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Julie Ferwerda Christian Blog and Commentary

OYB January 5

  • Julie Ferwerda
    Are you ready for change in 2009? Grab a One Year Bible (NLT), commit to reading it daily, and join Julie Ferwerda on an extraordinary adventure that will transform your life as you experience its relevance in a fresh, understandable way. In addition to 20+ years in Bible teaching ministry, Julie is a professional speaker and writer. Her works have appeared in publications such as Focus on the Family, Discipleship Journal, Christianity Today, Marriage Partnership, Brio, and Revolve Biblezines & Devotional Bible (for teens). She's also the author of "The Perfect Fit: Piecing Together True Love," and also the upcoming book, "One Million Arrows for God: Raising Your Children to Change the World." Learn more at www.JulieFerwerda.com.
  • 2009 Jan 05
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Genesis

11:4 Let's build a great city with a tower that reaches to the skies - a monument to our greatness! This will bring us together and keep us from scattering all over the world."

At least two great sins are associated with Babel. First of all, pride in human accomplishment and greatness. Second of all, it is believed that the roots of astrology and occult practices began here.

I did a little research. In Wikipedia under, Tower of Babel, we find historical background.  The Greek form of the name is from the native Akkadian Bāb-ilim, which means "Gate of the god." The ruins of the city of Babylon (also called Babel) are near Hillah, Babil Governorate, Iraq.

I find it very intriguing that this tower was constructed in the city of Babylon and located in Iraq. It just might be a full circle prophetic event (remember that the Bible has repeated cycles of events and is applied on different levels) of the day when the anti-Christ is said to set up his world kingdom from Babylon (see Jeremiah 51, Revelation 14:8), a city he will build up as a monument to his greatness and power and where all the (unbelieving) peoples of the world are brought together in unified purpose.

No one is sure if the prophetic Babylon in the Bible is a figurative or literal place for the anti-Christ's kingdom, but in recent years Babylon is being rebuilt. Check this out, straight from Wikipedia under Babylon: Babylon...can be found in present-day Al Hillah, Babil Province, Iraq, about 55 miles south of Baghdad. In 1985, Saddam Hussein started rebuilding the city on top of the old ruins, investing in both restoration and new construction. To the dismay of archaeologists, he inscribed his name on many of the bricks in imitation of Nebuchadnezzar. One frequent inscription reads: "This was built by Saddam Hussein, son of Nebuchadnezzar, to glorify Iraq." He also installed a huge portrait of himself and Nebuchadnezzar at the entrance to the ruins, and shored up Processional Way, a large boulevard of ancient stones, and the Lion of Babylon, a black rock sculpture about 2,600 years old (all of this can be seen in actual photographs on google earth).

When the Gulf War ended, Saddam wanted to build a modern palace, also over some old ruins (in Babylon); it was made in the pyramidal style of a Sumerian ziggurat. He named it "Saddam Hill." In 2003, he was ready to begin the construction of a cable car line over Babylon when the invasion began and halted the project.

An article published in April 2006 states that UN officials and Iraqi leaders have big plans for restoring Babylon, making it a gem of a new Iraq as a cultural center complete with shopping malls, hotels, and perhaps a theme park: "One day millions of people will visit Babylon."

Footnotes: Gettleman, Jeffrey. Unesco intends to put the magic back in Babylon, International Herald Tribune, April 21, 2006. Accessed April 19, 2008.

McBride, Edward. Monuments to Self: Baghdad's grands projects in the age of Saddam Hussein, MetropolisMag. Accessed April 19, 2008.

Do you have chills bumps yet?

11:6 "If they can accomplish this...just think of what they will do later. Nothing will be impossible for them! My husband and I were talking recently, and with the current genetic engineering advancements alone not to mention the incredible connectivity worldwide via internet, we are on the verge of this reality. We are ripe to be toppled. With cloning, stem cell research, and now the possibility for couples to minimize genetic weaknesses while choosing the sex and eye color of their babies, we are getting close to the day when all things are possible because we have become recklessly advanced.

11:7 "Come, let's go down and give them different languages." (Note the reference to the Trinity). David Guzik says (and I have believed this for years): The division of the languages is a fascinating subject. Modern linguists know man could not have invented language, any more than our circulatory system was created. Language is so complex because languages exist as whole systems, not as small parts put together.

Matthew

5:20 "But I warn you-unless your righteousness is better than the righteousness of the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven! Jesus made a revolutionary statement here. The only way our righteousness can surpass that of the teachers and Pharisees, is if it is done first through His blood, and following that through obeying the greatest commandments of love. Love is truly what the Pharisees lacked. Love God with all your heart, love your neighbor as yourself.

Psalms (Chapter 5)

If you've ever had a mortal enemy, David's prayers will be very meaningful to you. Throughout the Psalms, focus on how often the words "unfailing love" are used to describe God's love for His children.

Proverbs 1:24-28

How many times people are mad at God when they face consequences for their own sinful choices. May we be teachable to avoid disaster!

Questions for personal application:

  • Do you find your measure for your righteousness being based in how well you follow rules, or how much you practically (in action) love God and people?

  • Can you think of a time in your life when you ended up with unpleasant consequences for your own bad choices and you were mad at God for them?

  • How do you respond when someone who loves you tries to tell you not to do something that they believe will bring trouble? Do you think they have no idea what is good for you and do it anyway, or do you listen to their advice, believing they care about what happens to you?