WISDOM FOR LIVING DEVOTIONAL
JANUARY 8, 2021
TOPIC: BEWARE OF REBELLION AGAINST GOD
BY T. O. BANSO
“And they said, Come, let us make a town, and a tower whose top will go up as high as heaven; and let us make a great name for ourselves, so that we may not be wanderers over the face of the earth” (Genesis 11:4 Bible in Basic English).
One of the earliest stories in the Bible that show man’s rebellion against God is found in Genesis 11. It was the building of a city and a tower by the descendants of Noah. Some believe that Nimrod was one of their leaders. Nimrod the son of Cush, who is first mentioned in the Bible in Genesis 10:8, is described as a mighty one on the earth.
Genesis 10:8-9 says, “Cush begot Nimrod; he began to be a mighty one on the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the LORD; therefore it is said, ‘Like Nimrod the mighty hunter before the LORD’” (New King James Version). According to the American Tract Society Dictionary, “Nimrod is supposed to have begun the tower of Babel; and his name is still preserved by a vast ruinous mound, on the site of ancient Babylon.”
The Bible says further about Nimrod: “And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, Erech, Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar. From that land he went to Assyria and built Nineveh, Rehoboth Ir, Calah, and Resen between Nineveh and Calah (that is the principal city)” (Genesis 10:10-12 New King James Version).
Smith’s Bible Dictionary says Nimrod means rebellion or the valiant. Similarly, the American Tract Society Dictionary gives the meaning as rebellion or impiety. However, Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary says the meaning is unknown
Genesis 11:1-4 says, “Now the whole earth had one language and one speech. And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar, and they dwelt there. Then they said to one another, ‘Come, let us make bricks and bake them thoroughly.’ They had brick for stone, and they had asphalt for mortar. And they said, ‘Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth” (New King James Version).
When these descendants of Noah migrated to a plain in the land of Shinar, they decided to remain together and not be scattered over the face of the earth. This was clearly a rebellion against God. It was against God’s plan for human beings.
As stated in Genesis 11:4, the goal of the Babel project was for the people to make a name for themselves. In other words, erect a monument to their name. They were motivated by pride. The Bible in Basic English says, “And they said, Come, let us make a town, and a tower whose top will go up as high as heaven; and let us make a great name for ourselves, so that we may not be wanderers over the face of the earth” (Genesis 11:4 Bible in Basic English). They wanted to be famous. They said, “We will become famous. Then we sill not be scattered over all the earth” (New Century Version). This project is believed to have commenced about 120 years after the flood.
God’s plan was that human beings would multiply and spread over the earth. In Genesis 1:28, after God had created man in His image, male and female, He blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth” (verse 28 New King James Version).
Please take note of the phrase “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth.” This was part of God’s goal for man. In agreement with this, before the flood, Genesis 6:1 says men began to multiply on the face of the earth. After the flood, which only Noah and his household survived and the animals in the ark with them, God renewed the original plan that human beings should multiply and fill the earth. Genesis 9:1 says God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them: “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth” (New King James Version).
However, when the descendants of Noah migrated to the land of Shinar, they decided to go against the plan of God. They said they would build themselves a city and a tower whose top was in the heavens and make a name for themselves so that they would not be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.
This was a rebellion against God, which was what Adam and Eve did in the Garden of Eden and made God pass a judgment on them, evicting them from the Garden (Genesis 3). A similar rebellion by man, manifesting in great wickedness in the earth and evil thoughts, made Him destroy the earth with the flood (Genesis 6:5).
Verses 6-7 say, “And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. So the LORD said, ‘I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them’” (New King James Version). He eventually destroyed the earth with a flood.
Unfortunately, the descendants of Noah progressed in the same error of rebellion against God, going against His plan for man on the earth. As He had done with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden and with the people on the earth in the time of Noah, He did again. He came down in judgment against them.
Genesis 11:5-9 says, “But the LORD came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built. And the LORD said, ‘Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them. Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.’ So the LORD scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they ceased building the city. Therefore its name is called Babel, because there the LORD confused the language of all the earth; and from there the LORD scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth” (New King James Version).
There are many plans in a man’s heart, nevertheless the LORD’s counsel — that will stand (Proverbs 19:21). This New year and always, let your plans agree with His plans for your life. Don’t exclude God from your plans. Be sure that your goals and aspirations are not contrary to His design for you. Proverbs 14:12 says there is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death. Proverbs 16:25 repeats the same thing.
Don’t build a city and a tower of Babel that God is against. Babel means “confusion.” Prior to that, everyone was speaking one language. But God confused their language such that they couldn’t communicate effectively to complete the project. He scattered them and the project was thus abandoned. The city of Babylon is believed to be built on the foundation of this abandoned city.
Babylon also means confusion. And like the fate which befell Babel, its failure or fall, Babylon also fell. Isaiah 14:22 prophesied, “‘For I will rise up against them,’ says the LORD of hosts, ‘And cut off from Babylon the name and remnant, and offspring and posterity,’ says the LORD” (New King James Version). Isaiah 21:9b says, “Babylon is fallen, is fallen! And all the carved images of her gods He has broken to the ground” (New King James Version).
The prophet Jeremiah also prophesied the fall of Babylon. “For behold, I will raise and cause to come up against Babylon an assembly of great nations from the north country, and they shall array themselves against her; from there she shall be captured. Their arrows shall be like those of an expert warrior; none shall return in vain” (Jeremiah 50:9 New King James Version). In Jeremiah 51:37, he says, “Babylon shall become a heap, a dwelling place for jackals, an astonishment and a hissing, without an inhabitant” (New King James Version). This prophecy has come to pass. Babylon is in ruins today.
Romans 8:31 says if God be for us, who can be against us? But if God is against someone, it doesn’t matter who is supporting him. he will fail. Imagine the resources committed to the building of the city and the tower of Babel by the descendants of Noah. They had brick for stone, and asphalt for mortar but all was wasted. In other words, they had enough resources to go against the will of God.
For example, you can have enough money to do what God doesn’t want you to do – travel anywhere, buy anything, etc. But the Bible says, “Unless the LORD builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; unless the LORD guards the city, the watchman stays awake in vain” (Psalm 127:1 New King James Version).
Don’t be involved in anything God is against. You’ll be making yourself His enemy. Don’t pursue a project or goal that is contrary to the Word or the will of God. It’s bound to fail ultimately even if it seems to be succeeding now. You may lay the foundation and the project could be progressing well but it will still end in confusion and all your resources wasted. You will suffer a huge loss. Consider the pain, physical and emotional, that you’ll suffer.
King Jehoshaphat will never join anyone to doubt this because he had a firsthand experience. 1 Kings 22:48-49 says, “Jehoshaphat made merchant ships to go to Ophir for gold; but they never sailed, for the ships were wrecked at Ezion Geber. Then Ahaziah the son of Ahab said to Jehoshaphat, ‘Let my servants go with your servants in the ships.’ But Jehoshaphat would not” (New King James Version). It was a case of once bitten twice shy.
But you won’t appreciate this scripture well unless you read the account in 2 Chronicles 20:35-37, which provides additional information. “After this Jehoshaphat king of Judah allied himself with Ahaziah king of Israel, who acted very wickedly. And he allied himself with him to make ships to go to Tarshish, and they made the ships in Ezion Geber. But Eliezer the son of Dodavah of Mareshah prophesied against Jehoshaphat, saying, ‘Because you have allied yourself with Ahaziah, the LORD has destroyed your works.’ Then the ships were wrecked, so that they were not able to go to Tarshish” (2 Chronicles 20:35-37 New King James Version). The project was a failure because God was against the partnership. He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will be destroyed (Proverbs 13:20).
Beware of building ships that would be destroyed – ships that would never sail. It could partnership, friendship, courtship, and any other ‘ship’. Don’t pursue goals or embark on projects that God will oppose. Don’t waste your resources on things that God has not or will not bless.
Do not be wise in your own eyes (Proverbs 3:7). Verses 5-6 say, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths” (New King James Version). Commit your way to the LORD, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass (Psalm 37:5).
When God is helping you, don’t take the credit for what He is doing in your life. Don’t forget God and say in your heart, “My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth” (Deuteronomy 8:17 New King James Version). I am sure you still remember Nebuchadnezzar’s pride. He said, “Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for a royal dwelling by my mighty power and for the honor of my majesty?” (Daniel 4:30 New King James Version).
He didn’t acknowledge that it was God who gave him the kingdom. He suffered for this for seven seasons during which he was driven from the throne to the field eating grass like oxen. His body was wet with the dew and his hair grew like eagles’ feathers and his nails like birds’ claws. What a strange and awful image! This is not a fabrication.
In fact, modern science has confirmed the existence of such a health condition. Some have said the disease was boanthropy, a rare psychological disorder in which the sufferer believes he is a cow or ox. Yet, others have described his disease as insania zoanthropica, a rare mental illness, which causes human beings to think of themselves as animals and act as such.
Going outside or against the will of God is a sin. Also, pride is a sin. God hates the proud. “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5 New King James Version). Nebuchadnezzar experienced a negative transformation because he failed to give to God the honour due to Him. But Cyrus was humble. He acknowledged that it was God who gave him the kingdom. “Thus says Cyrus king of Persia: All the kingdoms of the earth the LORD God of heaven has given me” (Ezra 1:2 New King James Version).
Don’t build a city and a tower of Babel for self-glorification and against the will of God. Don’t let your plans be motivated by pride or a desire for fame. And don’t take credit for what God is doing in your life. Give Him the glory and honour due to Him. Don’t go outside the will of God.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Holy Spirit, help me not to build a city and a tower of Babel but to do only what is in agreement with you will. Help me to be humble – not proud or arrogant. Let me not use the resources you have given me to go outside Your will. Father, I will not pursue my own agenda but Your agenda. I will not seek self-glorification; I will glorify You.
(For over 400 in-depth and powerful messages by T.O. Banso, visit: www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
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