[Calvary Chapel] 1998-11-21 - Genesis

Well I hope everyone excuses me for the last two weeks. My computer decided to eat a few dust balls and got rather sick and after a costly week or so in the shop came back. Anyway continuing onward through our theme in Genesis I'd like to examine the Tower of Babel and the undoing of the Tower of Babel. As always all Scripture is from the 1901 ASV unless otherwise noted.

Genesis 11:1-9 And the whole earth was of one language and of one speech. And it came to pass, as they journeyed east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there. And they said one to another, Come, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for mortar. And they said, Come, 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. And Jehovah came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. And Jehovah said, Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language; and this is what they began to do: and now nothing will be withholden from them, which they purpose to do. Come, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech. So Jehovah scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off building the city. Therefore was the name of it called Babel; because Jehovah did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did Jehovah scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.

The First Dictator

Genesis 10:6–14 And the sons of Ham: Cush, and Mizraim, and Put, and Canaan. And the sons of Cush: Seba, and Havilah, and Sabtah, and Raamah, and Sabteca; and the sons of Raamah: Sheba, and Dedan. And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth. He was a mighty hunter before Jehovah: wherefore it is said, Like Nimrod a mighty hunter before Jehovah. And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar. Out of that land he went forth into Assyria, and builded Nineveh, and Rehoboth-ir, and Calah, and Resen between Nineveh and Calah (the same is the great city). And Mizraim begat Ludim, and Anamim, and Lehabim, and Naphtuhim, and Pathrusim, and Casluhim (whence went forth the Philistines), and Caphtorim.

Nimrod was a grandson of Ham through Cush, and his name means "rebel." He was a mighty tyrant in the sight of God, the first dictator. The word "hunter" does not refer to the hunting of animals, but rather to the hunting of men. He was the founder of the Babylonian empire and the organizer of the enterprise that led to the construction of the tower of Babel. History informs us that Nimrod and his wife devised a new religion built around "the mother and child". Babylon in the Bible symbolizes rebellion against God and confusion in religion. We see Babylon opposing the people of God throughout the Bible, culminating in the "Great Babylon" of Rev. 17–18, much too long of a reference to enter here but well worth reading.

The Rebellion

God had commanded men to replenish the earth:

Genesis 9:1 And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.

But men decided to settle down on the plain of Shinar where Babylon was located.

Genesis 10:8-10 And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth. He was a mighty hunter before Jehovah: wherefore it is said, Like Nimrod a mighty hunter before Jehovah. And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar.

This was deliberate rebellion against God's Word. They journeyed "from the east" which might suggest that they were turning their backs on the light. They decided to unite and build both a city and a tower. Their purposes were to:

  1. Maintain unity in opposition to God
  2. Make a name for themselves.

This entire operation is a lesson in history that points in the direction of the final opposition of man (and Satan) against Christ, centered in the Babylon of Rev. 17–18. ( Again those chapters are worth reading about). We see the nation of Iraq in news very often these days but how many people realize how much of the ancient city of Babylon has been rebuilt there? I can tell you an extensive amount! In the future men will unite in a world church and world political organization; they will be led by the Antichrist, the last world dictator; and their plans will be frustrated. It is interesting to note that today the world is rapidly moving toward the "one world" concept, thanks to the United Nations and other international alliances. Babylon is being prepared once again and once again God will intervene.

The Judgment

God knew the designs of the rebels and judged them. The Godhead decided to confound the languages of the workers, thus making it impossible for them to work together. This was really an act of mercy as well as judgment, for had they persisted in their plan, a more terrible judgment most likely would have followed. The name "Babel" comes from a Hebrew word which means "gate of God." It sounds like the word balal which means "confusion." The description of God's action here explains the origin of the languages of mankind. But one day another action of God will purify the languages of mankind.

It has often been pointed out that Pentecost was a reversal of Babel—there was true spiritual unity among God's people; they spoke with other languages but were understood; and their work glorified God, not men.

Acts 2:5-6 Now there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven. And when this sound was heard, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speaking in his own language.

It is sad to think that men will attempt to once again bring glory to themselves by ignoring the truth in the not too distant future and bring down judgment upon themselves. As always ignorance is never bliss and it will carry the most severe of consequences as the final days of history wind down to the time of the last world dictator.

II Thessalonians 2:8-10 And then shall be revealed the lawless one, whom the Lord Jesus shall slay with the breath of his mouth, and bring to nought by the manifestation of his coming; even he, whose coming is according to the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceit of unrighteousness for them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved And for this cause God sendeth them a working of error, that they should believe a lie: that they all might be judged who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

As a believer I am often told to keep my eyes on eternity. I am told to look for a better place where peace and harmony will exist beyond the scope of this world. Yet sometimes I want to look at something practical that will happen in eternity - something that goes beyond the measure of judgment for those who ignore truth and affects or blesses the saints. I leave you with this verse that describes first an event of calamity and destruction but immediately afterward something wonderful will happen and the communication barriers that have existed since The tower of Babel in the mouths of men will be purified - when the Son begins to reign! So next time you hear "keep your eyes on eternity" think about this.

Zephaniah 3:8-9 Therefore wait ye for me, saith Jehovah, until the day that I rise up to the prey; for my determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them mine indignation, even all my fierce anger; for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy.For then will I turn to the peoples of a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of Jehovah, to serve him with one consent.

In His Service,