Archive | March, 2015

LESSONS FROM THE TOWER OF BABEL

22 Mar

Genesis 11:1-9

Now the whole earth used the same language and the same words. 2 It came about as they journeyed east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. 3 They said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks and burn them thoroughly.” And they used brick for stone, and they used tar for mortar. 4 They said, “Come, let us build for ourselves a city, and a tower whose top will reach into heaven, and let us make for ourselves a name, otherwise we will be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.” 5 The Lord came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built. 6 The Lord said, “Behold, they are one people, and they all have the same language. And this is what they began to do, and now nothing which they purpose to do will be impossible for them. 7 Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, so that they will not understand one another’s speech.” 8 So the Lord scattered them abroad from there over the face of the whole earth; and they stopped building the city. 9 Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of the whole earth; and from there the Lord scattered them abroad over the face of the whole earth.

Babel means ‘confusion.’ It’s where we get the word ‘babble.’ And man without God is confused.

I believe that is the case in the world right now.

We are a confused world.  Society as a whole is not sure about anything.

They are not sure about marital roles.

They are not sure about right to life.

They are not sure about what is evil and what is good.

Some don’t even know which bathroom they should use.

Now I know the answer to all those questions for me personally.

Why? Because I’m some super spiritual giant?  Far from it. If I didn’t have scripture, if I didn’t have prayer, if I didn’t have a relationship with Jesus, I would be just as confused as everyone else.  And I’m not the only one.  There are others who have no problem understanding the husbands role as head of the household or the wife’s role as his helpmate. They don’t have a problem with understanding that abortion is actually the taking of a human life. They are not running around trying to make something that is clearly wrong acceptable and allowed through our Constitution, throughout our society, and yes, even in the church.

They aren’t doing those things because they understand the world was created by God. They understand that everything is about Him because He is everything. They seek to honor Him because they have a relationship with Jesus. Whenever they do get confused by the things that Satan hurls at them, they turn to God and through His Word, He clears things up.

God is the only answer to confusion.

Let me sum up the events that lead up to the text I just read.

1)            After the Flood, God commanded man to spread abroad, replenish and fill the earth.

17 Bring out with you every living thing of all flesh that is with you, birds and animals and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, that they may breed abundantly on the earth, and be fruitful and multiply on the earth.” Genesis 8:17

“And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth. And you, be ye fruitful, and multiply; bring forth abundantly in the earth, and multiply therein.” Genesis 9:1, 7

In Genesis 11:1-9, mankind rebelled, and under their world leader, Nimrod, decided to construct a tower that would reach into the heavens.

The ark rested on Mt. Ararat, several hundred miles east of Mesopotamia in the Middle East. No doubt the three brothers (Shem, Ham, and Japheth) had spoken of their old home and their descendants decided to travel there.

In verses verses 2-4, it indicates that they wanted the top of the tower to be located in Heaven.

Most theologians interpret that this tower was made for astrology, and as a humanistic, prideful lunge at making something great of themselves.

What is astrology? Not astronomy! It’s the supposed influence of the heavens on human affairs, according to the dictionary. But spiritually speaking, it is the heathen worship of the heavens. Worshiping the creation rather than the Creator. Some Christians read their horoscopes and look for signs in the skies. It’s a subtle form of Satan worship. The Bible warns against this activity!

We are to look to God for our guidance. The Bible calls Him our ‘High Tower.’

Today, we have different towers of Babel we are building. Humanism comes in many forms as mankind thinks he is evolving and bettering himself. We have started putting more faith in ourselves than in the God who made us. We have basically decided that the human spirit has come to the point that it no longer needs God.  This is not only prevalent in secular society today but it is bleeding into our churches as well. We now have a so called preacher who says on the Oprah Winfrey network that it’s time to abandon the Bible and look to culture for our answers.  And people are loving that. We want answers and even though God provides the answer, we don’t want to listen to that.

Men today are building a modern day tower to reach into the heaven! But no matter where they go in their vain travels

God will find them and bring them down

Amos 9:2….

“Though they dig into Sheol,

From there will My hand take them;

And though they ascend to heaven,

From there will I bring them down.”

Obadiah 1:4 …

“Though you build high like the eagle,

Though you set your nest among the stars,

From there I will bring you down,” declares the Lord.

The Tower of Babel was literally an open, defiant turning to Satan and the beginning of post flood devil worship.

God told Noah and his sons to scatter themselves abroad across the earth, but instead their descendants came together at Babel.

It was man’s first attempt at a one world movement.

Genesis 10:8-10

8 Now Cush became the father of Nimrod; he became a mighty one on the earth. 9 He was a mighty hunter before the Lord; therefore it is said, “Like Nimrod a mighty hunter before the Lord.” 10 The beginning of his kingdom was Babel and Erech and Accad and Calneh, in the land of Shinar.

Nimrod is a type or picture of antichrist. He was the great-grandson of Noah. He also was the founder of Nineveh, the wicked place where Jonah was sent to preach.

In Daniel we see Nebuchadnezzar trying to do the same thing in the same basic location, setting up a huge idol to gather everyone together as a one world church. And it will be the same in the end of the world.

It’s nothing more than rebellion disguised as nobility. “Oh, can’t we just all get along? Can’t we coexist”

And the answer is no.

Good cannot walk in harmony with evil.

Children of God cannot live in harmony with those who practice false religions

Now, don’t hear that wrong. That is not to say that we are not to love them. That is not to say that we cannot try to form relationships with them. In fact, I encourage it. But it does not need to be a relationship that says “whatever you believe is perfectly okay. I accept your faith as being just as credible. After all, we don’t have a corner on the truth.”

But the Bible is truth. Jesus is the truth.   He is the ultimate authority. It’s a whole other message to explain why I can say that with absolutely no doubt. But for now, let me just say that there have been multiple attempts to discredit it, to prove it a lie, to declare it a myth. But each attempt has fallen by the wayside.

To try to coexist with another faith and say that it lines up with the only true God goes totally against the One who said “I am the way, the truth, and the life” is nothing but rebellion.

We are like Satan when we rebel. It is the ultimate lie.

1 Samuel 15:23

“For rebellion is as the sin of divination,

And insubordination is as iniquity and idolatry.

Because you have rejected the word of the Lord,

He has also rejected you from being king.”

God doesn’t tolerate rebellion! He judges rebellion.

Even Jesus, God the Son, submits to the Father! “Not my will but Thine be done!”

But not Nimrod and his people.  Their objective was not to honor God but to bring all religions together and work as though God was just one among many. Further, they wanted to make a name for themselves and basically be their own deitiy.

What was God’s response? God came down and confounded the language of the people so that they could not understand each other.

The one language spoken by the people before Babel was most likely what we know as HEBREW today. We say that, since the names given to men and places in the period prior to Babel all have meanings which relate to events and characteristics only in the Hebrew.

Can you imagine someone talking to you and all of a sudden it’s foreign to you? Or you are speaking to someone and it makes sense to you but they can’t understand.

I believe that’s very much like the world we are in today.  We began pursuing making a name for ourselves (even in the church). We became more about numbers, and notoriety. In a very real way, the American church began to worship itself rather than pointing others to Jesus.

And lately, to keep the popularity, we have started watering down the Bible for fear of offending others and losing our popularity status (“our cool points”).

And God has confused our language.

We have different definitions of “hate”, “tolerance”, “religion” “love”.

It has caused us to not be able to communicate and instead of working to mesh with a culture so that we can show them the true Christ, we are more and more distanced from them.

These are indeed sad and scary times.

But I want to close with some hope in all of this.

This study isn’t complete w/out comparing Acts 2 and the day of Pentecost. The apostles preached and every man heard it in their own language.

Jerry Shirley makes the following comparison:

Babel     Pentecost

Sinful men gather in own name Saved men gather in name of Jesus

God confounds language             God clarifies language

God scatters man            God gathers men

What is the answer then?

A man’s pride will bring him low,

But a humble spirit will obtain honor… Proverbs 29:23

Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up. James 4:10

Humility is necessary for salvation. No one has been saved by demanding that God let them into heaven. No one can climb up or make their own way in.

Humble yourselves to accept God’s will for a church home.

Humble yourselves to serve God where he leads.

Humble yourselves in your marriage and watch it improve.

It’s not about you. It’s not about what you want it to be. It’s not about what you’re comfortable with.

It’s about Jesus.

Humble yourselves and live that truth.

babel

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ADAM AND THE FAILURE TO CONNECT

1 Mar

Genesis 2:15-17

15 Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it. 16 The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; 17 but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.”

Genesis 3:1-6

Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from [a]any tree of the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’” The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.

At the beginning of this year, I preached a sermon series explaining the vision of the church.. “Worship, Grow, Connect, Serve, and Tell”  As part of that, I explained the importance of connecting with others in order to communicate God’s message.  They can’t understand that God wants to invest in them until they see that you want to invest in them.

The power of connection is something that we sometimes fail to realize the importance of.  We cannot share with someone that God loves them until they see that we are willing to love them as well. We cannot communicate the basic truths of the need for a commitment to Christ until we start being fully committed as well.   We cannot tell someone the truths that God has for them when we are never in the Word ourselves.  We say we want people to come to know Jesus and we want our friends to come to church but unless we spend time in the Word and spend time in fellowship with other Christians, we really do not have a true message to communicate… at the very least not an accurate one.

Adam is a perfect example of what I am talking about in the failure to connect.  Consider God’s message to Adam in Genesis 2:16-17..

“From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; 17 but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.”

That was what God said to Adam but watch what happened when Adam gave the message to Eve in Genesis 3:3…

“From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’”

It’s a subtle change. God never told Adam not to touch the fruit, just not to eat it. Now, it’s real easy to say “Well, that’s not a big deal!… It’s just minor.”

But I want you to understand that’s how Satan often works.  He often changes it with subtle, minor changes.  He causes us to take scripture out of context and even change the wording from time to time. With that, we then come up with warped doctrine.

There are some dangerous doctrines out there that come about because of mixed messages and out of context scripture passages.  Dangerous preachers and irresponsible readings of scripture have justified gay marriage, health and wealth and prosperity Gospel, and other such idiocies.

And that’s what happened with Adam. He added to the message that God gave Him.

But in addition to that, he listened to the wrong voice. He gave authority to the wrong person. He listened to Eve over God.

God had already told him not to eat the fruit.  But along came Eve with her feminine wiles.  “Come on, big boy! Have a bite!”

And Adam listened to the wrong voice.

Everyone always wants to blame Eve. But I’m sorry. Adam was the man. He was supposed to be the leader. He was supposed to guide his wife. He was supposed to model obedience to God.

I have seen so much of this.  A man or a woman gets into a relationship and puts that relationship above their relationship with God. Pretty soon, they are miserable in more ways than one.  They are in an unhappy or mediocre relationship and they are out of touch with their Savior.

God speaks through His Word. We may not always like what it says. I don’t always like what He says.  But it’s the Word of God.  It is the ultimate authority. Culture is trying to rewrite it or get us to ignore it.   It’s authority is being discredited. It’s place in society is being relegated to the back of the room. As a result, we are seeing so much garbage take place. Immorality is running rampant.  Anarchy is starting to take hold. Nobody seems to really have standards anymore. It is God’s Word! We must listen to the voice of God above all else.

We want to connect with others. To teach them about Jesus. But if we are not obeying Jesus ourselves and listening to culture. Running our marriage, our jobs, our hobbies, our very lives under the authority of culture rather than listening to the voice with God, we cannot really forge any type of Godly connection.

And then finally, Adam failed to take responsibility for his actions. What did he do when God found out that they had disobeyed Him? Everyone wants to say he blamed Eve. But he didn’t. He blamed God.

Genesis 3:12…

“The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate.”

We are a society who doesn’t take responsibility for our actions.  We blame our upbringing. Our evnironment. Obama. The fact that we were bottlefed as children. GIve me a break.

Ultimately, we need to take responsibility for our actions. We are not basically good. We were all born into sin. Romans 3:23 makes that clear. We are basically selfish, immoral creatures who first and foremost look out for ourselves. It’s time we quit pointing fingers.

Society is in the mess it’s in because the church insulated itself instead of going out into the world.

Some of you are in the mess you are in because of decisions you made to follow the voice of the world instead of the voice of God.

There is nobody we can blame for some of our messes except ourselves.

God is not to blame.

You are to blame.

Just as  Adam was to blame.

God speaks everyday. He speaks through a still small voice. He speaks through His Word. He speaks through His spirit.

You want your friends, your family to know Him.

But first, make sure you know Him.

Connect with God so you can connect with others.

me and zik