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Tag Archives: Holy Spirit

Nimrod And The Tower Of Babel

Earth From Space

“From these the coastlands of the nations were separated into their lands, every one according to his language, according to their families, into their nations.” (Genesis 10:5)

In Chapter 10 of Genesis, we have the result of what happened in Genesis 11:1-9, that is, God’s confounding of man’s language at the Tower of Babel. Here we have the origin of every single nation that would inhabit the face of the Earth. Every civilization that would arise in the post-Flood world can trace its beginnings to one of these 70 descendants of the sons of Noah in one way or another.

In the middle of Chapter 11, the Bible will again narrow its focus as it did between Chapters 1 and 2 . This time, the focus will move away from mankind in general to the nation of Israel specifically. Yet before it does, we are given a farewell look at the Gentile nations, the Goyim, and are shown that God is truly the God of all mankind, Jew and Gentile alike (Romans 3:29). When we arrive at the New Testament, in the Book of Acts, all the nations of the world will come into sharp focus again as all men, out of every tongue and nation, are drawn to the Lord Jesus Christ. God leaves off His direct dealings with the nations of the world here in Genesis 10 until the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2) and turns His attention toward His chosen people through whom the Son of God will come to the Earth. Yet God never really lifts His hand entirely from these nations, nor does He turn His eye away from them. The Spirit of God carefully records the names of these nations in the text of Genesis 10 because they matter to Him. We may not care about or even fully understand the distinction between an Arvadite, Zemarite, Hamathite, or any of the other “ites” listed, but God does.

Nimrod The “Mighty Hunter”

Not much detail is given about any of the specific individuals listed in Chapter 10 aside from which “branch” of the sons of Noah they descended from and then who descended from them. But in verses 8-10 we encounter a man by the name of Nimrod whom the Bible tells us was a “mighty hunter before the Lord.” The idea of the language here seems to be that Nimrod “set his face” against the Lord. He stood in opposition against God. And the “prey” upon which he hunted was not deer and wild game, but the souls of men. Nimrod is a shadow, a spiritual predecessor of the Antichrist of Revelation. Like the Antichrist, Nimrod sought to build for himself a kingdom, a government over which he himself would preside and rule over all the people of the Earth. His kingdom was founded upon the efforts of man and inspired by the common bond of defiance against God. It was Nimrod who laid the groundwork for the Babylonian Empire, an empire that would symbolize, throughout Scripture, man’s arrogant attempts to institute his own religious and political system in defiance of God Almighty.

What Happened At Babel

"Tower Of Babel" (Pieter Bruegel the Elder)

“And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.” (Genesis 11:4 KJV)

“And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.”

It is abundantly clear from this statement where the focus of these people who set about building the Tower was: themselves. Noah’s focus was on God and he built an altar to honor Him. The people at the Plain of Shinar here in Genesis 11 were focused on themselves and set about to build a monument to honor themselves.  God had told man to scatter and fill the Earth (Genesis 9:1), these people said, “No, we will not be scattered.” Here we have the two seeds of rebellion against God: focus on self and defiance of His commands.

In verses 3 and 4 we have the the phrase repeated, “Go to, let us…” It is a phenomenon of human nature that man will do things in a group that he would never do alone, and that is exactly what we see happening here. People will entice and provoke others to do the most wicked things under the illusion of safety that a mob mentality provides. These people, under Nimrod, had built a capitol city that would be the seat of their empire against God. Within that city, they were attempting to set a rallying point at which place they could gather together. They thought that this Tower would “reach the heavens”, that it would match the Throne of God in its splendor and magnificence, and that it would serve to establish their names upon the Earth for posterity.

But what did this “great” Tower really amount to? When God laid out the blueprint for the construction of His Tabernacle and the furnishings contained therein, He called for the use of gold, silver, and precious stones. When John beheld what the New Jerusalem will look like, the Jerusalem built by God, he saw walls of precious stone, gates of pearl, and a city adorned with gold so pure it looked like clear glass. When man attempted to build a tower that would reach the heavens and preserve his name forever, he used bricks of mud and slime for mortar.

Divided Language

Man said, “Go to, let us…” and God responded in verse 7 with His own “Go to, let Us…”

What the people did at Babel deserved the righteous judgment of God and He could have simply wiped them from the face of the Earth. But God chose instead to divide man by confounding his language. This division would compel them to obey His command to disperse and fill the Earth, even though they had resisted it before. There is no doubt that mankind is very capable of accomplishing great things and the greatest of these things are accomplished when man is united in his purpose. Common culture and language serve as very powerful forces that bind men in their efforts. All the nations of the world would still share the common purpose of defying God, but their ability to unite together in their efforts would now be restricted by the language barrier.

On the Day of Pentecost, in Acts Chapter 2, God would lift the barrier of language for the purpose of uniting mankind in his ability to come to the Lord Jesus Christ. Everyone would be able to hear the Gospel preached in his own tongue and would be able to respond accordingly. When we enter the next life and dwell directly in God’s presence, man will again share a common language. We will also share a common purpose. But that purpose will be to honor God and to seek glory for the name of Jesus Christ, not glory for our own.

To Jesus Christ goes all glory. In service to Him,

Loren

loren@answersfromthebook.org

[This post was originally published November 12, 2009]

**Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) © The Lockman Foundation and are used by permission.

[If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ or you are not certain where you are headed when this life ends, I invite you to read the article “Am I Going To Heaven?“]

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The Sign Of The Rainbow

Suðuroy Rainbow2 (Photo By: Erik Christensen)

“And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth.” (Genesis 9:12-13)

What comes to mind when you see a rainbow? For most people, rainbows elicit happy feelings: “warm fuzzies”, if you will, as they look upon these beautiful and colorful natural phenomena. But they should also serve as a solemn reminder about the reality of the judgments of God.

In Genesis 8:20, we saw that Noah built an altar to the Lord, an altar in recognition of God’s mercy and grace. The rainbow was God’s response to Noah’s altar. Some have misunderstood what the text is telling us in Genesis 9:13. We are not told that God created the rainbow at this time, but that God set the rainbow as a token of His covenant. Rainbows appear as tiny particles of moisture in the air act as prisms, refracting rays of light from the sun. What an awesome sign of God’s mercy as the rainbow reveals that the clouds of rain are departing and the sunlight is shining back through. Rainbows are clear indicators that the rains are ceasing and clear skies are returning!

Although man, from the vantage point of Earth, is able to behold the rainbow and consider its significance, verses 14-16 tell us that God said that He would see the rainbow when He brought the clouds of rain and that it would serve as a reminder to Him of His covenant to never again destroy the whole Earth by water. Obviously, God does not need to be reminded of anything, but we should understand that the value of this sign is from God’s perspective looking upon it, not from ours. Unlike other signs given under other covenants (such as the sign of circumcision given under the Abrahamic Covenant), this sign requires no response on the part of man to validate it.

“And I will establish my covenant with you, neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth.” (Genesis 9:11)

“But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.” (2 Peter 3:10)

Never again will the Lord destroy all living things from the face of the Earth with the waters of a flood. At the end of this age, God will consume the Earth with fire. The Flood served as a reminder to man that sin carries with it judgment. The rainbow is a reminder to man that God’s judgment is currently being withheld. The day will come when the Lord Jesus Christ will return to judge a sinful and fallen world. As it was in the days of Noah, when people were going about their lives giving no thought to obeying God, so shall it be when the Lord returns (Matthew 24:37-39).

When we look upon a rainbow, let us not boast in our hearts that the sun will shine again that we might live to sin another day. May we look upon the sign of God’s covenant with Noah and rejoice in gratitude that God has spared us from a judgment which our own sin has earned. Let us not be as the scoffers who despise the grace and mercy of God, but let us humble ourselves before the Lord at the very sight of a rainbow and offer up praise to Him that He did not appoint us to perish in the days of the Flood and, by the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, we shall not perish in the coming judgment, either.

To Jesus Christ goes all glory. In service to Him,

Loren

loren@answersfromthebook.org

[This post was originally published November 5, 2009]

**All Scripture quotations in this post are taken from the King James Version (KJV) Bible

[If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ or you are not certain where you are headed when this life ends, I invite you to read the article “Am I Going To Heaven?“]

Two Birds In One Ark

Noah Mosaic in Basilica di San Marco, Venice

“And it came to pass at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made: And he sent forth a raven, which went forth to and fro, until the waters were dried up from off the earth. Also he sent forth a dove from him, to see if the waters were abated from off the face of the ground;” (Genesis 8:6-8)

After the rains had stopped, Noah sent two birds out of the Ark in order to see how much of the flood waters remained on the face of the Earth. He sent a raven and a dove. The response to what they found is very different between the two.

We are told that the raven went to and fro until the waters were abated (Genesis 8:7). But the dove, we see, returned to the Ark – finding no rest for the sole of her foot (v. 9). How is it that one was able to find rest and comfort in a world under judgment while the other could find no peace away from the Ark?

“Of all clean birds ye shall eat. But these are they which ye shall not eat: the eagle, and the ossifrage…and every raven after its kind.” (Deuteronomy 14:11,12,14 emphasis added)

“And if she be not able to bring a lamb, then she shall bring two [turtledoves], or two young pigeons; the one for the burnt offering, and the other for a sin offering: and the priest shall make an atonement for her, and she shall be clean.” (Leviticus 12:8)

The raven is an unclean bird while the dove is a clean bird. The raven is a scavenger who feeds off of anything it finds while the dove is more selective in its diet. The raven went out into a world filled with the dead and rotting flesh which had perished in the Flood and made a feast of what it found. The dove, however, could find no solace or comfort in a world under judgment. The raven was pleased to stay as far away from the Ark as she could, feeding on the things of this world; the dove rejected the dead things of this world and could only find joy in the safety of the Ark.

The reality is that the two birds are not an illustration of the unbeliever compared with the believer. Both birds were in the Ark which, as we considered before, is a picture of Christ. No, the two birds symbolize the believer’s old nature and the new – which both dwell within us. When we came to Christ, we received a new nature that can only find peace and joy in the things of God: the “dove”, if you please. But we still have the old “raven” nature dwelling within us even though we live now in the safety of the “Ark.”

We retain within us the old nature even after we come to faith in Christ, a nature that desires to continue to feast on the dead things of this world and “eat” anything that it can find. It is contented to gorge itself on dead and rotting things of the flesh. But now we have the ability to walk after the Spirit of God, and we are instructed to do so (Galatians 5:16). We have a “dove” nature that seeks to follow the Dove that is the Holy Spirit and can find no rest for the sole of its foot apart from Him. As did the dove which Noah sent forth, our “dove” nature beholds a world full of death and judgment and finds nothing to be desired in it. This nature can only find a place of rest and comfort within the “Ark” that is the Lord Jesus Christ.

To Jesus Christ goes all glory. In service to Him,

Loren

loren@answersfromthebook.org

[This post was originally published October 28, 2009]

**All Scripture quotations in this post are taken from the King James Version (KJV) Bible

[If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ or you are not certain where you are headed when this life ends, I invite you to read the article “Am I Going To Heaven?“]

Christ Our “Ark”: Sufficiency

"And take thou unto thee of all food that is eaten, and thou shalt gather it to thee; and it shall be for food for thee, and for them." (Genesis 6:21)

“As for you, take for yourself some of all food which is edible, and gather it to yourself; and it shall be for food for you and for them.” (Genesis 6:21)

As we continue to look at the parallels between Noah “in the Ark” and the believer “in Christ”, it is important to consider the sufficiency of God’s provision in both. God never brings us to a place of calling, only to fail to provide for our needs when we get there. God invited Noah and his family to enter the Ark and instructed Noah to bring along food for the journey. This might seem at first to be something rather obvious that Noah would have naturally attended to himself. But how would Noah know precisely how much food to bring along? God had told him that the rain would last forty days and forty nights, but how long would they all be in the Ark afterward? Also, unless a person has a rather diverse and extensive knowledge of zoology, would they really know exactly how much grass and leaves even two elephants would need per day?

Although we are not given the specifics, I believe that when God told Noah, “Take unto thee all food which is edible“, He proceeded to give him the exact types and quantities of plant foods (there were no carnivores at this time – see Genesis 9:3) necessary for the duration that the eight persons and thousands of animals would be aboard. Noah did the actual gathering of the food, but God ensured that he would bring along all that was required, as well as allowing for the necessary space on the Ark to put it.

“Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God, (2 Corinthians 3:5)

God also provides for the needs of those “in Christ”, as He did for those in the Ark. But for us, our needs are provided as we move on in our journey. As the Lord prayed that the Father would give us each day our daily bread, we do not usually find God providing a stockpile of supplies for us. No, we are as the children of Israel in the wilderness: gathering enough manna for each day (Exodus 16:19-22). Although God has graciously given to many who are in Christ more than enough to meet their physical needs for today, we all must go to Him daily for the feeding of our spiritual needs. We do not live by bread alone, but must daily feed on God’s Word for the “nutritional health” of our souls.  As the manna gathered in the morning would be melted by the noonday sun, so it is with the Word of God that we “ate” of yesterday.

“And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed; (2 Corinthians 9:8)

God not only provided for Noah’s needs, He equipped Noah to feed those entrusted to his care. What a lesson for those who serve the Lord and minister to others. When the cattle would low, or the sheep would bleat, Noah had something to feed them. God had made sure of it. If we are faithfully serving the Lord in obedience, those who come to us seeking  nourishment for their souls will not need to be sent away hungry.  God provided sufficiently and above what Noah and his family needed, not so that they could gorge themselves to excess, but so that they could in turn feed others.

As the days in the Ark wore on and on, I can imagine one of Noah’s sons telling him that the “hay loft” was starting to empty out. Nobody on board the Ark knew for certain exactly how long they would remain inside. But God provided enough for what was needed, He always does. God took care of all of the needs of those in the Ark, and He does the same for those who are in Christ.

Next time, Lord willing, we will consider the safety of those who are in Christ our “Ark.”

To Jesus Christ goes all glory. In service to Him,

Loren

loren@answersfromthebook.org

[This post was originally published October 18, 2009]

**Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) © The Lockman Foundation and are used by permission.

[If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ or you are not certain where you are headed when this life ends, I invite you to read the article “Am I Going To Heaven?“]

Christ Our “Ark”: Direction

"And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat." (Genesis 8:4)

“In the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, the ark rested upon the mountains of Ararat” (Genesis 8:4)

God gave Noah a very detailed blueprint of how He wanted the Ark constructed (Genesis 6:14-16). Conspicuously absent from God’s instructions are the plans for a rudder or a sail. When we think of the Ark, we tend to think in terms of a very large boat, or a ship.  But in reality, it was more like a floating box.

Noah’s Ark was not designed as we would expect a typical sea-going vessel to be designed. It did not contain a hull that would allow for direct, linear movement. Nor did it have anything that would allow for propulsion or steering. It’s function was not to move in a specific direction, but simply to stay afloat and keep those inside it alive by doing so.

And so it is for the believer. As those “in the Ark” were kept afloat, not knowing exactly where they were going, yet always aware that they were safe inside, so it is for those who are “in Christ.” We are provided no oar, neither are we given a mast upon which to hang a sail. The “Ark” that is Jesus Christ is without a rudder, there is no helm upon which we may lay our hand and steer the course. But we can be confident that He Himself shall bring us safely to precisely the spot where He wants us.

Then a scribe came and said to Him, “Teacher, I will follow You wherever You go.” Jesus said to him, “The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” (Matthew 8:19-20)

When we accept the Lord’s invitation and come aboard the Ark that is Christ, we are not furnished with an itinerary nor are we provided a detailed map to where we are going. We are told where the end of the journey will lead us, but not of the incidents that we will encounter along the way. At times, we may be tempted to look out upon the stormy seas that we are floating atop and become fearful and discouraged. But not only is He the One Who steers the Ark, He is the One Who controls the waters themselves! No errant wave shall move us somewhere that He does not intend for us to go, Neither is it possible that a rising tempest blow us off course or capsize the Vessel wherein we rest. We may not know where we are heading, being blinded by the driving winds and rain, but God knows and it is He Who directs our journey.

To Jesus Christ goes all glory. In service to Him,

Loren

loren@answersfromthebook.org

[This post was originally published October 16, 2009]

**Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) © The Lockman Foundation and are used by permission.

[If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ or you are not certain where you are headed when this life ends, I invite you to read the article “Am I Going To Heaven?“]

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