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Wednesday, 28 June 2017 06:29

Genesis 10-11 Notes

Genesis 10-11

* Notice how quickly sin takes hold of those who have made a pattern of disregarding God's Word.  Once the authority of God and His Word are compromised, anything goes.  Man sinks into corruption so deep that he thinks himself greater than God.
* Babel is a classic example of sinful man's desire to be greater than God (i.e. God Himself).
* God had made certain promises that He is faithful to.  This action takes place in the light of those promises.
* Too many often assume that punishment is a reflection of malice.  God does not deal in malice, but mercy.  Application of that needs to be made in our homes.
* God preserves His people in the midst of this corruption, as demonstrated in the genealogy ending with Abram.

Discussion Questions
1.  About how long did it take for this corruption to take place?  What caused it?  Do we see similar corruption in our society?  What causes it? How do we fight it?
2.  What was the great sin at the Tower of Babel?  What commandment were they transgressing?  What is the relationship of all sins to this commandment?  What modern day towers of Babel do we have?  How does God deal with them in and through us?
3.  What promises was God bound to in this situation?  Does He maintain those promises in this punishment?  What promises is God bound to today?  How does He punish within the context of those promises?
4.  Why did God stop the people? How does He stop wickedness today?  What is God's purpose for our lives?  How does He achieve that purpose?
5.  What is the New Testament counterpart to the Tower of Babel?  What is the comparison?  What was God's solution to man's corruption?  What does the counterpart have to do with that solution?  In terms of the Tower of Babel, what has God accomplished for us?
6.  What was the state of the world for Shem and his descendants?  How were they preserved?  What did God do in the case of Abram?  What was the purpose of the nation of Israel in the Old Testament?  Against what odds was Israel preserved?  Apply all of this to today.


Day 1
Read Genesis 10:1-9.  "Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it."  How true this is for the people in our text.  They had the flood in their not too distant past.  But the people did not remain faithful.  They did not learn their lesson from the law.  They also did not know the lesson of the gospel promise that would have kept them in faith.
   What caused this?  Sin.  We are sinners.  If left to our own devices we will sink deeper into sin until we deny God entirely.  We see this all around us.  America is a land which bears the motto, "In God we trust" while denying God at every turn.
     What can we do about it?  How do we fight this downward trend that seems invincible?  We fight it with the weapons God has given us.  We fight it by devoting ourselves to God's Word and Sacraments.  We attend worship and receive them and respond with our prayers, praise, and confession.  We then see our whole week as worship.  We begin our day in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, remembering our baptism.  If it helps, we make the sign of the cross as happened when we were baptized.  We use the morning shower to remember how God has washed us clean in baptism.  We use our daily meals to remember how God feeds us with His Word and Sacrament, taking a short portion of meal time for devotion.  We see work as a gift of God and work for Him while we are there.  We memorize hymns that help us with the hours of our day.  We see our faith in Jesus as a constant walk of worship.  Growing in Christ pushes Satan out of the hours of our day.  Pray about these things.

Day 2
Read Genesis 10:1-9.  "You shall have no other gods."  This is the first commandment, and the one that applies in many ways to all the rest.  Any breaking of God's law breaks this commandment because God has given His law as His absolute Word.
     The greatest idolatry of all is when we act as if we were God.  When we decide that we know better than God or understand things better than God and so on, we commit idolatry.
     This was the great sin at Babel.  They gathered together to demonstrate that they were greater than God.  We do the same today.  We become impressed with our technology or our scholarship or our methods of problem solving and behave as if we are greater than God.  We need to look around and ask what things in our lives glorify God and which glorify us.  We then humbly repent of those which are to our glory and promote those which are to His.  What do have that we have not received?  Let us shine the light of Christ on our lives.  Let us have Him tear down any Towers of Babel that are found there, that Christ may be our all.  True joy is not found in the temples we build to ourselves, but in the temple He has made us as His dwells in us by grace.  Pray about these things.

Day 3
Read Genesis 11:1-9   Is there someone whose patience we admire?  Some people seem to persevere under severe circumstances.  If we were to ask, we would probably find some truth or principle to which they are faithful and that faithfulness helps them be patient.  For instance the love of a faithful spouse or parent makes them more patient than they otherwise would be.  Looking forward to a planned vacation can often make work more bearable.
     You and I might easily have lost patience at the Tower of Babel.  After destroying the world by flood because of wickedness, God sees that wickedness take hold within a fairly short period.  God had made promises.  He promised not to destroy the world by flood.  He kept that promise.  He promised to save the world through the Messiah.  He kept that promise.  He dealt with this situation in the light of these promises.
     Search the scriptures each day to be reminded of the promises of God.  Know that He is faithful to His promises to us as He was at this time.  Pray a prayer of thanks to God for fulfilling His promises despite the wickedness of people.

Day 4
Read Genesis 11:5-9  God stopped the people from their evil desire.  He made it impossible for them to communicate and thus to fulfill their plan.  They learned that God is God. 
     God is still God.  He stops the evil devised in the world.  We often think that evil things among us will always be.  God intervenes.  He will not stand by and watch His love trampled.  God's will is that we dwell with Him in eternity.  He will not allow the evil world to overcome that purpose.  He intervenes on our behalf.  He calls us to be His voice against the evil and injustice of the world as well as the voice to bring His salvation.  We do this in the confidence that God is God and will be with us and bless our endeavors.  Pray for boldness to trust God as we witness of His name.

Day 5
Read Genesis 11:1-9, Acts 2:1-21 Sin causes separation.  We are separated from God by what we do against Him.  We are separated from each other by our sins against each other.  Sin caused the separation at the Tower of Babel.  Man experienced the barrier of language and sin's consequences further divided us.
     Then comes Jesus.  Jesus took the sins of the world on Himself by His death on the cross and declared victory over death by His resurrection.  Jesus established His church to carry the solution to what separated mankind.
     When the church was empowered on Pentecost, God gave the apostles the ability to speak languages they had never learned so that the Gospel could be proclaimed.  God shows that in Jesus, He is uniting those who are separated by sin.  Man's greed at Babel brought the confusion of the language and declared the separation of sin.  Jesus brings the world the Gospel in every language because His death and resurrection is the only means of reuniting the people of the world.  Jesus did in one event what the nations of the world will not do for the rest of time.  Offer yourselves in prayer to be the means of bringing this unifying message to the world.

Day 6
Read Genesis 11:10-32 Many families have family heirlooms.  These are things passed from generation to generation to unite us with those of the past, but mostly to remind us who we are and where we have come from.
     The account of the generations from Shem to Abram is filled with ordinary people.  These were people who lived through the best of times and the worst of times, just like we do.  As the beginning of this chapter tells us, it was a time of sin and God's action to preserve His promise.  He preserved that promise through the people listed in this text.  He then chose Abram out to make a great nation through whom He would continue the promise of the Savior.  He passed this promise through them like a family heirloom.  This family heirloom has come into our possession.  We are children of the promised salvation.  We know the Savior and He lives in us.  In your prayers thank God for His mercy from generation to generation down to you and pray that God would pass it on through you.



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