Summary: After Noah and his family began to populate the earth again, people once again left God's way and tried to do things their own way. Bad idea. God's way requires humble obedience, not proud power. Jesus told Paul,
Genesis 9-12 lead us from Great Towers to Humble Alters. God’s way of blessing is often counter intuitive. God choses the humble, the weak, the despised, the things that are nothing to bless and through whom to accomplish His purposes of redemption for all mankind.
The Lord told Paul, “My power is made perfect in weakness. My grace is sufficient for you.”
Jesus, speaking the beatitudes, the blessings, said, blessed are the… rich or poor? Full or hungry? Party goers or mourners? Powerful or meek? Jesus taught us to humble ourselves if we would be exalted. It’s hard to be humble when…
The record of the Tower of Babel in Genesis 11 gives us many things to think about. These United States of America are unique. We live in a country so large you can travel for hours and hours in any direction and still talk to the people you meet in the same language. (Maybe not the same accent, but the same language, and some of us would jealously like to keep it that way). Can you imagine what it would be like if the entire world all spoke the same language? How might that affect our relationships with all the other nations?
Yet, we need more than the same language to get along, don’t we? Our government demonstrates that. Even husbands and wives who speak English struggle to understand one another at times.
I heard about a woman who went to a lawyer to initiate divorce procedures against her husband. The lawyer asked her what grounds did she have for the divorce and she answered, “We have about 20 acres.” Then he asked, “Does your husband beat you up?” She answered, “No, I wake up at least an hour before him every day.” Then the Lawyer said, “Is there a grudge?” And she said, “No, but we do have a car port.” Finally, the lawyer threw up his hands and said, “Ok, you tell me, just what IS your reason for seeking a divorce?” She answered, “You probably won’t believe this, but he just can’t communicate with me!”
Genesis 9-11 record events after the flood leading to Abram. As the family of Noah grew and people began to multiply Genesis 10 gives us a table of nations who spread out according to clans from the three sons of Noah. Then Genesis 11 seems to back up and explain the origin of the division of languages among the nations. So, Genesis 10 tells us who and where the people scattered, Genesis 11 tells us why they scattered.
I will leave the discussion of this chapter with you for the evening groups. Those of you using the Serendipity Bible questions may want to use chapters 10 and 11 discussion questions to explore this more.
For our lesson this morning, the topic is, “The gulf that still divides us.”
In Genesis 9-11what we discover about humanity is that sin has infected us so deeply that the waters of the flood do not wash it away. Even the blameless Noah, of whom Hebrews 11:7 says, “he became an heir of the righteousness that is by faith,” is not without weakness and sin. The end of Genesis 9 tells the sad story of Noah’s drunkenness and the resulting curse on Ham and his descendants. Ham was the middle child. He was disrespectful of his father Noah, and Noah cursed him and his descendants. This sad story appears suddenly and immediately after God’s gift of his covenant and promise to Noah and all mankind after the flood.
Sin is contagious and continuous! It is a spiritual disease and condition that resists even the punishment of the flood. What is God revealing to us in these early pages of scripture? Two things: One, we are learning about God, who He is, His character, His patience, His holiness, and also His wrath. Second, we are learning about ourselves, who we are, our fallenness, our selfish resistance to God’s will, and our need for His constant care and guidance.
The God of creation has ordained free will so that we can either choose Him or not. We live in a period of time when God allows space for both good and evil. If God had not created this space for light and darkness to have a place, they would not be here. In the beginning God created and then separated. God gave a place for light and a place for darkness. God created a place for good and for evil. There was even a tree with fruit that is called the tree of knowledge of good and evil. God commanded man not to eat of it. But God gave a place for man to make a choice. But once we tasted the fruit of the knowledge of good AND evil, what has this knowledge done to us? How do we handle such responsibility? Which direction do we go? We want a mixture! We like good, but we also like evil! We want blessings, but we are willing to do what brings the curse! Since the sin in the garden, man has never lived up to the glory of God in whose image we were created and in whose likeness we were made. This seems to be a constant issue in human history.