Summary: Pentecost (C) - Our heavenly Father knows best since life is not always as man plans but life is always as God wills.


June 4, 2006 - PENTECOST - Genesis 11:1-9

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Fellow-Redeemed and Saints in the Lord:

Not too long ago there was a radio program in which the host would come out and say, "What do ya’ know?" The crowd always had the same response when he would say, "What do ya’ know?" The crowd would always answer all together in one voice, "Not much – and you?" It is kind of a humorous response, but also a true response, isn’t it? Sometimes people might ask us, "What do we know?" We could easily say, "Not much – and you?"

It can certainly seem that way whenever some of our plans fall through. There are times when we look to the future and think we have everything in control. Then things don’t work out at all as we thought or as we wanted. We are saying that we don’t know too much. We can’t always carry out the plans that we want to do. That is really what our text tells us this morning. Rather than being frustrated or upset with those things that seem to fall through no matter how often we try to accomplish what we want, no matter how hard we try, we are reminded today that our heavenly Father knows best. As believers, we are comforted in knowing that fact. As believers knowing that our heavenly Father knows best is an encouragement for us. As believers, we can rejoice in knowing that fact. It is as Isaiah proclaims: "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts" (Isaiah 55:9). God’s ways and God’s thoughts are much higher than ours. It is a great comfort even here as God shows his way is best.


I. Life is not always as man plans,

II. But life is always as God wills.


A brief history to get us up to chapter 11 of Genesis, the first book of the Bible, we realize that we are at the very beginning of the world or close to it. If we open up our Bibles and read from the beginning, we learn that in six days God created the heavens and the earth. He looked at it and saw that it was very good, a perfect place. But we also know that as we continue reading that Adam and Eve with their free will decided to sin. What follows then is disaster upon disaster. Cain kills Abel, their children. There is murder, evil, wickedness and sin. Evil becomes so bad that a flood destroyed the world. Only eight people are saved. We notice God still saves mankind, and we notice that here he didn’t destroy mankind, but he saved them. The eight people were Noah and his sons, one family. Of course one family for a few generations, they will have everything in common including having the same language. Some say our text took place about 100 years after Noah and the flood. It could have been longer or shorter as we really do not have an exact time frame given to us.

In either case what are we told? "Now the whole world had one language and a common speech." We are not told what language or speech it was. Maybe it is a lost language that we don’t have around today. The people had this language in common. Sadly, because they had that in common, they did not use it for good. They used it to be disobedient to God’s commands. "As men moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there." The original says that they moved from the east or to the east. It makes little difference. What happens is they found a nice place in a valley and settled there. That was against what God wanted. Remember, after the flood, God said, "Be fruitful, and increase in number; multiply on the earth." Here as one group mankind is going to one place to settle down. They even say, "We will not be scattered over the face of the whole earth." They agreed on that. God told them to fill the ends of the earth, but they were not going to do that.

If that wasn’t bad enough, they made plans to make sure that they would be in this place for a long time. "They said to each other, ’Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.’" Their plans were to stay there. They weren’t using something that was there. They made bricks. Note that these people were not cavemen or senseless brutes like some might think. No, they knew how to make bricks and to make something sturdy. It says, "They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar."

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