Friday, January 06, 2012

120106 - Genesis 11-12 - Giant hole in human progress: all because of a little 'harmless' self-promotion

S: Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech. So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city. Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth. (Ge 11:7-9).
O: God's command was to multiply and replenish the earth (9:1) and man's response was to concentrate on the plain of Shinar in order to not be scattered (11:4). It was their own name they wished to establish, and their own way to heaven they wished to build. They were disregarding God's mandate and warning, just as the pre-flood people had done (Matthew 24:38-39) There is a way that seems right to a man, but it's result is death. Rebellion against God was fomenting again, and rather than allow it to continue as the world that had been destroyed, He confused their language. Imagine what a world without linguistic compartmentalization would have been like. I wonder if everyone's language was literally confused from one another, such that they had to collaborate to develop communication even with their loved ones. This would have created a giant hole in human progress and development at a time when re-development of pre-flood progress would have been so needed. Much technology and craftsmanship would have died with that generation simply from the inability to communicate it effectively to the next generation. Although lifespans shortened dramatically after the flood, these people still lived a very long time. Noah spent most of his life under the (presumably) better pre-flood conditions, so he lived to about the same age as most pre-flood people did: 950 years. Shem was only 98 at the time of the flood, and lived 600 years. Even seven generations later, Terah lived 205 years. There could be tremendous overlap in the passing down of information and skills when your great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather and almost all of his children are still alive to tell you everything they've learned (Shem apparently outlived Abraham!) Imagine what the world might have been like if these people had realigned themselves to God's program and faithfully carried forward the message of their miraculous preservation through God's wrath!
A: But man's inherited corruption is shown in that His agenda quickly becomes swallowed in their own. It isn't until Pentecost that the curse of language confusion is reversed. This time, it's Christ's death into which we're included. Again, we're powerless to do anything to save ourselves from God's wrath, while He Himself effects our deliverance. But this time, it isn't just a picture: it's the real thing - and besides just delivering us from the sentence of death, Christ gives new life and it's in the power of the Spirit, Author of that new life, that the message goes forward. They were on His agenda, not their own. It was Christ's name that they proclaimed, not their own. It was a spiritual house they were building, not their own way to heaven. Mankind may be much weaker, less able to progress, today than in Shem's day; but when we are weak, then we are strong. (2 Corinthians 12:10)
P: Father, I am so naturally prone to making my own kingdom and my own name! Teach me, empower me to seek your Kingdom and your righteousness first!

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