Genesis 10 -- 12
Nimrod is the first king mentioned in the Bible: The beginning of his kingdom was Babel (Genesis 10:10), known later as Babylon. Nimrod means "the rebel." He was a mighty hunter before the Lord: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the Lord (10:9). Later we read: Nimrod . . . began to be mighty upon the earth (I Chronicles 1:10). Before the Lord means that this rebel defiantly pursued his own ambitious plans, disregarding God and His Word to Noah: Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth (Genesis 9:1).
With Nimrod as their leader, the people united together to build . . . a city and a tower, whose top may reach to Heaven (11:4). Ignoring their Creator, they said: Let us make us a name (for ourselves), lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth. The words make us a name revealed their desire for fame, as well as their rebellion against God. The human heart seeks a name for itself and has no desire to glorify God.
The mighty Nimrod established the first world empire and ruled it as king. His ambition to build a tower reaching to Heaven did not mean he expected to reach the throne of the Almighty God -- his desire was to make himself and his followers mighty enough to rule the world. Nimrod was a hunter -- probably meaning a hunter of men who would support his ambitions. This was in direct contradiction and disobedience to what God had commanded Adam: Multiply, and replenish the earth (1:28); and what God had said to Noah: Multiply, and replenish the earth (9:1).
Just as in the days of Nimrod, today there is a worldwide movement to unite and control all people and all religions. The only assurance of not being deceived in this age of lawlessness is knowing the Word of God. It alone exposes the actions and what is in the minds of leaders in world affairs.
In striking contrast to Abraham, who symbolizes submission to God, Nimrod is a symbol of self-seeking independence. The call of God came to Abraham while he was still in the city of Ur of the Chaldees, a country permeated with idol-worship, situated near the modern-day Persian Gulf (Joshua 24:2). Now the Lord had said to Abram, Get out of your country, and from your kindred . . . to a land that I will show you . . . and in you shall all families of the earth be blessed. So Abram departed (Genesis 12:1-4). Abram's obedience to God was an act of faith as he left all the securities of life for a land that he had never seen (Hebrews 11:8-12; James 2:21-24).
The call of God demands that we make a choice. Abram's choice was between Ur, with its busy commerce, cultural refinements, and many securities, and Canaan, the primitive land of the unknown. Today, even the closest ties of human loyalty or affection must be cut when they conflict with our submission to Christ and what is written in His Word. He that loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me: and he that loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he that takes not his cross, and follows after Me, is not worthy of Me (Matthew 10:37-38).
10:25 earth divided = people became separated; 11:3 go to = come; 12:7 seed = descendants; 12:10 sojourn = live temporarily; 12:16 had = gave him.
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