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Genesis Eleven: The Tower of Babel
SATURDAY, January 10
Lesson: The Tower of Babel

I. Read Genesis 11.

SUNDAY, January 11
Lesson: The Foolishness of Arrogance

I. Genesis 11:1-4: “Now the whole earth used the same language and the same words. It came about as they journeyed east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. They said to one another, ‘Come let us make bricks and burn them thoroughly.’ And they used brick for stone, and they used tar for mortar. They said, ‘Come, let us build for ourselves a city, and a tower whose top will reach into heaven, and let us make for ourselves a name, otherwise we will be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.’”
 A. Of all the creatures God had created, only one had the ability to communicate with God through the gift of language, and indeed God had been very gracious in preserving a people to which He gave the same language that they could communicate with one another, as well.
 B. God had established a covenant between Noah, who was yet living, and his descendants, specifically directing them to fill the earth, yet even after such a miraculous deliverance, man was already breaking covenant with God just one hundred years from God’s great judgment on man’s rebellion. God had already divided the people into nations, yet they refused to heed God’s command and design for filling the earth. They even admit their understanding of God’s command when they say, “Come, let us build for ourselves a city … otherwise we will be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.”
  1. Genesis 10:32: “These are the families of the sons of Noah, according to their genealogies, by their nations; and out of these the nations were separated on the earth after the flood.”
  2. Genesis 9:1,9,15: “And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth.’ … ‘Now behold, I Myself do establish My covenant with you, and with your descendants after you’ … ‘And I will remember My covenant, which is between Me and you.’”
  3. Genesis 9:28: “Noah lived three hundred and fifty years after the flood.”
 C. These people had known from Noah himself the greatest miracle of preservation known to man at that time, yet instead of being divinely protected in consequence to their obedience to God’s will, they decided to stand upon their own reasoning and fortify themselves by earthly means. This is similar to a situation in which God brought His people to a land that He had divinely appointed for them, yet they refused to enter because of their unbelief.
  1. Numbers 13:27-32; 14:2,3,6-11,22-24,29,30: “We went in to the land where you sent us; and it certainly does flow with milk and honey … Nevertheless, the people who live in the land are strong and the cities are fortified and very large … Caleb said, ‘We should by all means go up and take possession of it, for we shall surely overcome it.’ But the men who had gone up with him said, ‘We are not able to go up against the people, for they are too strong for us.’ So they gave out to the sons of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out, saying, ‘The land through which we have gone, in spying it out, is a land that devours its inhabitants; and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great size.’… All the sons of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron; and the whole congregation said to them, ‘Would that we had died in the land of Egypt! Or would that we had died in this wilderness! … would it not be better for us to return to Egypt?’ … Joshua and Caleb … spoke to all the congregation … saying, ‘The land which we passed through to spy out is an exceedingly good land. If the Lord is pleased with us, then He will bring us into this land, and give it to us—a land which flows with milk and honey. Only do not rebel against the Lord, and do not fear the people of the land, for they shall be our prey. Their protection has been removed from them, and the Lord is with us; do not fear them.’ But all the congregation said to stone them with stones. Then the glory of the Lord appeared…. The Lord said to Moses, ‘How long will this people spurn Me? And how long will they not believe in Me, despite all the signs which I have performed in their midst?’ … ‘Surely all the men who have seen My glory and My signs which I performed in Egypt and in the wilderness, yet have put Me to the test … and have not listened to My voice, shall by no means see the land which I swore to their fathers, nor shall any of those who spurned Me see it. But My servant Caleb, because he has had a different spirit and has followed Me fully, I will bring into the land which he entered, and his descendants shall take possession of it.’ … ‘your corpses shall fall in this wilderness, even all your numbered men, according to your complete number from twenty years old and upward, who have grumbled against Me. Surely you shall not come into the land in which I swore to settle you, except Caleb … and Joshua.’”
 D. Yet, shortly thereafter, the offspring of those who died in the wilderness still balked at fulfilling God’s command and had to be rebuked and directed by Joshua.
  1. Joshua 18:3: “So Joshua said to the sons of Israel, ‘How long will you put off entering to take possession of the land which the Lord, the God of your fathers, has given you?”
 E. How often do we put off or just flat out refuse to fulfill what God has given us to do because of fear, laziness, success, or foolish reasoning? God even found it necessary to scatter the disciples because of the danger of their not heeding Christ’s commission to preach the gospel to all nations due to the ministry’s success in their present location.
  1. Acts 1:8: “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”
  2. Acts 8:1,4: “Saul was in hearty agreement with putting him to death. And on that day a great persecution arose against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles…. Therefore, those who had been scattered went about preaching the word.”
 F. Pay particular attention to the fact that except for two men, the entire congregation came to the same conclusion based on their own reasoning, and therefore were willing to stone their leaders who were following God’s commands. Wicked men easily stir up the hearts of those who are not grounded in the Word and Way of God beckoning them to “come” that they may conspire together to do evil. Let us beware, then, not to be enticed by sinners and to avoid all forms of divisiveness. May we diligently read the Word of God to our families and encourage them to hide it in their hearts that they may be able to discern good and evil so as not to sin against the Lord.
  1. Proverbs 1:10,11,15,16: “My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent. If they say, ‘Come with us’ … My son, do not walk in the way with them. Keep your feet from their path, for their feet run to evil.”
  2. Proverbs 28:25,26: “An arrogant man stirs up strife … He who trusts in his own heart is a fool.”
  3. Psalm 119:11: “Thy Word I have hid in my heart that I may not sin against Thee.”
  4. Hebrews 5:13,14: “For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.”
 G. In flagrant violation to God, Nimrod, with an alliance of 70 nations, endeavors to build a tower whose top will reach into heaven so as to make for themselves a name. Does this not remind us of someone else who endeavored to do the same?
  1. Isaiah 14:12-15: “How you have fallen from heaven, O star of the morning, son of the dawn! You have been cut down to the earth, you who have weakened the nations! But you said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God, and I will sit on the mount of assembly in the recesses of the north. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’ Nevertheless you will be thrust down to Sheol, to the recesses of the pit.”
  2. Ezekiel 28:17: “Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom by reason of your splendor.”
  3. Jeremiah 49:16: “The arrogance of your heart has deceived you.”
 H. Arrogance means “the act or quality of taking much upon one’s self; that species of pride which consists in exorbitant claims of rank, dignity, estimation or power, or which exalts the worth or importance of the person to an undue degree; proud contempt of others; conceitedness; presumption.”
 I. Since our flesh is vulnerable to conceit, let us be careful not to allow any form of vanity to enter our thoughts lest it corrupt our reasoning and make us forget that we are but mere dust. God will not have any rivals.
  1. Exodus 20:3,5: “You shall have no other gods before Me…. for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God.”
  2. Genesis 3:19: “For you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”
  3. Psalm 103:14: “He is mindful that we are but dust.”
  4. Proverbs 8:13: “Pride and arrogance … I hate.”
  5. James 4:5,6: “Or do you think that the Scripture speaks to no purpose: ‘He jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us’? … Therefore it says, ‘God is opposed to the proud …’”
  6. 1 Samuel 2:3,4,7,9,10: “Boast no more so very proudly, do not let arrogance come out of your mouth; for the Lord is a God of knowledge, and with Him actions are weighed. The bows of the mighty are shattered … He brings low, He also exalts… For not by might shall a man prevail. Those who contend with the Lord will be shattered.”
 J. They wanted to establish a name for themselves instead of glorifying God. How often do men look to their own reputation with no regard to God’s? Ambitious for recognition and fame, they begin building a tower as a monument of declaration of their independence from God. We, too, can build monuments in our hearts, our homes, our professions, in anything we put our hands to. Are there any monuments of arrogance that we have built in defiance to God that we need to destroy? For it is God, and God alone, who has the power to exalt and bring low, to build up and to destroy. The following psalm shows the folly of trying to make a name for oneself.
  1. Psalm 49:6-20: “Even those who trust in their wealth and boast in the abundance of their riches? No man can by any means redeem his brother or give to God a ransom for him—for the redemption of his soul is costly, and he should cease trying forever—that he should live on eternally, that he should not undergo decay. For he sees that even wise men die; the stupid and the senseless alike perish and leave their wealth to others. Their inner thought is that their houses are forever and their dwelling places to all generations; they have called their lands after their own names. But man in his pomp will not endure; he is like the beasts that perish. This is the way of those who are foolish, and of those after them who approve their words. As sheep they are appointed for Sheol … For when he dies he will carry nothing away; his glory will not descend after him. Though while he lives he congratulates himself—and though men praise you when you do well for yourself—he shall go to the generation of his fathers; they will never see the light. Man in his pomp, yet without understanding, is like the beasts that perish.”
 K. How ironic that these men expended so much time and energy to achieve immortality on this earth while neglecting the securing of their souls in heaven for eternity. We were just talking about this very thing as we grieve for those frail neighbors and family members who have given no thought about where they will spend eternity. Even with death on their doorstep, they not only do not seek God but also astonishingly reject any message about Him.
  1. Psalm 10:4,6: “The wicked, in the haughtiness of his countenance, does not seek Him. All his thoughts are, ‘There is no God.’ … He says to himself, ‘I will not be moved; throughout all generations I will not be in adversity.”
  2. Psalm 14:1: “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.’”
 L. It is significant to note that not one name of those who wanted to make a name for themselves was saved for posterity. Instead, their actions have been spoken of with disdain and used as a warning to those who would try to endeavor to do the same. Indeed this was a lesson to warn against vanity, but it was also given so that God’s chosen would better understand their enemy, Babylon.
 M. It is very important for us to warn our children of the specific steps man takes when he walks away from God and the steps God takes in giving man over to his own lusts. Please point out each of these steps to your children as you read the following passage.
  1. Romans 1:21-32: “For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures. Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.”
 N. Let us realize that there can be much unity in those who determine to put their hands together to oppose God, which seems rather ironic when one compares it to how Christians so often fight amongst themselves, but we must remember that many call themselves Christians, when indeed they are wolves in sheep’s clothing. And we know that there will always be enmity between God’s children and Satan’s children. Even Jesus revealed this to His followers. For when one becomes God’s child, even his own earthly family will come up against him if they themselves are not Christians.
  1. Matthew 10:34-36: “Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household.”
  2. Luke 12:51-53: “Do you suppose that I came to grant peace on earth? I tell you, no, but rather division; for from now on five members in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”

MONDAY, January 12
Lesson: God Confounds the Rebellious

I. Read Genesis 11:5-9: “The Lord came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built. The Lord said, ‘Behold, they are one people, and they all have the same language. And this is what they began to do, and now nothing which they purpose to do will be impossible for them. Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they will not understand one another’s speech.’ So the Lord scattered them abroad from there over the face of the whole earth; and they stopped building the city. Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of the whole earth; and from there the Lord scattered them abroad over the face of the whole earth.”
 A. This serves as a lesson to us that God sees all and will render judgment to the rebellious, for God’s purpose will be accomplished regardless of what we do.
  1. Psalm 113:4-6: “The Lord is high above all nations; His glory is above the heavens. Who is like the Lord our God, who is enthroned on high, who humbles Himself to behold the things that are in heaven and in the earth?”
  2. Psalm 34:16: “The face of the Lord is against evildoers, to cut off the memory of them from the earth.”
 B. “Let Us” is further confirmation that three persons exist in His Divine Being—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, for God needs no counsel as He contains all wisdom. Also, let us realize that there are none, no matter how united and powerful they may be, who can successfully come up against our Lord.
  1. Genesis 1:26: “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness.’”
  2. Proverbs 21:30: “There is no wisdom and no understanding and no counsel against the Lord.”
  3. Isaiah 59:15,17,18: “Now the Lord saw, and it was displeasing in His sight … And He put on garments of vengeance for clothing … According to their deeds, so He will repay, wrath to His adversaries, recompense to His enemies.”
  4. Isaiah 8:9-13: “‘Be broken, O peoples, and be shattered; and give ear, all remote places of the earth. Gird yourselves, yet be shattered; gird yourselves, yet be shattered. Devise a plan, but it will be thwarted; state a proposal, but it will not stand, for God is with us.’ For thus the Lord spoke to me with mighty power and instructed me not to walk in the way of this people, saying, ‘You are not to say, “It is a conspiracy!” In regard to all that this people call a conspiracy, and you are not to fear what they fear or be in dread of it. It is the Lord of hosts whom you should regard as holy. And He shall be your fear, and He shall be your dread.’”
 C. This is further warning that unless God be the one working within us, all our endeavors will ultimately be destroyed. For only through His divine appointment can anything be blessed regardless of its seeming appearance of goodness or the appearance of its success.
  1. Psalm 127:1: “Unless the Lord build the house, they labor in vain who build it.”
 D. They certainly received a name for themselves but not the one they desired, for only God is entitled to be praised. For anyone seeking a position that is not from God will be labeled with eternal disgrace.
 E. In Hebrew, Babel means “confusion.” God confused the seemingly wise, not only to show His authority, but also to bring His purpose to pass. By confusing the language of those in rebellion, He kept them from completing their mission and made them do His. So each of those who spoke the same language gathered together and headed in different directions to settle the earth, subsequently to repopulate the earth as God had commanded in the first place. God always causes man to fulfill His purpose and bring about His good will for His good pleasure.
  1. Isaiah 55:11: “So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; it will not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.”
  2. Isaiah 46:8-11: “Remember this, and be assured; recall it to mind, you transgressors. Remember the former things long past, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things which have not been done, saying, ‘My purpose will be established, and I will accomplish all My good pleasure’; calling a bird of prey from the east, the man of My purpose from a far country. Truly I have spoken; truly I will bring it to pass. I have planned it, surely I will do it.”
  3. Proverbs 16:9: “A man’s heart devises his ways but the Lord directs his steps.”
  4. Psalm 33:8-17: “Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him. For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast. The Lord nullifies the counsel of the nations; He frustrates the plans of the peoples. The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the plans of His heart from generation to generation. Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people whom He has chosen for His own inheritance. The Lord looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men; from His dwelling place He looks out on all the inhabitants of the earth, He who fashions the hearts of them all, He who understands all their works. The king is not saved by a mighty army; a warrior is not delivered by great strength. A horse is a false hope for victory; nor does it deliver anyone by its great strength.”
  5. Philippians 2:13: “For it is God who works in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.”
 F. That God confused their speech so that they could not understand one another is further confirmation that God has ultimate power over the minds of men.
  1. Judges 9:22,23: “Now Abimelech ruled over Israel three years. Then God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the men of Shechem; and the men of Shechem dealt treacherously with Abimelech.”
  2. Psalm 55:9: “Confuse, O Lord, divide their tongues, for I have seen violence and strife in the city.”
  3. Jeremiah 44:28,29: “‘Those who escape the sword will return out of the land of Egypt to the land of Judah few in number. Then all the remnant of Judah who have gone to the land of Egypt to reside there will know whose word will stand, Mine or theirs. This will be the sign to you,’ declares the Lord, ‘that I am going to punish you in this place, so that you may know that My words will surely stand against you for harm.’”
  4. 2 Chronicles 20:15,22,23: “And he said, ‘Listen, all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat: thus says the Lord to you, “Do not fear or be dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours but God’s.”’ … When they began singing and praising, the Lord set ambushes against the sons of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; so they were routed. For the sons of Ammon and Moab rose up against the inhabitants of Mount Seir destroying them completely; and when they had finished with the inhabitants of Seir, they helped to destroy one another.”
  5. Daniel 4:35: “All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, but He does according to His will in the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of earth; and no one can ward off His hand or say to Him, ‘What have You done?’”
  6. Revelation 17:17: “For God has put it in their hearts to execute His purpose by having a common purpose, and by giving their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God will be fulfilled.”
  7. 2 Corinthians 8:16: “But thanks be to God who puts the same earnestness on your behalf in the heart of Titus.”
 G. Although the nations were divided, God provided the gift of tongues to the apostles that they may preach the gospel of Christ so all nations may understand in his own tongue. And indeed when Christ returns, what He himself has divided will be united to worship Him. It is God who divides and God who unites.
  1. Acts 2:4-11: “And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance. Now there were Jews living in Jerusalem, devout men from every nation under heaven. And when this sound occurred, the crowd came together, and were bewildered because each one of them was hearing them speak in his own language. They were amazed and astonished, saying, ‘Why, are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we each hear them in our own language to which we were born? Parthians and Medes and Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the districts of Libya around Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs—we hear them in our own tongues speaking of the mighty deeds of God.’”
  2. Matthew 25:31,32: “But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.”
  3. Isaiah 45:23: “I have sworn by Myself, the word has gone forth from My mouth in righteousness and will not turn back, that to Me every knee will bow, every tongue will swear allegiance.”
  4. Romans 14:11: “For it is written, ‘As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall give praise to God.’”

TUESDAY, January 13
Lesson: Babylon, The Mother of Harlots

 A. Babylon, which is known as Iraq today, is located near the Euphrates River. Babylon had riches and architectural splendor in beautiful palaces and gardens. It became an imperial power and a center of both cultural and economic renown. However, God considered it the very essence of evil and called it the mother of harlots. Indeed, even with all its worldly accomplishments and worldly admiration, to God it was an abomination.
  1. Isaiah 46 and 47 speak of Babylon’s idols and her destruction. Please read both chapters in their entirety, but for brevity’s sake we will just print a few verses. “O daughter of the Chaldeans! For you will no longer be called the queen of kingdoms…. you sensual one, who dwells securely, who says in your heart, ‘I am, and there is no one besides me.’ … your many sorceries … You felt secure in your wickedness and said, ‘No one sees me,’ your wisdom and your knowledge, they have deluded you … But evil will come on you … and destruction … Stand fast now in your spells and in your many sorceries … Let now the astrologers, those who prophesy by the stars, those who predict by the new moons … Behold, they have become like stubble … there is none to save you.”
  2. Read about the destruction to come upon Babylon in Revelation 17 and 18. Again, for brevity’s sake we will only print a few verses that speak of the utter wickedness of Babylon. “Babylon the great, the mother of harlots and of the abominations of the earth…drunk with the blood of the saints…she was a dwelling place of demons and a prison of every unclean spirit…For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the passion of her immorality, and the kings of the earth have committed acts of immorality with her…for her sins have piled up as high as heaven…she glorified herself and lived sensuously…all the nations were deceived by your sorcery. And in her was found the blood of prophets and of saints and of all who have been slain on the earth.”
 B. The following is a remarkable account of an event that took place in our own lifetime. Taken from Blood of the Moon by George Grant: “All of Iraq’s most prominent Islamic leaders representing virtually ever variant branch of that stern eclectic faith … were present at the lavish pagan festival…. It was the festival of the ancient Mesopotamian goddess of fertility, Ishtar. Celebrated in a newly consecrated temple district, it was to be the centerpiece of Saddam Hussein’s week-long revelry. It commemorated the end of his bloody, costly conflict with Iran in 1989. The bronze talisman of Ishtar, a faithful reproduction of an ancient idol from the time of Nebuchadnezzar, was unveiled…. Saddam Hussein stepped onto a strobe-lit platform and announced the commencement of a new world order, taking the ancient pledge of kings: ‘I will wash my hands and my feet in the blood of the infidels for the glory of Mesopotamia forever … glorious in a glorious time, Babylon is the lady of reviving centuries, rising dignified and holy, showing the great history of Iraq. Added to its magnificence and emphasizing its originality, the phoenix of the new time rises alive from the ashes of the past to face the bright present—thus placing it on a golden throne, bringing back its charm, its charming youth, and unique glory. Babylon is not a city made of rocks and bricks—full of mere human events. It is not a forgotten place of the ancient past. Babylon is something else altogether. Since its birth, Babylon has stretched out its arms to the future—to be the seat of eternal wisdom, to represent the first civilization, and to remain as the glittering lighthouse in the dark night of history. Here is Babylon.’” (Chapter 4, pages 65,66,69,70)

WEDNESDAY, January 14
Lesson: Genealogy from Abram to Christ

I. Genesis 11:10-32: “These are the records of the generations of Shem. Shem was one hundred years old, and became the father of Arpachshad two years after the flood; and Shem lived five hundred years after he became the father of Arpachshad, and he had other sons and daughters. Arpachshad lived thirty-five years, and became the father of Shelah; and Arpachshad lived four hundred and three years after he became the father of Shelah, and he had other sons and daughters. Shelah lived thirty years, and became the father of Eber; and Shelah lived four hundred and three years after he became the father of Eber, and he had other sons and daughters. Eber lived thirty-four years, and became the father of Peleg; and Eber lived four hundred and thirty years after he became the father of Peleg, and he had other sons and daughters. Peleg lived thirty years, and became the father of Reu; and Peleg lived two hundred and nine years after he became the father of Reu, and he had other sons and daughters. Reu lived thirty-two years, and became the father of Serug; and Reu lived two hundred and seven years after he became the father of Serug, and he had other sons and daughters. Serug lived thirty years, and became the father of Nahor; and Serug lived two hundred years after he became the father of Nahor, and he had other sons and daughters. Nahor lived twenty-nine years, and became the father of Terah; and Nahor lived one hundred and nineteen years after he became the father of Terah, and he had other sons and daughters. Terah lived seventy years, and became the father of Abram, Nahor and Haran. Now these are the records of the generations of Terah. Terah became the father of Abram, Nahor and Haran; and Haran became the father of Lot. Haran died in the presence of his father Terah in the land of his birth, in Ur of the Chaldeans. Abram and Nahor took wives for themselves. The name of Abram’s wife was Sarai; and the name of Nahor’s wife was Milcah, the daughter of Haran, the father of Milcah and Iscah. Sarai was barren; she had no child. Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran, his grandson, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son Abram’s wife; and they went out together from Ur of the Chaldeans in order to enter the land of Canaan; and they went as far as Haran, and settled there. The days of Terah were two hundred and five years; and Terah died in Haran.”
 A. It amazes us how God leaves nothing to speculation but faithfully shows us the age of the world and the absolute time of Christ’s birth by inspiring His chosen to accurately record the genealogies. Beginning in Genesis 5, He lists the descendants of Adam; in Genesis 10, the descendants of Noah; and now in Genesis 11, the descendants of Shem. Combined, these encompass a thorough, accurate, and meticulously detailed genealogy of Christ.
  1. Please be sure to read the following verses in their entirety, but for brevity we have listed just a few from Matthew 1:1-17: “The record of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham: Abraham was the father of Isaac … Jacob was the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, by whom Jesus was born, who is called the Messiah. So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; from David to the deportation to Babylon, fourteen generations; and from the deportation to Babylon to the Messiah, fourteen generations.”
  2. Ecclesiastes 3:14-15: “I know that everything God does will remain forever; there is nothing to add to it and there is nothing to take from it, for God has so worked that men should fear Him. That which is has been already and that which will be has already been, for God seeks what has passed by.”
 B. As we can see, man’s lifespan has become considerably shorter now. Perhaps men’s lives were shortened because of their wickedness so that their evil deeds would be limited upon the earth.
  1. Genesis 47:9: “So Jacob said to Pharaoh, ‘The years of my sojourning are one hundred and thirty; few and unpleasant have been the years of my life, nor have they attained the years that my fathers lived during the days of their sojourning.”
 C. God’s chosen people were named after Eber or Heber, as His people were called Hebrews.

THURSDAY, January 15
Lesson: Despite Our Depravity, God Calls Out Those He Pleases

 A. Abram and his relatives lived in Ur, the land of the Chaldeans, which was located in Mesopotamia with the Mediterranean Sea to its west and the Persian Gulf to its east. It was a fertile land and quite a prosperous city. Mesopotamia means “land between the rivers,” and thus this 180,000 square mile area was located between and around the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. The inhabitants of this area were polytheists, which means that they worshipped many gods. The city of Ur was actually the center of moon worship, for they believed that their city was the possession of the moon god Nanna. The people built very large towers called ziggurats where they would sacrifice to their gods. In Abraham’s time the city of Ur had a ziggurat built for their moon god Nanna that was 70 feet high, 200 feet long, and 150 feet wide.
 B. Abram was a descendant of Shem. The descendants of Shem were not chosen because of their exceeding holiness, as we shall soon read about their continuing apostasy, but because God chose them for His purpose and glory. For even the father and grandfather of Abram served other gods. And let us be reminded that we are not saved because of any goodness within us, but because of God’s great mercy and unmerited grace that He shed upon us.
  1. Joshua 24:2: “Joshua said to all the people, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, “From ancient times your fathers lived beyond the River, namely, Terah, the father of Abraham and the father of Nahor, and they served other gods.”’”
  2. Read all of Ezekiel 16, which speaks of Israel’s birth, its origin, God’s love and unmerited grace, and its sin and unfaithfulness to God who gave them everything.
  3. Psalm 14:1-3: “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ They are corrupt, they have committed abominable deeds; there is no one who does good. The Lord has looked down from heaven upon the sons of men to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God. They have all turned aside, together they have become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one.”
  4. Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
  5. Romans 7:18: “For I know that nothing good dwells in me.”
  6. 1 Corinthians 1:26-29: “For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God.”
  7. Ephesians 1:4: “… He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him.”
  8. Ephesians 2:4-9: “But God, being rich in mercy; because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”
  9. 2 Timothy 1:9: “Who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity.”
 B. We must remember that Noah and his sons who had witnessed the great deluge were still living and no doubt had warned men of God’s judgment, just as Adam right before that deluge must have warned men of God’s judgment on all mankind because of his sin. Yet the deceitfulness of man’s heart always corrupts his thinking. The heart is so hardened against God that it cannot receive His grace unless through God’s supernatural powers. God always makes it clear to man how He is to be revered and worshipped and His vengeance that comes on those who do not obey. After observing the nature of people throughout time, how can we wonder at the hardness of man’s heart we witness ourselves today even though most have every opportunity in this country to see and hear about how to revere and worship and obey God. Thus let us consider that these great stalwart men of God must have grieved as we do at the great apostasy and wickedness that prevailed in the face of all the admonition provided to them by the faithful. But faithful to preserve His church, God always preserves a remnant, and so although both Abraham’s father and his grandfather were apostates themselves, God called out Abraham for His own.