruling place under the power of the now triumphant King. While the war has been decisively won, this also initiated new phases of radical rebellion on the part of the Powers, and the church now lives by constant warfare and battle against these Powers through history (Ephesians 6:10-20). There are at least three phases of the conquest of the Principalities and the Powers through history that interest me here. There are many more, but one must necessarily simplify in order to say anything.

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Lest we forget at least an over-the-shoulder acknowledgment to the very first radical: from all our legends, mythology, and history (and who knows where mythology leaves off and history begins–or which id which), the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom–Lucifer.

I am not up on all of the commentators of Genesis 3, but I am unaware of any commentator who takes the line that James Jordan takes on the two trees in the Garden of Eden. All commentators, of which I am aware, concentrate on the sin of Adam and Eve in their disobedience to the explicit commandment of God to not eat of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, and of the consequences for the first pair and for the human race. Bonhoeffer for example, in his Ethics emphasizes that since eating of the tree, and coming into a knowledge of good and evil, we have become a people of divided soul, and that the original unity of the world and of human action has been lost. This culminates in the Scribes and the Pharisees, who he terms as “men of conscience.” He emphasizes that in Jesus, there is a recovery of this original unity that is very striking as Jesus knows God, and all of His action springs from that.

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Two Views of Marriage

Below are two views of marriage that came out of an e-mail exchange. The first is a kind of of phenomenology of marriage, and of behavior within marriage. It is who we are by nature. It is bad news, very bad news. The second entry is what can be done about it. It is very good news. Wonderfully, very good news. Enjoy the reading!

First, here is the depressing truth for many…

Seriously, sex and communication, sex and communication. I have always found Tim from Home Improvement’s remarks during a fight with Jill to throw more light on the subject than anything I have ever heard. Jill is complaining that what they need is “more communication…” “Communication?!!” exclaims Tim, “that’s what got us into this mess in the first place.” Well, who can argue with that? The great panacea of “communication,” as it is practiced, is more often than not, water on a grease fire. It just spreads the problems and speeds them up.

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The sin of Ham in Genesis 9 continues to elicit comment, since it seems mysterious. We read in 9:21-23 that Noah uncovered himself inside (the covering of) his tent, that Ham (entered the privacy of Noah’s tent) and saw his father’s (not “Noah’s”, n.b.) nakedness, that Ham told his two brothers outside, and that the brothers walked backwards with a garment on their shoulders and covered their father’s (not “Noah’s”, n.b.) nakedness. When Noah awoke and learned what his youngest son (not “Ham,” n.b.) had done, he cursed Ham’s youngest son.

It seems clear that this passage is about authority. It is about how a son treats a father. One son sees his father naked and talks about it; the other sons cover their father’s nakedness. I have analyzed this entire passage at length here http://www.biblicalhorizons.com/biblical-horizons/no-96-the-sin-of-ham-and-the-curse-of-canaan-part-1/ together with the two succeeding issues.

Some are unsatisfied. There is a perennial suggestion that sex of some sort was involved. The justification for this is the use of “uncover nakedness” language in Leviticus 18 & 20 to denote sexual relations; including in one place “see nakedness” (Lev. 20:17) with the same sexual connotation. Since Ham saw his father’s nakedness, this means he sodomized his father, and then bragged about it. Or, since uncovering a man’s nakedness can refer to having sex with a man’s wife, then this means that Ham had sex with his own mother while his father slept.

It is certainly true that when a son assaults his father’s bed, generally having sex with a wife other than his own mother, that is a way of saying that the old man is weak and it’s time for the son to be put in charge. Reuben did this to Jacob, and Absalom to David. In both of those stories, however, the text is quite clear about what happened. To read the sin of Ham sexually it is necessary to import the sexual aspect without any direct evidence, and, perhaps importantly, to read back into this literary record language that is not introduced until much later in history, in the Biblical deposit of revelation.

The other two sons of Noah placed a garment on their father to cover his nakedness, “and their faces were backwards so that they did not see their father’s nakedness” (Gen. 9:23). Does this mean that their faces were turned away so that they did not sodomize Noah, or have sex with their mother? Clearly not. It means they did not look.

Much of this event has to do with rebellion against authority. Japheth and Shem hold up the garment on their shoulders (an action of exalting a person) and cover their father. The judgment placed on Canaan makes him a slave, not a ruler. Japheth and Shem, however, will have “tents,” like Noah.

What I’d like to add to my previous analysis is this: The passage opposes looking at the secrets of God with listening to the word of God. The eye is the organ of dominion, and that is why we do not worship through icons and images. The ear is the organ of submission. Noah, the human “elohim,” the junior godlike authority, the “father,” is in charge. He sees what his sons do and passes judgment; they do not “see” him and judge him. The Bible uses “elohim” for human rulers, and here in this story is it Noah who is like God: planting a garden, withdrawing from the scene, returning to find that sin has been committed, and passing judgment.

The situation is just like that in the Tabernacle. God is enthroned naked in the Holy of Holies, but the priests are never to see Him. When they move the Tabernacle, they unhook the Veil and carry it backwards to cover the Throne. When they set up the Tabernacle, they pull off the Veil carefully and walk forward and hook it up without looking. On the Day of Coverings (Lev. 16), when Aaron does go into the Holy of Holies, God wraps Himself in His cloud. God is not to be seen in His tent, but God does speak from His throne. The same is true of Noah: when he awakes, he speaks.

The situation is also true in human life. It is inappropriate for a son to see his father’s genitals. When a child is a baby, his parents will see him and bathe him, dress him, etc. When the child becomes self-conscious, the parents should not be looking any longer. And children do not want to look at their parents naked, and don’t like to think about their parents having sex. Gary DeMar commented to me once that when young he had gone to some Christian youth camp, and in the morning when all the other highschool boys were showering in the common shower, the main speaker at the camp, an older man, joined them. Gary said that it was much harder for him to listen to the man lecture thereafter.

When Ham entered Noah’s tent, he may have been spying, or he might have entered just without thinking. But when he glimpsed his father, he did not instantly avert his eyes and withdraw, keeping quiet. Rather he looked and then told his brothers. Did he snicker? Or was there some darker purpose in what he said? We are not told, and it is not important. The point is that he did not conceal what was an embarrassing situation but rather exposed it.

When we expose our secrets to someone, we give them power over us. That’s why we are careful when we do so, and so angry and humiliated when we are betrayed. And rightly so. If someone accidently finds out one of our secrets — “sees” our secret —  and then tells others, that is an assault on us. There was no sin in Noah’s resting naked covered by his tent; the sin was in Ham’s exposing it and uncovering Noah from the covering of his tent.

The sexual interpretation of this story is a red herring that draws us away from its real, and very practical, meaning.

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