Back to Babel
Genesis 3—11 is a single narrative describing “the fall”. Our insolence came to its stark peak on the occasion of our building of the
. Everything about the venture stresses our arrogant pride and our purpose to go it on our own without God. Wewould make a name for ourselves. We would provide a home for ourselves and put an end to our wandering. We would create a rallying point and centre that would remind us of our self-sufficiency. We would build a grand tower that would challenge the sky and obliterate the distinction between earth and heaven. All this we would do without God. Tower of Babel
So goes the story of our colossal pride. A sinful stupidity and treachery that began in the Garden came to full blown conceit and daring self-worship on the flatlands of
. The human family united against God and in a severe mercy God fragmented it and scattered it throughout the world, without a centre, without a common cause, without a name and without a home. Shinar
Later, out of one of the many limited centres of power, Ur of Chaldea, God called a man by the name of Abram. He was a man old in body though not especially old in years; a man whose beautiful wife (Sarai) was barren and he told this man that if he would leave his home and family that he (God) would give him a home and a great name and a vast family. All that he would not allow humanity to have in 11:1-9 he offers to this old man and his barren wife. The human experience from Adam through Cain and up to the would-be tower builders was loss of home and community through sinful and prideful independence. In Abraham, humanity begins its journey back to God and home and blessing though faith.
God created the Abrahamic community which stood then and stands now, in Jesus Christ, as a visible protest to the fragmented world’s self-worship and arrogance. The NT children of Abraham in Jesus Christ—the united families of the earth (Galatians 3:26-29)—made their entrance on Pentecost which is God’s undoing of
(see Acts 2). Babel
But as soon as the Abrahamic Community begins to believe in itself, as soon as it begins to see itself as the shaper of the world and uses the coercive power of the fallen centres of power to do it, as soon as it sees itself as the creator of blessing and the righter of all wrongs it has allied itself with humanity in general and begun the journey back to Babel.
©2004 Jim McGuiggan. All materials are free to be copied and used as long as money is not being made.
Many thanks to brother Ed Healy, for allowing me to post from his website, the abiding word.com.
"THE FIRST EPISTLE TO TIMOTHY" Suffering Shipwreck Of The Faith (1:18-20) INTRODUCTION 1. The Christian is engaged in warfare... a. It is a good warfare - 1Ti 1:18; cf. 1Ti 6:12 b. It is a spiritual warfare - Ep 6:10-12 c. It is a battle for 'the' faith - cf. Jude 3 d. One that requires faith and a good conscience on our part - 1 Ti 1:19 2. It is possible for Christians to do poorly in this 'war'... a. By rejecting their faith and conscience - 1Ti 1:19 b. Suffering shipwreck concerning the faith - 1Ti 1:19 c. Such was true of two men mentioned by Paul - 1Ti 1:20; cf. 1Co 5:1-13 [Could this be true of us today? Might we become guilty of "Suffering Shipwreck Of The Faith"? Indeed, we can suffer shipwreck, first...] I. BY REJECTING ONE'S FAITH A. FAITH DEFINED... 1. By Easton's Bible Dictionary a. Faith is in general the persuasion of the mind that a certain statement is true b. Its primary idea is trust 2. A strong conviction or trust in something; as the NIV translates He 11:1... a. "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for..." b. "...and certain of what we do not see." 3. It is a strong conviction or trust in Jesus: a. Who Jesus is 1) That is what He claimed 2) That is truly the Son of the living God - Jn 8:24 b. What Jesus did 1) That He died on the cross for our sins 2) That His death is truly a sufficient propitiation or sacrifice for our sins c. What Jesus said 1) That He alone provides the way to eternal life 2) That He alone is the way to God, the Father - cf. Jn 14: 6-7 B. FAITH DEVELOPED... 1. Comes through the Word of God - Ro 10:17; e.g., Jn 20:30,31 2. Strengthened through fellowship with other Christians - He 3: 12-14; e.g., 10:24-25 3. Confirmed through obedience - cf. Jn 7:17 C. FAITH DESTROYED... 1. Weakened by neglecting the Word of God! - cf. Hos 4:6 2. More likely to turn to unbelief by forsaking fellowship with other Christians! - He 3:12-14 3. Becomes a dead faith in the absence of works! - cf. Jm 2:20-23, 26 [When you neglect the Word of God, forsake fellowship with brethren, and cease to do the will of God, you reject your faith, and make shipwreck of the faith. One also suffers shipwreck of the faith...] II. BY REJECTING ONE'S CONSCIENCE A. CONSCIENCE DEFINED... 1. "that process of thought which distinguishes what it considers morally good or bad, commending the good, condemning the bad, and so prompting to do the former, and to avoid the latter." - Vine 2. Our conscience cannot always be reliable a. Paul had served God with a good conscience throughout his life - Ac 23:1 b. Even at a time when he was persecuting Christians! - cf. Ac 26:9-11 c. Our conscience is like a clock, which works properly only if set correctly 3. Even so, God desires that we have a good conscience - 1Ti 1:5; cf. 3:9 B. CONSCIENCE DEVELOPED... 1. A good conscience is made possible through Jesus' blood a. Old Testament sacrifices and ordinances were insufficient - He 9:9; cf. 10:1-4 b. The blood of Jesus can cleanse one's conscience - He 9:14; cf. 1Pe 3:21 2. A good conscience is maintained by obedience to God's will a. Failure to do what we know is right is sinful - Jm 4:17 b. Conduct with godly sincerity makes for a good conscience - e.g., 2Co 1:12 C. CONSCIENCE DESTROYED... 1. Much harm can be done to our conscience a. We can violate our conscience, which is sinful - Ro 14:22-23 b. We can defile our conscience, leading to unbelief - e.g., Ti 1:15 c. We can sear our conscience, leading to apostasy - e.g., 1 Ti 4:1-2 2. Whenever we ignore or violate our conscience, we are in dangerous territory! a. A guilty conscience soon leads to a hardened conscience 1) E.g., once our conscience is hardened regarding attendance 2) ...it is more likely to become hardened against doing what is right in other areas b. Can we say what the writer of Hebrews did? - He 13:18 1) "...for we are confident that we have a good conscience, in all things desiring to live honorably" 2) If we make it a habit not to attend all the services of the church, can we really say "we have a good conscience, in all things desiring to live honorably"? CONCLUSION 1. The Faith (the gospel) is designed to develop and nurture one's faith and conscience... a. The gospel makes known what to believe and provides evidence - Jn 20:21-21 b. The gospel provides the means to purify our hearts and conscience - He 9:14; 1Pe 3:21 -- If we reject faith and a good conscience, then the Faith suffers shipwreck in our lives! 2. Note how Paul felt as he came to the end of life - 2Ti 4:7 a. That was because he strove to have a good conscience - Ac 24:16 b. That was because he lived by faith - Ga 2:20 Are you fighting the good fight? Are you keeping the faith? Or have you suffered shipwreck by rejecting faith and a good conscience? If so, then come back to the Shepherd of our souls...!
The World English Bible
Zec 1:1 In the eighth month, in the second year of Darius, the word of Yahweh came to Zechariah the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo, the prophet, saying,
Zec 1:2 "Yahweh was very displeased with your fathers.
Zec 1:3 Therefore tell them: Thus says Yahweh of Armies: 'Return to me,' says Yahweh of Armies, 'and I will return to you,' says Yahweh of Armies.
Zec 1:4 Don't you be like your fathers, to whom the former prophets proclaimed, saying: Thus says Yahweh of Armies, 'Return now from your evil ways, and from your evil doings;' but they did not hear, nor listen to me, says Yahweh.
Zec 1:5 Your fathers, where are they? And the prophets, do they live forever?
Zec 1:6 But my words and my decrees, which I commanded my servants the prophets, didn't they overtake your fathers? "Then they repented and said, 'Just as Yahweh of Armies determined to do to us, according to our ways, and according to our practices, so he has dealt with us.' "
Zec 1:7 On the twenty-fourth day of the eleventh month, which is the month Shebat, in the second year of Darius, the word of Yahweh came to Zechariah the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo, the prophet, saying,
Zec 1:8 "I had a vision in the night, and behold, a man riding on a red horse, and he stood among the myrtle trees that were in a ravine; and behind him there were red, brown, and white horses.
Zec 1:9 Then I asked, 'My lord, what are these?' " The angel who talked with me said to me, "I will show you what these are."
Zec 1:10 The man who stood among the myrtle trees answered, "They are the ones Yahweh has sent to go back and forth through the earth."
Zec 1:11 They reported to the angel of Yahweh who stood among the myrtle trees, and said, "We have walked back and forth through the earth, and behold, all the earth is at rest and in peace."
Zec 1:12 Then the angel of Yahweh replied, "O Yahweh of Armies, how long will you not have mercy on Jerusalem and on the cities of Judah, against which you have had indignation these seventy years?"
Zec 1:13 Yahweh answered the angel who talked with me with kind and comforting words.
Zec 1:14 So the angel who talked with me said to me, "Proclaim, saying, 'Thus says Yahweh of Armies: "I am jealous for Jerusalem and for Zion with a great jealousy.
Zec 1:15 I am very angry with the nations that are at ease; for I was but a little displeased, but they added to the calamity."
Zec 1:16 Therefore thus says Yahweh: "I have returned to Jerusalem with mercy. My house shall be built in it," says Yahweh of Armies, "and a line shall be stretched forth over Jerusalem." '
Zec 1:17 "Proclaim further, saying, 'Thus says Yahweh of Armies: "My cities will again overflow with prosperity, and Yahweh will again comfort Zion, and will again choose Jerusalem." ' "
Zec 1:18 I lifted up my eyes, and saw, and behold, four horns.
Zec 1:19 I asked the angel who talked with me, "What are these?" He answered me, "These are the horns which have scattered Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem."
Zec 1:20 Yahweh showed me four craftsmen.
Zec 1:21 Then I asked, "What are these coming to do?" He said, "These are the horns which scattered Judah, so that no man lifted up his head; but these have come to terrify them, to cast down the horns of the nations, which lifted up their horn against the land of Judah to scatter it."
Zec 2:1 I lifted up my eyes, and saw, and behold, a man with a measuring line in his hand.
Zec 2:2 Then I asked, "Where are you going?" He said to me, "To measure Jerusalem, to see what is its breadth and what is its length."
Zec 2:3 Behold, the angel who talked with me went forth, and another angel went out to meet him,
Zec 2:4 and said to him, "Run, speak to this young man, saying, 'Jerusalem will be inhabited as villages without walls, because of the multitude of men and livestock in it.
Zec 2:5 For I,' says Yahweh, 'will be to her a wall of fire around it, and I will be the glory in the midst of her.
Zec 2:6 Come! Come! Flee from the land of the north,' says Yahweh; 'for I have spread you abroad as the four winds of the sky,' says Yahweh.
Zec 2:7 'Come, Zion! Escape, you who dwell with the daughter of Babylon.'
Zec 2:8 For thus says Yahweh of Armies: 'For honor he has sent me to the nations which plundered you; for he who touches you touches the apple of his eye.
Zec 2:9 For, behold, I will shake my hand over them, and they will be a spoil to those who served them; and you will know that Yahweh of Armies has sent me.
Zec 2:10 Sing and rejoice, daughter of Zion; for, behold, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of you,' says Yahweh.
Zec 2:11 Many nations shall join themselves to Yahweh in that day, and shall be my people; and I will dwell in the midst of you, and you shall know that Yahweh of Armies has sent me to you.
Zec 2:12 Yahweh will inherit Judah as his portion in the holy land, and will again choose Jerusalem.
Zec 2:13 Be silent, all flesh, before Yahweh; for he has roused himself from his holy habitation!"
Zec 3:1 He showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of Yahweh, and Satan standing at his right hand to be his adversary.
Zec 3:2 Yahweh said to Satan, "Yahweh rebuke you, Satan! Yes, Yahweh who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Isn't this a burning stick plucked out of the fire?"
Zec 3:3 Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and was standing before the angel.
Zec 3:4 He answered and spoke to those who stood before him, saying, "Take the filthy garments off of him." To him he said, "Behold, I have caused your iniquity to pass from you, and I will clothe you with rich clothing."
Zec 3:5 I said, "Let them set a clean turban on his head." So they set a clean turban on his head, and clothed him; and the angel of Yahweh was standing by.
Zec 3:6 The angel of Yahweh protested to Joshua, saying,
Zec 3:7 "Thus says Yahweh of Armies: 'If you will walk in my ways, and if you will follow my instructions, then you also shall judge my house, and shall also keep my courts, and I will give you a place of access among these who stand by.
Zec 3:8 Hear now, Joshua the high priest, you and your fellows who sit before you; for they are men who are a sign: for, behold, I will bring forth my servant, the Branch.
Zec 3:9 For, behold, the stone that I have set before Joshua; on one stone are seven eyes: behold, I will engrave its engraving,' says Yahweh of Armies, 'and I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day.
Zec 3:10 In that day,' says Yahweh of Armies, 'you will invite every man his neighbor under the vine and under the fig tree.' "
Zec 4:1 The angel who talked with me came again, and wakened me, as a man who is wakened out of his sleep.
Zec 4:2 He said to me, "What do you see?" I said, "I have seen, and behold, a lampstand all of gold, with its bowl on the top of it, and its seven lamps thereon; there are seven pipes to each of the lamps, which are on the top of it;
Zec 4:3 and two olive trees by it, one on the right side of the bowl, and the other on the left side of it."
Zec 4:4 I answered and spoke to the angel who talked with me, saying, "What are these, my lord?"
Zec 4:5 Then the angel who talked with me answered me, "Don't you know what these are?" I said, "No, my lord."
Zec 4:6 Then he answered and spoke to me, saying, "This is the word of Yahweh to Zerubbabel, saying, 'Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says Yahweh of Armies.
Zec 4:7 Who are you, great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you are a plain; and he will bring out the capstone with shouts of 'Grace, grace, to it!' "
Zec 4:8 Moreover the word of Yahweh came to me, saying,
Zec 4:9 "The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house. His hands shall also finish it; and you will know that Yahweh of Armies has sent me to you.
Zec 4:10 Indeed, who despises the day of small things? For these seven shall rejoice, and shall see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel. These are the eyes of Yahweh, which run back and forth through the whole earth."
Zec 4:11 Then I asked him, "What are these two olive trees on the right side of the lampstand and on the left side of it?"
Zec 4:12 I asked him the second time, "What are these two olive branches, which are beside the two golden spouts, that pour the golden oil out of themselves?"
Zec 4:13 He answered me, "Don't you know what these are?" I said, "No, my lord."
Zec 4:14 Then he said, "These are the two anointed ones who stand by the Lord of the whole earth."
Revelation 15, 16
Rev 15:1 I saw another great and marvelous sign in the sky: seven angels having the seven last plagues, for in them God's wrath is finished.
Rev 15:2 I saw something like a sea of glass mixed with fire, and those who overcame the beast, his image, and the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, having harps of God.
Rev 15:3 They sang the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, "Great and marvelous are your works, Lord God, the Almighty! Righteous and true are your ways, you King of the nations.
Rev 15:4 Who wouldn't fear you, Lord, and glorify your name? For you only are holy. For all the nations will come and worship before you. For your righteous acts have been revealed."
Rev 15:5 After these things I looked, and the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened.
Rev 15:6 The seven angels who had the seven plagues came out, clothed with pure, bright linen, and wearing golden sashes around their breasts.
Rev 15:7 One of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden bowls full of the wrath of God, who lives forever and ever.
Rev 15:8 The temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power. No one was able to enter into the temple, until the seven plagues of the seven angels would be finished.
Rev 16:1 I heard a loud voice out of the temple, saying to the seven angels, "Go and pour out the seven bowls of the wrath of God on the earth!"
Rev 16:2 The first went, and poured out his bowl into the earth, and it became a harmful and evil sore on the people who had the mark of the beast, and who worshiped his image.
Rev 16:3 The second angel poured out his bowl into the sea, and it became blood as of a dead man. Every living thing in the sea died.
Rev 16:4 The third poured out his bowl into the rivers and springs of water, and they became blood.
Rev 16:5 I heard the angel of the waters saying, "You are righteous, who are and who were, you Holy One, because you have judged these things.
Rev 16:6 For they poured out the blood of the saints and the prophets, and you have given them blood to drink. They deserve this."
Rev 16:7 I heard the altar saying, "Yes, Lord God, the Almighty, true and righteous are your judgments."
Rev 16:8 The fourth poured out his bowl on the sun, and it was given to him to scorch men with fire.
Rev 16:9 People were scorched with great heat, and people blasphemed the name of God who has the power over these plagues. They didn't repent and give him glory.
Rev 16:10 The fifth poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom was darkened. They gnawed their tongues because of the pain,
Rev 16:11 and they blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores. They didn't repent of their works.
Rev 16:12 The sixth poured out his bowl on the great river, the Euphrates. Its water was dried up, that the way might be made ready for the kings that come from the sunrise.
Rev 16:13 I saw coming out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits, something like frogs;
Rev 16:14 for they are spirits of demons, performing signs; which go forth to the kings of the whole inhabited earth, to gather them together for the war of that great day of God, the Almighty.
Rev 16:15 "Behold, I come like a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his clothes, so that he doesn't walk naked, and they see his shame."
Rev 16:16 He gathered them together into the place which is called in Hebrew, Megiddo.
Rev 16:17 The seventh poured out his bowl into the air. A loud voice came forth out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, "It is done!"
Rev 16:18 There were lightnings, sounds, and thunders; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since there were men on the earth, so great an earthquake, so mighty.
Rev 16:19 The great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. Babylon the great was remembered in the sight of God, to give to her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.
Rev 16:20 Every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.
Rev 16:21 Great hailstones, about the weight of a talent, came down out of the sky on people. People blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, for this plague is exceedingly severe.
It is all to obvious that someone made a mistake in posting these two signs together. However, in the realm of interpersonal relationships, nothing could be more accurate. From a one year old stubbing their toe, to an adult child doing something you taught them NOT TO DO, children can be a pain at times!!! But, wait, aren't we all children of God? I wonder what God would think if HE saw this sign? I think I already know one of HIS thoughts...
2 Peter, Chapter 3
9 The Lord is not slow concerning his promise, as some count slowness; but is patient with us, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
Patience, God has patience with us. Perhaps someday we all might "get it" and change our ways. One can always hope. In the meantime, remember to be patient with your own children (for they will pick out your retirement home someday)!!!