Genesis 9 echoes Genesis 1. As the earth emerges from the flood waters, it’s as if God has performed a re-creation. He gives the same mandate to Noah and his sons as he gave to Adam and Eve: “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.”
Then we see Noah following in the way of Adam and Eve as he makes a sinful choice in Genesis 9:21. Once again, curses flow (Noah curses his son, Ham) …but so do blessings.
Back in the garden, after God finished cursing Adam, Eve and the serpent, He made a promise – a promise that one day, a descendant of the woman would destroy the serpent. In some ways, the rest of the Old Testament is the story of God preserving a family line for Jesus. Cain killed Abel, so God gave Adam and Eve another son, Seth. The promised descendant would come from Seth. Years later, Noah emerges as a descendant of Seth, and God preserves Noah’s family.
Noah curses Ham, but blesses Shem. As we read forward to Genesis 10, we see even more genealogy, and we see that Abram (whose name was later changed to Abraham) is a descendant of Shem (11:26).
Matthew 1 traces Jesus’s family line all the way back to Abraham. In today’s reading, Matthew 4, we see the promised descendant of the woman, the one who will crush the serpent, face the same temptor. Jesus is the new Adam, but unlike the original Adam, He overcomes and does not sin. Instead of curses… blessings flow – and we are the benefactors!! This is good news. This is the gospel.