Monday, January 14, 2019

Birth of Babylon

As we continue our journey through the Bible, we come to the repopulation of the earth after the flood wiped out everything, and everyone, who wasn't in the boat with Noah. And in general, it's easy to think that maybe these genealogies are boring, but if you pay close attention, you can discover some very interesting connections among people and places.

For example, Genesis gives us an account of Noah's descendants, stemming from each of his three sons - Shem, Ham, and Japheth. As we're reading through the sons and the sons of sons and the sons of sons of sons, we come upon Nimrod, a descendant of Ham. And the Bible tells us that Nimrod, in contrast to the way that we use the word today, was a mighty warrior.

But that's not all that the Bible tells us about him.

The Bible also tells us that it was Nimrod who first settled Babylon, which we know became a thorn in Israel's side and a nation that God often used to discipline His people.

Now, on the surface, that seems interesting enough. The idea that Babylon could come out of the boat with Noah? Whoa. That takes some spiritual gymnastics just for us to wrap our heads around. I mean, we know that God is the God of all nations and all peoples, but Babylon? In a post-flood earth, God saw a need for Babylon?

Even that, however, is not the most remarkable thing about this. There's something even more telling about all of this, and it has to do with whose line we find Nimrod in: Ham's.

Remember what we know about Ham from Friday's post about Noah's drunkeness: it was Ham who discovered his father drunk and naked in a barn, and it was Ham who went and told his brothers about their father's shame, though he did nothing at all, apparently, to actually address the shame.

It is Ham who becomes the forefather of Nimrod, who settles Babylon, who becomes the nation that exposes Israel's nakedness and her drunkenness (her seasons when she is not sober before her God).

Like father, like son.

So when we get deeper into the Scriptures and we start to see Babylon pop up again and again and again and we see what this nation does to the nation of Israel, when we see how Babylon interacts with God's people, when we see Babylon put Israel's sin and shame on full display, it should come as no surprise to us. It ought to, in fact, make perfect sense. Just look at where Babylon came from -

From a son who exposed his father's shame instead of covered it. From a son who gossiped about his father's drunkenness. From a son who invited others to look at his father's nakedness.

Through Nimrod, a mighty warrior, who exposes the same.

Makes sense. Doesn't it? 

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