Genesis 10, 11
Pastor Steve reviewed chapters 10-11 of Genesis today. He noted that some of the descendants of Ham became Israel’s enemies, but that attempts to use the curse Noah placed on Ham’s son in chapter 9 to justify racism were “nonsense.”
“We tend to group races of people along color,” he said. “Biblically, they were cultures and groups of people. We have clans, languages, and nations. It’s describing geography and cultures within those groups. The U.S. has been here 243 years and how different are we? Go to Alabama, Connecticut, or Texas. We have all kinds of cultural differences.”
Steve read the story of the Tower of Babel in Genesis 11:1-9, which he said shows where the diversity on the earth came from. God separated people into various languages and cultures because of their attempts to unify in order to build a tower to heaven.
“Shortly after the Ark people are saying, ‘Let’s make a name for ourselves,’” he commented. “You would think after God flooded the earth people would be leery of doing this. But if you read the Old Testament, how often do people do this? It’s a non-stop festival of stupidity. People go through the cycle of drifting away from God and then coming back.”
The attempts before God scattered people was a direct disobedience to His command to be fruitful and multiply, Steve explained. Now, when verse 5 says God came down to see what they had built, that doesn’t mean He was shocked; He saw their “pathetic” attempt to reach heaven. Still, unity among people can accomplish wonderful or horrible things—Hitler’s demonic ability to unify the Germans an example of the latter.
Steve then turned to 2 Thessalonians 2:3-6, where the final verse in that passage talks about a kind of restraint being placed on mankind. When that is removed, Christ will be revealed. He said the picture in this chapter connects to Genesis 10 because people uniting in rebellion in the end times is the same thing as in the Old Testament.
“Where did nations and cultures come from?” he asked. “Here (in Genesis). Out of two genetic structures come all kinds of variations. As there is inter-marriage among people it creates more differences. . . . God is not in the position of reacting to us. He was splitting up languages and cultures. God is glorified in diversity as we call give praise to Him.”
Reading from Revelation 7:9 and the multitudes in heaven praising God, Steve said the one voice in the tower of Babel is now unified in heaven around Jesus. That is awesome, he said, and is what God intended: that all people honor God as equals.