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Faithlife

10 1-11 32 Staying Faithful In A Changing World

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                                                  liberty bible church          2/25/07 P.M.

By Tom Zobrist

“staying faithful in a changing world”

Genesis 10:1-11:32

introduction

Illus. of “The Fathers of 1900 and the Fathers of Today”

In 1900, fathers prayed their children would learn English.

Today, fathers pray their children will speak English.

In 1900, if a father put a roof over his family's head, he was a success.

Today, it takes a roof, deck, pool, and 4-car garage. And that's just the vacation home.

In 1900, a father waited for the doctor to tell him when the baby arrived.

Today, a father must wear a smock, know how to breathe, and make sure film is in the video camera.

In 1900, fathers passed on clothing to their sons.

Today, kids wouldn't touch Dad's clothes.

In 1900, fathers could count on children to join the family business.

Today, fathers pray their kids will soon come home from college long enough to teach them how to work the computer and set the VCR.

In 1900, fathers pined for old country Romania, Italy, or Russia.

Today, fathers pine for old country Hank Williams.

In 1900, fathers shook their children gently and whispered, "Wake up, it's time for school."

Today, kids shake their fathers violently at 4 a.m., shouting: "Wake up, it's time for hockey practice."

In 1900, a father came home from work to find his wife and children at the supper table.

Today, a father comes home to a note: "Jimmy's at baseball, Cindy's at gymnastics, I'm at gym, Pizza in fridge."

In 1900, fathers and sons would have heart-to-heart conversations while fishing in a stream.

Today, fathers pluck the headphones off their sons' ears and shout, "WHEN YOU HAVE A MINUTE.."

In 1900, a father gave a pencil box for Christmas, and the kid was all smiles.

Today, a father spends $800 at Toys 'R' Us, and the kid screams: "I wanted Sega!"

These are just a few examples of how quickly the world is changing. And that’s not to say that all change is bad. We have many benefits today that have been a blessing sent from Heaven. But, although the world quickly changes, it’s comforting to know that our God never changes. He is immutable. (Theology word for the day) His way of salvation and expectations never change. His Word stands forever. Jesus said He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. If this is true, which it is, the question then becomes, how do we change when it’s good? And how do we not change and stay faithful and hold the ground where change is dangerous; where theology, truth, and the church might be in danger? To answer these questions, we need to know where change happens and then see how it might affect us. Where is change the most obvious and influential in our world today?

OPEN to passage.                                       

                                               

Prop. In this passage, we see the how quickly the world can change and get an idea about how we should react.

Open in PRAYER.

PREVIEW the passage. God has purged the world of evil, the global flood is past, the waters have receded, man and beast have exited the ark, worship has commenced, Noah has had a trial and Ham has been cursed. Where does the world go from there? The next two chapters form the bridge to get us to the theme of this book, the people of God. To get there, the world must change drastically. First of all, there must be…

  i. changing politics vs. 10:1-32

Illus. of this is still a current issue that we have today. Who’s in power? What are their policies? Etc. Yet, we need to stay faithful through it all and still be in submission to our leaders. What did the post flood world face?

V 1      What we have here is an unusual genealogy. It is how the world was divided geopolitically after the flood, after the curse of Ham, and as Noah’s descendants grew numerically and grew apart. There were three branches. It has been called a table of nations. There are 70 sons of Noah listed here, including 14 from Japheth, 30 from Ham, and 26 from Shem. Many believe that this is arranged in a table that clarified which of Noah’s descendants would experience blessing and which ones would experience cursing. This genealogy is horizontal rather than vertical, which we see in chapter 11. It is not intended to trace ancestry as much as political, geographical, and ethnic affiliations. First… 

a. the sons of japheth

V 2-5   1. These were northern people not very close to Israel. Gomer is thought to be Scythians.

            2. Magog was the land of Gog, between Armenia and Cappadocia.

            3. Madai was the Medes east of Assyria and SW of the Caspian Sea.

            4. Javan represented the Hellenic race of western Asia Minor.

            5. Tubal and Meschech were northern military states.

            6. Tiras may refer to seafaring people of the Aegean coasts.

            7. From these 7, seven more were derived.

            8. Riphthah and Togarmah were distant northern tribes.

            9. The sons of Javan in verse 4 are all related to the Greeks. This would include Cyprus, Asia Minor, and Greece. These tribes did not figure predominantly in Israel’s history, but are in prophetic writings.

b. the sons of ham

V 6-7   1. These are the eastern and southern people of Mesopotamia.

            2. The Cushites settled in what today is southern Egypt, Sudan, and northern Ethiopia. They mixed some with Semitic tribes and so their names may appear in other lines at times.  

V 8-12 3. Nimrod is mentioned here. More detail of him and how these nations got separated is described in chapter 11. He was the founder of the earliest world powers in Babylon and Assyria. We are told that he was a mighty hunter, a trait of Assyrian kings. The powerful cities that he founded became major enemies of Israel.

V 13-14    4. These tribes developed from North Africa to Crete. The Philistines migrated from their Aegean homeland through Caphtor into the Delta regions of Egypt and finally to Palestine.

V 15-20    5. The Canaanite group was cursed in 9:25-27. These are the peoples that settled in the Promised Land, the boarders of which are given in verse 19.

c. the children of shem

V 21-24    1. Elam dwelt in the highlands east of Babylonia.

                 2. Asshur was the name of a region and people of Assyria, where Nimrod had founded several cities.

                 3. Arphaxad resided NE of Nineveh.

                 4. Lud was the Ludbu of the Assyrians.

                 5. Aram was and ancestor of the Aramean tribes in the steppes of Mesopotamia. We don’t know much of his descendants.

                 6. Arphaxad is then traced through Eber.

V 25         7. This may pinpoint the time of the Babel experience. This would be five generations after the flood.

V 26-31    8. Joktan is then traced. Most of his descendants lived in the Arabian Peninsula.  

V 32         9. This is the conclusion reminding us that all peoples came from Noah.

Trans. CHANGING POLITICS; something that servants of God have always had to deal with. Second…

           

 ii. changing communications vs. 11:1-9

Illus. of this is something with which we all have to deal as well. Young people’s language constantly changes, we now have global communications with computers, etc.

Even though people may speak different tongues, God’s Word never changes. This passage explains how the people came to be scattered across the world. man’s sinful proposal

V 1      It says they are all one language. These chapters are not chronological. 11:1-9 explains how chapter 10 came to be. Genesis is ordered thematically, not always chronologically. Cf. 10:25 is where 11:1-9 fit in.  

a. the strength of a common language

V 2-4   1. Shinar is the region of Babylon. The term Babel used in verse 9 sounds similar to the verb confused in Hebrew. So that is a play on words.

            2. What is their main problem? What is their chief sin? PRIDE! They were concerned about making a name for themselves. Ultimately, this is rebellion against God. Generally, humility is related to trust and obedience, whereas pride is equated with independence and disobedience.

                 a. Written Babylonian accounts of Babylon talk of it being constructed in Heaven by the gods as a celestial city.

                 b. These accounts say that it was made by the same process of brick-making described in verse 3. It is said that every brick had the name of the Babylonian god Marduk inscribed on it.

                 c. The ziggurat or step-like tower is said to have its top in the heavens. It became the center of worship in the city with a mini temple at the top. The Babylonians took great pride in this tower. They believed that their city was not only impregnable, but that it also was a heavenly city.

            3. Their goal of not being scattered appears to go against God’s desire for man to spread out and fill the earth. Their common language helped them to stay unified in their rebellion and work against the will of God. That gets us to…

b. the curse of a common language

V 5-6   1. Their unity and strength from the common language had the greatest potential for evil. Since they refused to scatter across the earth, God would give them a boost.

V 7      2. Who is it that deals with this problem? It is the entire Godhead. “Us” The language barrier is difficult to overcome. This judgment caused chaos for these people.

V 8-9   3. As you can see, this city was the main power in the world at this time. God swiftly judges the pride by scattering them and causing confusion. Their greatest strength was their unity and God took it away. They had failed to depend upon Him. Unity at all costs is not acceptable to God.

Trans.  CHANGING POLITICS and CHANGING COMMUNICATION are facts of life that we all must deal with today. Finally, we must also deal with…

           

iii. changing places vs. 11:10-32

Illus. of the family has become more mobile today than it has ever had to be before. The problems resulting from that are manifold. Not only do families have to adjust to new jobs, homes, communities, and churches, the church has to adjust to changing faces by no fault of their own, many times. How do we remain faithful during these times? Remember…

a. god is at work

            The world is now scattered and hopeless. With all of the changes, what is man’s future? The stage is set for God to raise up a people through whom He would offer deliverance. A nation that would be the people of God. If they obeyed, they would remain unified, if they rebelled they would be scattered. Unfortunately, Israel has experienced both in her history. Pride was problem for her as well. God’s plan will be accomplished with him or without him. God’s will includes the unification of man during the Millennial Kingdom. Zephaniah predicts that in Zeph. 3:9-11. Pentecost was a preview. Acts 2:6-11

V 10-26    1. This is a vertical genealogy of Shem, designed to show legitimate ancestry. Often this authenticates kings. The purpose of this one is to show that blessings promised to Shem can be fulfilled in Abraham. Archeology shows that many of these names are preserved in place names around Haran.

                 2. No mention of death in this list of names that we saw in chapter 5. The emphasis here is on life and expansion, not the curse of sin. This genealogy is more about blessing than cursing.

b. god’s people changing places

V 27         1. Here we have the main players in the Patriarchal narratives introduced. Terah was an idolater. Cf. Josh. 24:2

V 28         2. If Terah was originally from Haran as we mentioned, that may account for the name of one of his sons Haran, then they had already moved about 600 miles SE to Ur, capital of Sumer.

V 29-32    3. On their way to Canaan, they settled in Haran. It is here that Terah died. It is from here that Abraham is called to the Promised Land.

conclusion

CHANGING POLITICS, CHANGING COMMUNICATION, and CHANGING PLACES. We have to deal with them all, but are not the first ones to do so. How do we stay faithful?

1.      Humility is mandatory. We need it to be saved. GOSPEL We need it to remain in fellowship with God.

2.      Be careful not to get caught up in mass movements. The masses sometimes follow the “Babblers” of the world. Just because a lot of people or churches are doing it, doesn’t make it right.

3.      Don’t change if you have to violate any principle of God’s Word. God never changes.

4.      Don’t be afraid of change if it doesn’t violate the Word. Progress is sometimes good. Personal preference makes this hard, but it can benefit all if we are not afraid of it. It can actually cause us to grow.  

Illus. of “Willingness to Grow” A man once bought a new radio, brought it home, placed it on the refrigerator, plugged it in, turned it to WSM in Nashville (home of the Grand Ole Opry), and then pulled all the knobs off! He had already tuned in to all that he ever wanted or expected to hear.

Ruts are dangerous places for Christians to be in; “what has been will still be.” Stay open to newness. Stay open to change. It is in change that we find the greatest blessings; but never, never violate God’s Word in change. We must stay faithful in a changing world.

pray

                                                  liberty bible church          2/25/07 P.M.

By Tom Zobrist

“staying faithful in a changing world”

Genesis 10:1-11:32

introduction

In this passage, we see the how quickly the world can change and get an idea about how we should react.

  i. changing                                                                                      vs. 10:1-32

a. the sons of japheth

b. the sons of ham

            Cf. Gen. 9:25-27

c. the children of shem

           

 ii. changing                                                                                            vs. 11:1-9

a. the ___________________________________ of a common lnguage

b. the ___________________________________ of a common language

iii. changing                                                                                       vs. 11:10-32

a. god is _______________________ _________________________

            Cf. Zeph. 3:9-11; Acts 2:6-11

b. god’s people _______________________ ______________________________

            Cf. Josh. 24:2

 

conclusion

How do we stay faithful?

1.       

2.       

3.       

4.       


 

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