Monday, May 20, 2019

2019.05.20 Hopewell @Home ▫ Genesis 10

Questions for Littles: From whom does Genesis 10:1 begin to tell the story of what was begotten from them? Of what major event does this verse remind us? Whose offspring does Genesis 10:2-5 tell us about? How does Genesis 10:5 summarize who these descendants ended up being? What four different ways of categorizing them does verse 5 name? Whose offspring does Genesis 10:6-20 tell us about? What names and places do you recognize from these verses? What do you know about these names and places? What does Genesis 10:8 tell us about Nimrod? Before whose face did Nimrod display his mightiness (Genesis 10:9)? Do you think that God was impressed? What was the very first city of Nimrod’s kingdom (Genesis 10:10)? On which son of Ham does Genesis 10:15 focus? What did we learn about him in Genesis 9:24? What four different ways of categorizing Ham’s descendants does Genesis 10:20 name? Whose offspring does Genesis 10:21-31 tell us about? Of all of whose children is he the father (Genesis 10:21)? What happened in Peleg’s days? What four different ways of categorizing Shem’s descendants does Genesis 10:31 name? What three ways of categorizing Noah’s descendants does Genesis 10:32 mention? What came from them, how, and when?  
“Now this is the genealogy…” this phrase appears several times in the book of Genesis. It is related to the word for “beget” and the word for “child.” Literally, it means “this is what came from.” What came from the sons of Noah? Everyone. All of us.

You’ve probably heard of humanity referred to as all one family, with God as our Father. Well, that’s partly right. We are all one family, one blood (cf. Acts 17:26). But fallen humanity has rejected God as Father and chosen the devil instead (cf. John 8:42-44!!). So, while it is true that we are all family in Noah, this actually reminds us that we need a way back into the family of God. The way through Adam is closed by sin and wrath. The only way is Jesus, the only-begotten Son of God, who became a Man to be the last Adam (cf. Acts 17:27-31).

On the one hand, we must reject all ethnic racialism—whether hardening our hearts (or words or actions) against someone on the basis of ethnicity, or blaming others for our problems based upon our ethnicity and theirs.

On the other hand, we must confess that our truest brothers and sisters aren’t the ones who have the same blood in our veins. They are the ones who rest upon the same blood for forgiveness of sins. The ones who call God, “abba” by the same indwelling Spirit. These are family in an infinitely greater way than unbelievers can ever be. And Scripture tells us that this is ultimately not just estrangement but enmity. We know that we are to love our enemies. But, as they describe that our views of everything are completely incompatible with theirs, let us not expect them to conclude that they must love us!

You can see this in Nimrod, especially. Babel and Assyria are the hall of fame of the eventual enemies of God’s people (there are a bunch more in that list). And Nimrod—well, in front of Yahweh’s face, Nimrod was all about his impressiveness, not God’s. These two are always at odds. If we are full of ourselves, we will not be desperate to depend upon Christ and be full of Him. Nimrod. Pharisees. 21st century Americans. Being full of self gets in the way of trusting in Christ. And Christ is the great divider of humanity.

Everyone who reads Genesis 10 has ancestors in the text. Think about them. What did each of those men pass on to his children? What did their children pass on? We pass on our blood. But, as we have seen in this passage, there is something much more important to pass on: faith in Jesus Christ. Only the Spirit can give it, but if we are asking with words for the Spirit to give our children faith, let us also be asking by employing the means that the Spirit has appointed through which He gives that faith: Word, sacrament, and prayer!
Who are in your (extended) blood family? What are the most important ways to love them? Who are your closer family? What are the most important ways in which they are your family?
Suggested Songs: ARP72B “Nomads Will Bow” or TPH72A “Now Blessed Be the Lord”

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