The Promise of God Preserved (Gen 11:10-32)

Author’s Note: I am preaching through Genesis on Wednesday nights. Here I will present edited notes in blog form. You can listen to the sermon below and download it here. May God be glorified and His people edified. Comments below if you like.

In this study we return to Genesis 11, where previously we saw in the first nine verses the people gathered together in rebellion against God at Babel, consciously choosing to disobey His command to be fruitful and multiply and populate the earth abundantly and multiply in it. And God — the Godhead, the Trinity — responded by scattering the peoples, the families of the earth, confusing their languages, and setting the stage for the rest of history.

So the scattering having happened, then, with not everyone in one general area anymore, from this point on there will be a shift in the way God works amongst those He created in His image. After Babel there are almost two centuries of silence, so to speak, as God allows the families of the earth to develop into nations, so that out of them He could choose one suitable man and, through him, establish a special nation (singular) which would speak His word to the nations (plural).

God had worked directly with and through mankind as a whole before, sometimes speaking to a particular representative of all humanity, like Adam or Noah. But now that the people are scattered — and in accordance with His sovereign, eternal plan — God, and by necessity His word, the Scriptures, will begin to focus on a singular people to get that suitable man. And that’s what Genesis 11:10-32 is about.

And if you look at it you can see that, yes, it is another genealogy. But here’s what the student of Scripture must ask: Why did God make sure this was part of His inspired, inerrant, authoritative, and sufficient word? That’s the question we need to keep asking, and that’s the question which leads us to see how profitable this text is in setting up everything after it.

It’s genealogy, yes, but the point of it is to show how the promise of God is preserved.

And what promise am I talking about? The one we saw — way back, now — in Genesis 3:15… the promise the Seed of the woman would crush the head of the serpent. The first gospel. Our passage tonight shows the continuing outworking of that promise within the history of creation, as we see the focus narrow from the expansion of all mankind — which is what we see in chapter ten — to the focus now being on a specific people, the descendants of Shem, to get us to that suitable man, the start of a nation, through whom all the peoples, all the nations, of the earth would be blessed. We’re going from Shem to Abraham, so let’s begin with verses 10 and 11… Continue reading “The Promise of God Preserved (Gen 11:10-32)”

The Setting of the History of the World (Gen 10:1-32)

Author’s Note: I am preaching through Genesis on Wednesday nights. Here I will present edited notes in blog form. You can listen to the sermon below and download it here. May God be glorified and His people edified. Comments below if you like.

In this study we come to a chapter which one commentator correctly observes is “one of the least satisfactorily studied passages” in Genesis — Genesis 10. I’d add it’s one of the least satisfactorily studied chapters in all of the Bible, the kind of chapter we overlook. We read it in fast-forward. Sunday School curriculums skip it. Preachers skip it. In fact, I cannot recall ever hearing a sermon on this chapter, and I’m willing to guess you probably haven’t either.

But what does that say about our belief in the inspiration of Scripture? What does it say we really believe about 2 Timothy 3:16, which tells us all Scripture in breathed out by God and profitable? Beloved, God Himself saw to it chapters like Genesis 10 were included in His word, so it’s wrong to skip it. We’re going to deal with it here.

That’s not to say this is easy, going through a chapter that is largely genealogy. But it’s not a bad thing it’s hard. It just means we have to work harder to mine the precious jewels. And there are jewels in Genesis 10, often called the table of nations. This is one of those passages where we’re not going to be blown away emotionally, most likely, but we do need to love the LORD our God with all of our minds.

This chapter is actually essential to our understanding of the development of humanity after Noah. It sets the table for Genesis 11 and the Tower of Babel. In fact, we really need to understand these two chapters as one unit, covering the history of the world from Noah to Abraham. What we read tonight about the spread of humanity, in fact, assumes how that spread takes place — which we’ll read about in the next chapter. Ultimately, beloved, Genesis 10 is not just names and families, but the setting of the world through which the rest of Scripture would unfold (up through today and even to Revelation). Continue reading “The Setting of the History of the World (Gen 10:1-32)”

Let Him Dwell in the Tents of Shem (Gen 9:18-29)

Author’s Note: I am preaching through Genesis on Wednesday nights. Here I will present edited notes in blog form. You can listen to the sermon below and download it here. May God be glorified and His people edified. Comments below if you like.

All Scripture is inspired by God — literally breathed out by God. That’s what we read in 2 Timothy 3:16. It’s all His word, and it’s all profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness. And if we are to be consistent with a biblical worldview we have to realize that is true. We cannot pick and choose the parts of the Bible we like, the teachings we like. And we have to realize even the parts of Scripture which live us scratching our heads are still profitable and instructive and glorifying to God.

So with that said, let’s talk about that time in Genesis 9:18-29 when Noah got drunk and naked.

To be sure, this isn’t one of those stories we eagerly teach our children in Sunday School. Even adult Sunday School curriculums skip over this passage. Preachers skip it. We’re quick to talk about the ark, then skip to the Tower of Babel, but we don’t pay much attention to what comes in between.

Nevertheless, this passage is just as much God’s word as John 3:16, and we do ourselves a great disservice if we neglect them, because this episode in Noah’s life and its aftermath point us to something wonderful, something bigger… ultimately the salvation afforded those who trust in Jesus. So as the book of Genesis has been so good to us these past few months, we come tonight for more of God’s revelation. Let’s read. Genesis 9:18-29… Continue reading “Let Him Dwell in the Tents of Shem (Gen 9:18-29)”