Week 2: Day 3
“Then they said, ‘Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.’” Genesis 11:4
The Seed of the Woman Preserved from Noah to Terah
The new start that commenced with Noah was looking more and more like the old world. The entirety of the human race was the offspring of the serpent. The tentacles of evil had all of humankind in its grasp, so that none were able to resist its allure. “Babel expressed a naïve and total confidence in what human achievement could effect…. It was the beginning of the utopian humanistic dream to which mankind has always aspired.”83 Nevertheless, the final chapter had not been written, and the promise that God’s kingdom would triumph through the offspring of the woman was not withdrawn.84 Von Rad observes that in the early accounts in Genesis each word of judgment was followed by a promise of grace, but such a gracious word is not expressed after Babel, raising the question of whether “God’s relationship to the nations is now finally broken; is God’s gracious forbearance now exhausted; has God rejected the nations in wrath forever?”85 The calling of Abraham answers those questions. Mark Strom says, “Abraham would receive the very things for which the people at Babel had grasped: he would have a great name; he would father a great nation; and he would become a source of blessing throughout all the earth. In other words, the Lord would maintain his purposes for creation and humanity through Abraham and those who followed him.”86
Thomas R. Schreiner, The King in His Beauty: A Biblical Theology of the Old and New Testaments (Grand Rapids: Baker Academics, 2013), 15. (See also 83Dumbrell, Covenant and Creation, 63; 84Clines, Theme of the Pentateuch, 84-86; 85Von Rad, Genesis, 153; 86Strom, Symphony of Scripture, 26)
Connection with Newer Testament
For the Kids
Talk to your children about their reactions when they get a good grade in school, win a game, or receive praise for completing a chore. Remind them that God gave them the ability to do everything they do, and he deserves the praise. Pray with your children asking God to help them do all to the glory of God.
- In what ways are you similar to the inhabitants of Babel, disobeying the good will of God by seeking to make a name for yourself? Repent and find your identity in the name the Lord has provided: Jesus Christ.
- Are you amazed at God’s continued grace? There was rebellion in Eden. There was rebellion in the days of Noah. There was rebellion after Noah. Yet, the Lord preserved the seed of the woman so that rebellious sinners might be saved. God is determined to save sinners, to keep his promise, to provide a Messiah for his elect remnant. Praise him for his mercy. Praise him for his faithfulness. Praise him for his patience.