Greetings in the name of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. (Romans 3:23)
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Then for the next six days, He created everything that we see – the sun, the moon, stars, and all living things on the earth: trees, plants, flowers, animals, bird, insects and fish in sea. Among His creation, God gave His special attention to human beings from creation. He created human beings in His own image. Then He loved human beings so much, and He gave everything that He created. God was truly pleased with human beings. God placed Adam and Eve, the first man and the first woman of His creation, in the Garden of Eden, and God enjoyed talking and listening to Adam and Eve every day in the garden. Adam and Eve, as a result, had everything that they need, and they were so happy with God and His presence in their lives.
Adam and Eve had a weakness. They wanted to be God, which was partly caused by their nature of being created in God’s image. In the Garden of Eve, they directly talked to God and heard His loving voice. Adam and Eve truly enjoyed such an intimate relationship with God. No other creatures had such a blessed relationship because none was created in God’s image except human beings. However, this blessing actually led to a temptation of being like God.
We can easily see this trait from our children. They always want to be like a daddy or a mommy, and they mimic everything that their daddy and mommy are doing. Upon this observation of our children, it is not so strange that Adam and Eve wanted to be like God. Satan knew this, and first came to Eve as a serpent. The serpent gave to Eve a sweet story of being like God if she ate the forbidden fruit. Upon hearing this temptation, Eve gave in, and ate the forbidden fruit against God’s command. Then Eve gave to Adam, and Adam ate the forbidden fruit also. Adam did not ask even one single question before eating the forbidden fruit. After breaking God’s command, they soon realized they sinned against God. It was the result of following their own flesh desire. It was also the moment that the beautiful relationship with God was shattered.
The sin made a fundamental change. Adam and Eve became children of the darkness, who loved the darkness. They were comfortable in the darkness. First they had to hide themselves from God in the light because they were afraid of the light that they used to enjoy so much with God. God came to them to give a chance to come back to the light, but they refused. Once they tasted the darkness, and they could not leave the darkness. The did not admit their sin. Instead, they blamed at the other person and the serpent. The beautiful relationship could have been restored by confessing their sin and asking God’s forgiveness, but they did not. Essentially, they abandoned their right to be the children of the light. God knew their miserable situation. God had to send them way from the Garden of Eden.
However, God, who are merciful, long suffering and full of love, did not send them alone. Instead, God made a salvation plan to rescue from sins Adam, Eve and descendants. God told His salvation plan — although the serpent would bite the offspring of Adam and Eve, the offspring would crush the head of the serpent. The serpent is Satan, and the offspring Jesus Christ. The darkness looked winning by killing Jesus Christ on cross, but it was just an appearance. It was the moment that the power of the darkness was utterly destroyed, and all believers in Jesus Christ were free from all sins so that all be restored again as God’s children in the light. Although the original sin came into the mankind, the salvation came down on all of His children through Jesus Christ who died on cross for us. Jesus Christ freed all from the bondage of all sins because He utterly destroyed the power of all sins. In fact, this is the most significant manifestation of God’s love toward us. God did not save His only begotten Son for us, and gave Jesus as a ransom for all including us. Praise God! Praise Him, for His love is greater than all our sins of past, present, and future. God’s love always prevails forever.
God also made clothing from animal skins for Adam and his wife. God gave His protection to Adam and Even who were being sent out from the Garden of Eden to the world full of dangers. Soon Adam and Eve received two sons: Cain and Abel. The sin came into the mankind did not stop. It actually grew rapidly. The most terrible of all, murder came into the world. Cain killed his own brother, Abel. It was the first murder case in the human history, and sadly it happened in the first family. What a tragic event it was! By the way, the terrible murder started from Cain’s jealousy over Abel’s offering because Abel’s offering was better received by God. This small jealousy quickly grew in the Cain’s heart, and made him angry. His anger for his own brother was quickly turned into a hate of his brother. Then this extreme emotion led to an unthinkable act of murdering his own loving brother. We might think murdering our fellow human being is impossible for us to commit, but it is not. Cain’s murdered his own brother who grew together.
Anyone who hates another brother or sister is really a murderer at heart. And you know that murderers don’t have eternal life within them. (1 John 3:15)
Of course, God came to Cain. But Cain also responded like his parents, Adam and Eve. He did not admit his sin to God. Like his parents, he wanted to remain in the darkness. God exposed his sin in the light, and explained the consequence of his sin. Cain finally realized how terrible the sin that he committed, and the consequence of the terrible sin. Cain asked God’s mercy. God who was merciful promised His protection on Cain. What we can see form this event about God? God is always merciful to all, even including the murder Cain. Even at this moment, God is calling us regardless how terrible sins we have committed. God surely and always forgives all our sins when we come to him and confess our sins while asking His forgiveness.
“Come now, let’s settle this,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool. (Isaiah 1:18)
After Cain’s departure, God gave another son, Seth to Adam and Eve. When Seth grew up, he had a son and named him Enosh. At that time people first began to worship God by name. After the birth of Seth, Adam lived another 800 years, and he had other sons and daughters. Seth also had other sons and daughters after the birth of Enosh. As God blessed, human beings began to multiply on the earth. However, the sins among people also multiplied. Humans were getting wicked.
God observed the extent of human wickedness on the earth, and he saw that everything they thought or imagined was consistently and totally evil. So God was sorry he had ever made them and put them on the earth. It broke his heart. And God said, “I will wipe this human race I have created from the face of the earth. Yes, and I will destroy every living thing—all the people, the large animals, the small animals that scurry along the ground, and even the birds of the sky. I am sorry I ever made them.” But Noah found favor with God.
God commanded for Noah to build an ark in the middle of the dry land for the upcoming flood that would destroy all living things on earth. Noah faithfully built the ark, and nobody paid attention to what Noah was doing and his message for the upcoming judgement through a huge flood that had never been before. Instead the people enjoyed banquets and parties and weddings right up to the time Noah entered his boat and the flood came and destroyed them all.
For forty days the floodwaters grew deeper, covering the ground and lifting the boat high above the earth. As the waters rose higher and higher above the ground, the boat floated safely on the surface. Finally, the water covered even the highest mountains on the earth, rising more than twenty-two feet above the highest peaks. Everything that breathed and lived on dry land died. God wiped out every living thing on the earth—people, livestock, small animals that scurry along the ground, and the birds of the sky. The only people who survived were Noah and those with him in the boat. And the floodwaters covered the earth for 150 days.
God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and livestock with him in the boat. He sent a wind to blow across the earth, and the floodwaters began to recede. Noah waited till the land was completely dry. As God said to Noah, which was the 2nd chance that God had given to the mankind,
“Leave the boat, all of you—you and your wife, and your sons and their wives. Release all the animals—the birds, the livestock, and the small animals that scurry along the ground—so they can be fruitful and multiply throughout the earth.” (Genesis 8:16-17)
So Noah, his wife, and his sons and their wives left the boat. And all of the large and small animals and birds came out of the boat, pair by pair.
Then Noah build an alter to God, and gave His thanksgiving and offering to God. God was pleased with Noah’s offering and promised not to destroy all livings things with a flood again. As the sign of my covenant with Noah and with all the earth, God gave a rainbow in the clouds. Since then, our faithful God has never judged by another flood destroying all living things on earth with breath. The Noah’s flood was God’s judgement on the human wickedness on the earth because everything that they people thought or imagined was consistently and totally evil. The Noah and his family were saved through the flood. The evil people were wiped away, and only Noah and his family who found God’s favor remained. Right after the Noah’s flood, there was no wicked people, because the new world was given to Noah and his family who found favor with God. As God blessed, they became fruitful and multiplied throughout the earth. They filled the earth.
At that time all the people of the world spoke the same language and used the same words. As the people migrated to the east, they found a plain in the land of Babylonia and settled there. They worked together and lived together. They developed new technologies and improved them. A new high-tech brick was invented. The new high-tech brick was much better than any stones, which allows for them to build anything. The bricks could be made any shape as they like and it was much stronger than stones.
Then they said, “Come, let’s build a great city for ourselves with a tower that reaches into the sky. This will make us famous and keep us from being scattered all over the world.” (Genesis 11:4)
As the new high-tech brick technology was getting perfected, they became really confident about their technology. They soon realized that there was nothing that they could not do with the new high-tech brick. Even they felt a god-like power out of the new high-tech brick. One day, some group of people agreed to build a tower with the high-tech bricks. The goal was not building an ordinary tower, but to build a really tall tower which had been never built. They could see in their hearts the tower to be built, which reached into the sky. They were so excited about their vision of the really tall tower.
Then they shared their vision with the rest of the people. All loved their vision. All agreed to build such a monumental tower. All came and worked to together with the same vision of creating the monumental tower. As working together on the tower construction, they were really happy. So they worked really hard. All were pumped up with the pride of the building the tallest tower ever-built. As the tower was getting taller, their pride higher also. Soon the tower could reach the clouds, and then passed the clouds. The tower building did not stop, and the tower was getting higher and higher. Surely their high-tech bricks and their tower-building technology worked. The high-tech brick endured the enormous load of the huge tower weight. They were all happy about their achievement. They felt that only God could do such an achievement, not humans.
Why did they build the tower in the first place? There was no other reason but satisfying their own pride and boasting of being like God. Does this sound familiar? Yes, Adam and Eve sinned because they were tempted to be like God. Then using the Noah’s flood, God created a new world by wiping out all wicked people, but the new world did not stay long. The original sinful temptation of being like God sneaked into the hearts of the people who lived the world after the Noah’s flood. They could not stop but inflating their pride with their achievements made out their own hands. They followed their own hearts and built the tower as high as possible. Yes, we, human beings, are easily controlled by our own sinful temptation. Then we put our own crown on our head by enthroning us as our own god instead of our true Father God.
God, who loved his own creation, came to the people and stopped them not to continue building the tower. God confused the people with different languages so that they could not understand each other. They scattered.
In that way, the LORD scattered them all over the world, and they stopped building the city. That is why the city was called Babel, because that is where the LORD confused the people with different languages. In this way he scattered them all over the world. (Genesis 11:8,9)
After the Noah’s flood, God gave another chance to human beings, but they failed. The first sin of Adam sneaked into the heart of the people. They followed their earthly heart desire, which resulted in breaking of the first and second commandments of God.
You shall have no other gods before me.
You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments. (Exodus 20:3-6)
Enthroning ourselves as our own God is the most dangerous proposition. This directly leads the first sin of the ten commandments. Why does God hate this sin by defining as the first commandment? Let say, if either our own son or daughter says “you are not my father or mother and I will be my own father and mother,” how sorrowful it would be. God feels the same. If we worship ourselves as our own God instead of God, Our Ever-Loving Father, it will surely be truly heartbreaking to our God.
The people building the tower truly loved what they were building. If someone said anything bad about the tower, the people were angry at those who spoke bad about the tower. They felt that they were attacked. They were so much attached to the tower, and they kept the tower sacred. They protected the tower from any external harms whether it was a just verbal insult or a physical act of damaging the tower. Without knowing, they served the tower. However, nobody can serve two masters.
“No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money. (Matthew 6:24)
Yes, the people failed like Adam by being tempted by their own desire to become a god. And no parents let their children keep going following a wrong way. All parents correct their children because they dearly love their own children. God is our Ever-Loving Father. God intervened and stopped our sinful behavior of building our own tower of Babel as own god.
Then what should we remember? God’s salvation plan. God initially gave this promise to Adam and Eve. As the set time of God came, God found Abram, who was the 10th generation of Noah, and His father was Terah.
One day Terah took his son Abram, his daughter-in-law Sarai (his son Abram’s wife), and his grandson Lot (his son Haran’s child) and moved away from Ur of the Chaldeans. He was headed for the land of Canaan, but they stopped at Haran and settled there. Terah lived for 205 years and died while still in Haran. Abram suddenly became the head of the household. Abram was in sorrow of being separated from his father, but leading the entire family was a heavier burden that he had to bear. Abram struggled.
While Abram was struggling, God found Adam. He told to Abram,
“Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you. I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and you will be a blessing to others. I will bless those who bless you and curse those who treat you with contempt. All the families on earth will be blessed through you.” (Genesis 12:1b-3)
God came to Abram to make him comfort, and most of all, make a covenant with Abram. God gave promise on him to be a great nation. God also promised God’s protection on him, and also finally reveal the most glorious God’s plan of all — making Abram as the very source of blessings for all the families on earth. That is, God would fulfill His salvation plan through the lineage of Abram. What a blessing that Abram received from God!
God saw how the people quickly fell into the same temptation, which made Adam and Eve fall. The future of the human beings was so obvious. They would repeat the same pattern. The decedents of Adam and Eve getting wicked, and all things that they did became constantly and totally evil. Without God’s help, there was no hope. God intervened the man kind by initiating His holy salvation plan through Abram by making a covenant with Abram: “All the families on earth will be blessed through you.” Abram believed God and His promise. Through his faith, Abram became the recipient of the glorious and the most blessed covenant.
And Abram believed the LORD, and the LORD counted him as righteous because of his faith. (Genesis 15:6)
Then why is Abram’s belief on the covenant of God so critically important?
The very covenant has freed us from the bondages of all our sins, and the central focus of the salvation plan is Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the offspring of Abram, and Abram is from the lineage of Adam. God initially promised His salvation would come from the lineage of Adam. Thus, the covenant is the confirmation of God’s salvation plan.
It is also a manifestation of our inability to achieve our own salvation from our sins. We know Adam and Eve failed, and their decedents also failed. Indeed, their descendent became so wicked that God had to wipe them out from the surface of the earth with the Noah’s flood. After the flood, a new world was started. However, the people were fundamentally unchanged. They were also tempted and fell into the same sin of Adam and Eve by trying to be like God. For this time, they started building a tower reaching to the sky. It was clear that human beings would repeat the vicious pattern of sinning. We might feel that we can save our own selves by eating the forbidden fruit or building the tower of Babel, but we, human beings will simply repeat the same sin again and again.
God broke this vicious cyclic pattern driven by our sinful nature by explicitly making the covenant made with Abram. About 2,000 years later, the covenant was fulfilled by Jesus Christ, who came from the lineage of Abram. Jesus Christ broke the curse of all sins, and completed God’s salvation plan. Yes, God is faithful. God foretold His salvation plan to Adam and Eve, and later God confirmed His salvation plan with Abram’s faith. As promised, Jesus Christ came and fulfilled the salvation by solemnly declaring the completion of God’s salvation plan on the cross.
Jesus knew that his mission was now finished, …. he said, “It is finished!” Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. (John 19: 28a, 30)
As God foretold to Adam and Eve, the Satan actually bit Jesus Christ by piercing him on the cross, but Jesus Christ smashed the head of the Satan. The eternal victory of God’s salvation prevailed. As a result, we, who are the recipient of this most blessed covenant given to Abram as the lineages of Abram, received God’s salvation through Jesus Christ. God is faithful. Therefore, we can lean on Him in all circumstances. God is Our Ever-Loving Father, and He will not abandon us forever till saving all of us in His mercy, grace and love. Yes, please come to God. Come and receive His mercy, grace and love. And raise up our voices and shout for joy in Him with the joy of God’s salvation. God is good, and His love endures forever. Please remember His love never fails. Praise God! His name will be forever praised!
Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. (Romans 3:24-25a)