Scripture reading for January 5th: Genesis 10-11
I love to build things and organize. God designed us that way! In the days following the flood, the descendants of Noah had a fresh opportunity to obey God by being fruitful, multiplying and repopulating the earth. Shem, Ham, and Japheth had a whole new world that needed care and tending. They each had a wife and could begin again to obey God’s simple command. (Genesis 9:7)
Genesis 10 records the genealogy of these three descendants of Noah. Note that one of Ham’s descendants, Nimrod is given particular attention. He was a mighty warrior and hunter before the Lord. He built the cities of Babylon and Nineveh. (Genesis 10:8-10) His brother Canaan was the father of the Canaanite tribes that inhabited Israel in the time of Abraham and beyond. Note also that Shem was the father of Eber. (Genesis 10:21) Eber’s descendants included Abram and the “Hebrew” people derive their name from him! (Genesis 11:27)
Nimrod and his family group decided to settle on the plains of Shinar, which is modern day Iraq. There they organized all or most of the family to build a tower to heaven and make a name for themselves. They particularly did not like the idea of being scattered over the whole earth. (Genesis 11:2-4) There is some implication that Nimrod forcibly organized this rebellion and hunted down those who would not comply. He also organized a humanistic religion that worshiped the work of man’s hands and the creation, but not the Creator!
God came down to see this city and stated that nothing would be impossible with this kind of unity. They had unified in opposing the plans and purpose of God. He took action and confounded their one language so that they couldn’t understand one another. In the days of Peleg he scattered them across the earth and then divided the earth. (Genesis 10:25) He created the nations from these three families.
God wants to dwell with His people and desires fellowship with them. He longs to have a people willing to be under His rule and protective covering. We can learn from these records of God’s dealing with those after the flood. He is merciful, but demands obedience. Take a few minutes today and thank Him for His mercy and His plan of reaching all with the Gospel. God came down in Jesus Christ and is here now in His church!