Letters from Neil |May 21st, 2020

Redemption AZ / July 7, 2020
covid-19, salt

May 21, 2020

Good morning Salties & friends,

Good news! The elders have approved Salt’s modified reopening plan as long as the data shows no substantive increase in the numbers of cases. We will continue to follow the recommended state guidelines for group size. Therefore, given no change, we will meet on Thursday June 4th at 9:00 & 11:00 AM with a maximum of 50 attendees at each time slot. Please email Susan Miller with your choice of times; susanmiller@redemptionaz.com. We will meet in the Worship Center with chairs set up for proper distancing. There will be no meal nor snacks. We will have masks available but they are not required. I will suspend my daily connections after May 29 but will send a transcript of the lesson on Thursday afternoon for those not yet comfortable attending a group. Given no change in the data we will continue to meet weekly with the same schedule throughout the month of June. I plan to do a weekly email connection only in July and August then hopefully resume our meetings looking more like they used to in September. 

I’m going to take a break this Memorial weekend so after Friday’s Connection I will be back again on Tuesday. Although, I will send out the link to Sunday’s service as soon as I receive it.

Yesterday, we began our study in chapter 11 which highlights the tower of Babel, the 3rd of three great judgments that affected all of humanity. The first was the result of Adam & Eve’s fall, the 2nd was the Flood. Here, we saw how the talents and success of mankind led to their feeling of self-sufficiency which in turn led to disobedience to God. Rather than obey Him they wanted to “make a name for themselves.” This attitude is typical of those who believe they can reach God on their own merit. In pride, they embrace a false religion of works, rejecting God’s plan of salvation in Christ. In reality, their work was a monument to their insecurity

The first thing we see in verses 5 – 9 is even our best work is insignificant to God (Psalm 2:1-4). He had to “come down” to take a look, meaning this tower they were supposedly building all the way to the heavens couldn’t even be seen from up there (anthropomorphically speaking). Verse 6 doesn’t mean God is afraid that these people will rival His power but that with unified evil hearts they will once again reap devastating sin upon His creation which He had just purged with the flood. They cannot build a tower to reach to the heavens but they can really make a mess of things spiritually. Yet God does not destroy them or even their tower instead He accomplishes His stated purpose for mankind to fill the earth by simply confusing their language. Once God confused their languages, they voluntarily gave up their plans to build the tower. They then head out in all directions in family groups who can communicate with each other because only they speak the same language. So, instead of achieving significance and immortality by making a name for themselves in opposition to God’s commands, they only achieved alienation and dispersal. Gal 6:7 “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that he will also reap.”

Man’s plans can NEVER thwart God’s purposes. Job 5:12 says “He frustrates the devices of the crafty, so that their hands achieve no success.” Psalm 33:10 says “The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; He frustrates the plans of the people.” Proverbs 19:21 says “Many are the plans in the mind of man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.” I am thankful that our great God is in absolute control of history and the future. So, before making our plans, we need to make sure we are being obedient to His Word, go to Him in prayer and finally get godly counsel. Then we can move forward in confidence, trusting Him for the result.

In Christ’s love, Neil