Noah was a survivor and a man of faith.
Unlike other ancient writings, the Bible does not color over the shortcomings of beloved leaders.
After the ordeal to build the Ark, standing strong against a wicked culture, to the end a man of faith, believing that God himself would shut the door to the Ark, he got drunk.
The after effects of the flood required grace movements from God.
The Lord spoke to humans and animals, encouraging them to live, and become fruitful.
And live they did.
Noah, finally enjoyed some comfort, became a farmer, and grew a vineyard.
The process of making good wine is rather involved, tedious and particular, but Noah’s figured it out. In the ancient world some wines were a bit sour, designed to mask over a bad water taste, or to keep water sterile for a long journey. That was not the case here, Noah made some good stuff and sat down to enjoy it, and drank to excess.
The drunkenness might have surprised him, it’s possible the wine was more potent than designed, and simply got the best of him. The result of Noah’s drunkenness was nudity, he lost his mind and either disrobed himself or stumbled at trying to change his clothes, or worse.
In ancient tribal people, the tent of Noah’s was called “The Father’s House,” it was a place of honor, dignity and respect. In the “Father’s House” the head of the family sat down and focused on how to take care of everyone in his care, and if someone was lost, it was the duty of the Father to go and redeem the one in need.
Ham entered into “The Father’s House” and lacked the grace and dignity to cover over the sin of another. Instead he went and told his brothers Shem and Japheth, leaving his father naked and exposed. The Hebrew word “Nagad” is damning toward Ham. The word means to “announce, declare and proclaim.” Ham did not quietly go and tell his brothers, he let the whole community know his dad was drunk, lying naked in the tent.
Even though potent wine made his father lewd, Ham’s brothers quickly went and covered up their father’s nakedness, walking backwards and looked away, attempting to honor him, doing the best they could to keep his dignity intact.
Noah soon found out that the whole community knew because Ham told them, and he put a curse on Ham’s son Canaan, saying “A servant of servants shall he be to his brothers.”