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Saturday, May 25, 2019

2019.05.25 Hopewell @Home ▫ Genesis 11:1-9

Questions for Littles: How many languages did the whole earth have (Genesis 11:1)? What were they doing together in Genesis 11:2a? What did they find in Shinar? What did they do there? What building method did they come up with in Genesis 11:3? What did they want to build (Genesis 11:4)? Where would its top be? What did they hope that this would do for them? What did they hope that this would prevent? Who went where in Genesis 11:5a? What does He observe about them in Genesis 11:6a? What idea of theirs does verse 6b say the Lord seeks to prevent? How does the Lord’s speech in Genesis 11:7 resemble the people’s speech in Genesis 11:3 and Genesis 11:4? Who wins the competition between Genesis 11:8 and Genesis 11:4? What “name” did the people end up making for themselves (Genesis 11:9, cf. Genesis 11:4)?  
Who will be ultimate, man or God? That’s the question.

Twice, they say “Come, let us” (Genesis 11:3 and Genesis 11:4). But it is the Lord’s “Come, let us” in Genesis 11:7 that succeeds.

God had said “to dust you shall return.” They decided to try to ascend to heaven. But while they can’t ascend to heaven, Yahweh “comes down” because He is everywhere.

God said to fill the earth. The people stuck together, journeyed together, dwelt together, and aimed specifically at not being “scattered abroad over the face of all the earth.” Genesis 11:8-9 twice emphasize that Yahweh “scattered them abroad over the face of the whole earth.”

God said “let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness.” But their making aimed not at bringing glory to God’s Name, but rather making a name for themselves.

And so God made a name for them. Babel. Commemorating not the way that they prevented themselves from being scattered across the faith of the whole earth, but instead commemorating the way that God humbled them and did exactly what they were trying to prevent.

Man makes his plans, but it is the plan of the Lord that prevails. Man cannot lift himself out of the death that he deserves. But one day, God Himself would come all the way down to be a man and do for us, as Christ, what none of us could do.

What name will we have upon us? If we aim at making a name for ourselves, we will end only with shame. But if we humble ourselves and trust in Christ alone for His glory alone, we will see that the Lord has given Himself for us, in order to put His name upon us, and glorify the name “Yahweh saves” above all other names.
What are your most important duties? What should your ultimate goal be in each of those duties? What competing goals are you tempted to have instead?
Suggested Songs: ARP98 “O Sing a New Song to the Lord” or TPH98A “O Sing a New Song to the Lord”

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