Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: If Nimrod had been around today, he would have had action dolls made in his image. He would have had a following of kids all around the world. And I think Nimrod had something to do with the strange happenings of Genesis 11.


I think it had something to do with Nimrod!

My grandson loves super heroes. He has videos of “Ben Ten” He stands there and with a big voice declares “I am Tahmongasaur!” (I think he means to say “Humongasaur” but you can’t correct a three year old). Humongousaur is strong enough to bench press a pickup truck. Half man and half dinosaur. I still prefer Spiderman myself (a super hero from my time and still popular) but let’s zero in on the super hero thing for a moment.

Recently some of our real super heroes have fallen. Tiger Woods and other sportsman lose popularity when the image is tainted by their sinful behavior. Some of our sporting heroes lose favour because of brawls, or sexual sins and others actually increase in favour as their actions are condoned. Even the mafia used to have it’s heroes, and movie stars associated themselves with them. Political leaders also have this super hero image at times, no matter how dictatorial they may be. Saddam Hussain had a tremendous following.

If Nimrod had been around today, he would have had action dolls made in his image. He would have had a following of kids all around the world. And I think Nimrod had something to do with the strange happenings of Genesis 11.

Super heroes today all seem to have certain characteristics that obviously touch something inside all of us. Like so many super heroes today Nimrod defies authority, and takes things into his own hands with the use of force.

In the genealogy of Genesis 10 Nimrod stands out and he is remembered for being a great hunter, perhaps even a bounty hunter, but more like one who conquered others. Genesis 10:8-9 (NLT) says Nimrod “was the first heroic warrior on earth. Since he was the greatest hunter before the Lord in the world, his name became proverbial. People would say, “This man is like Nimrod, the greatest hunter in the world.””

What kind of hunter was he? The name Nimrod (Marad) means “to rebel, to revolt”. We don’t really know if he hunted animals or hunted men in order to make them his slaves. The word "mighty" can refer to a “warrior” and equally to a “tyrant”, one who prevails and is victorious, gaining dominion over other people (POSB commentary). Many think Nimrod rebelled against the government of his day, both men and God.

We know that he was a powerful man. He certainly ruled over a large area. Genesis 10:10-12 (NLT) says “He built his kingdom in the land of Babylonia, with the cities of Babylon, Erech, Akkad, and Calneh. From there he expanded his territory to Assyria, building the cities of Nineveh, Rehoboth-ir, Calah, and Resen (the great city located between Nineveh and Calah).”

So by the time we come to Genesis 11, Nimrod’s kingdom of Babylon is huge and he has obviously got a big enough workforce, perhaps made up of slaves, who begin to build what is known as the Tower of Babel. It seems Nimrod was like Pharaoh, wanting to build huge structures on slave labour and he sets himself up in a position of rulership and prominence.

He’s the picture of the modern day business person who wants to build his or her own empire but is not so much concerned about how they do it. They live for money, wealth, position, fame and power.

At this time the whole earth had one language, a common language. The building of the tower of Babel changed all that.

Genesis 11:3-4 (NLT) says “They began saying to each other, “Let’s make bricks and harden them with fire.” (In this region bricks were used instead of stone, and tar was used for mortar.) Then they said, “Come, let’s build a great city for ourselves with a tower that reaches into the sky (or “that will reach into heaven”). This will make us famous and keep us from being scattered all over the world.””

They used the best building materials of the day. Everybody was excited about the project. This would be the world tallest building. And what is so bad about making a huge skyscraper? Today the Burj Khalifa skyscraper is the tallest building in the world in downtown Dubai. The tower of Babel was going to be a new urban masterpiece. This would make Babylon a focal point in the ancient world.

God doesn’t allow the building to go ahead, but He chooses an odd way to stop it. What is the big deal with making a skyscraper? Every major city has plenty of them today. Sure, they wanted to build a huge memorial piece and maybe they had an ego problem. What government doesn’t have an ego problem? They just prefer to call it national pride.

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