Story of Nations
2 Timothy 2:2 – Hear, Entrust, Teach, Multiply!
Genesis divides neatly into two sections. The first eleven chapters detail four key events. Chapters 12-50 introduce readers to the family of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the patriarchs of God’s chosen people, Israel.
So far, we have looked at Creation, the Fall, and the Flood. This week we are finishing our look at the four key events of Genesis 1-11. The beginning of the world’s nations (Hebrew – goyim) is our next subject.
Read Genesis 11.
There is an old saying. “Seeing is believing.” This adage implies a negative truth. If you can’t see something, there is no reason to believe in it. Unfortunately, this implied negative has an impact on the way most people read and attempt to understand the Bible. People can see, feel, hear, taste, and smell most of the physical world. But what about the spiritual world, the world of angels and demons, Satan, and even God?
In the Fall account, Satan shows up as the oppositional Serpent in God’s perfect Garden of Eden. How did he get there? What’s his agenda? These questions are reasonable for any Bible student to ask.
Revelation 12:7-9 reveals the identity of the Serpent. The Dragon, Serpent of old, Devil, and Satan are all one-in-the-same being. In the ancient world, serpents represented kingdoms/rulers of this world. The Bible informs its readers (Ephesians 2:1-3, 6:12-13, 1 Peter 5:8-10, Ezekiel 28:11-19) that Satan is the ruler of this world at this time.
How did Satan come to be the ruler of this world? Satan and a third of heaven’s angels rebelled against God. They were thrown out of heaven. That is why Satan was in the Garden of Eden. His agenda? It was (and still is) to foment a rebellion against God on earth, just as he once did in heaven.
The spiritual war continuing to this day is taking place behind the scenes in an unseen realm. However, this war’s spiritual realm intersects our physical world. It is the well-spring of all deception, disease, division, and death.
From Bob Dylan,
a modern-day prophetic word
You’re gonna have to serve somebody. Yes, you are.
You’re gonna have to serve somebody.
Well, it may be the devil, or it may be the Lord.
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody.
Since the time of Adam and Eve, everyone has had a choice to make. Serve the Lord or serve Satan. There is no in-between. From the Edenic exile to the flood, humanity almost exclusively chose to serve the ruler of this world rather than serve God. Mankind became so wicked, God judged the world through the global flood. After the flood, nothing changed. People still had a choice to make. They had to serve somebody. Would it be the Lord or someone else?
Tower of Babel
Disobeying God’s direct command (Genesis 9:1) to fill the entire earth, Noah’s descendants decided to stay together and make a name for themselves, to make their name great. How? They conspired together against God to build a tower into heaven and challenge His authority from earth. Sound familiar?
Every successful endeavor among people requires three ingredients.
- A unifying purpose or objective
- A clear plan
- Strong communication
Look again at Genesis 11:1-9. Identify these ingredients in the passage.
Noah’s descendants were on the road to success. But something was wrong. What was it?
The objective was not a good or God-honoring goal. By building the tower, mankind aligned itself with the ruler of this world, Satan and his fallen angels. Humanity chose again to serve the Serpent’s purpose of building his kingdom on earth rather than making the Lord’s name known everywhere.
Genesis is the first book of the Bible. It was written by Moses long after the events of Genesis actually occurred. Job’s book is about a man who likely lived during Abraham’s time, long before Moses. All of the imagery of Job points to the patriarchal period. No one knows who wrote this book. Some speculate it may also have been Moses.
Job’s writer speaks about the bene Elohim (sons of God) three times (Job 1:6, 2:1, and 38:7). The third passage tells us that the “sons of God” watched as God created this world and that they rejoiced in His labor. Who were these “sons of God?” They could only have been angels! If it is true that Moses wrote both Genesis and Job, the account of the Tower of Babel, seen in the light of Genesis 6:1-4, takes on a whole new perspective.
As you continue to read and study the Bible, whatever you do, never forget that a real war is being fought just beyond your sight.
Talk Thru the Bible – OT Lessons
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- God told Noah’s family to multiply and spread out over the entire earth.
- Instead, the people stayed together and built a great city somewhere in modern-day Iraq or Iran.
- In an attempt to make their name great, they built a tall tower reaching up to heaven.
- They were able to do this because at that time everyone spoke the same language.
- God scrambled the languages, forcing the people to separate and spread out into different language groups.
- This is the beginning of the nations, world’s cultures, and governments.
- What command did God give to both Adam and Eve and also to Noah’s family?
- Do a little research based on the toldot (genealogy) of Shem found found in Genesis 11:10-26. About how many years was it between the flood and the Tower of Babel?
- If Noah’s family was used to repopulate the earth following the flood, how large could the family have grown over the period from the flood to the Tower of Babel?
- Which Noah’s sons carried the “seed of the woman” through the flood? How can you prove this?
Make an “I will” Statement.
- Based on your study of the origin of the nations, what will you think, say, or do differently starting today?
- Who will you tell your “I will” statement to that will hold you accountable?
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