Monday, May 27, 2019

2019.05.27 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. verse 4)?    
Often, while we are telling ourselves that we would like to know God’s plan for us, the hard truth about our hearts is that we’re trying to figure out how God can fit into or facilitate our plans for ourselves. We’re not alone, the whole of humanity had fallen entirely into this error in Genesis 11. They wanted to follow their plan, in one another’s presence, for their own praise. But truly, we exist to follow God’s priorities, in God’s presence, for God’s praise.

God’s priority for us was for us to be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth with little replicas of Jesus Christ. Their plan was to stick in one place. And, if they were going to do that, then that would necessarily have put limits upon their multiplying.

And it was one another’s presence that they were emphasizing. They had one language and one speech. They resolutely determined NOT to be spread out over all the earth. Twice, they say to one another, “Come let us.” And the Holy Spirit lines that up right next to God’s own, “Come, let Us” in Genesis 11:7. While it is laughable that they could build a tower up to the presence of God, yet the language of, “Yahweh came down” reminds us that the Lord didn’t have to go anywhere to do this. How often we forget that we are continually in the presence of the living God!

Indeed, when we remember that we are always in His presence, it will help slow down our foolish desires to “make a name for ourselves.” This didn’t do a lot for Nimrod, whose reputation was literally “before Yahweh” in Genesis 10:9 (could even be translated, “in Yahweh’s face”!). But, God helping us, we should not be so foolish as to attempt to make a display of ourselves if we remember that we are always before His face.

We were created to live according to God’s priorities, in God’s presence, for God’s praise. If we’re full of our own priorities, then our plans won’t really be about Him, regardless of how anxious we think we are “to know God’s will.”

We were created to live primarily in God’s presence. If we forget about His always seeing us, we will be preoccupied by what others see, and our hearts will be ruled either by fear of man or a desire for men’s praise (which is also a form of fear of man!).

And we were created to live entirely for God’s praise. We simply cannot truly live for the glory of God and at the same time aim at having people also be impressed with us.
When you plan (do you plan?), how do you remind yourself of the Lord’s priorities? What habits do you have in place to keep yourself mindful of the Lord’s presence? By what habits do you train your heart to aim only, always at the Lord’s praise?
Suggested Songs: ARP33B “The Lord by His Word” or TPH33 “With Joy Let Us Sing”

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