Letters from Neil | May 26th, 2020

July 7, 2020  |  Redemption AZ

May 26, 2020

Good morning Salties and friends,

I hope you had a nice Memorial Day weekend. It was very relaxing for us; the weather was beautiful. Don’t forget to sign up with Susan for our meetings in June

As you remember, last Friday we looked at Genesis 11:7-9 recognizing that we don’t need to try to build towers to the heavens so that God will recognize us. We who have been chosen in Him from the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4) are loved by our heavenly Father perfectly and completely thanks to the work of Jesus at the Cross of Calvary. Verses 10-32 of chapter 11 are the last verses dedicated to the first section of the book of Genesis that covers nearly 2,000 years. It describes the four great events that occur in that time period; Creation, Fall, Flood and Tower of Babel. These last few verses begin with the highly selective genealogy of Shem, connecting for Israel their ancestor who survived the flood to their “father Abraham”. It links a world once again turning from God to a people chosen by God. It’s the last genealogy for a while and it also serves to show the shortening life span probably caused by environmental changes as a result of the flood. 

Beginning in chapter 12 with Abraham, the Old Testament will concentrate on those supernaturally chosen by God to be His people. One family that becomes a nation called out to be a witness for the one true God (Isaiah 44:8); “Fear not, nor be afraid; have I not told you from of old and declared it? And you are my witnesses! Is there a God besides me? There is no Rock, I know not any.” However, it is also clear without God’s intervention to preserve and protect a remnant, all people would have turned from Him. Even Terah, Abram’s father, had turned to Idolatry. Joshua 24:2 says “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, long ago your fathers had lived beyond the Euphrates, Terah the father of Abraham and Nahor and they served other gods.” But God chose to make a nation for Himself, temporarily allowing other nations to “walk in their own ways” (Acts 14:16). Thanks to His supernatural choosing and preserving of one nation, salvation would be available to all nations in Christ.

It is obvious from verses 10-26 that Japheth & Ham’s descendants are not listed nor are some of Shem’s who were listed previously. Only one of Eber’s sons, Peleg and his descendants are mentioned. God’s intention here is to narrow the focus of His story to one family and from them one nation. He continues to show that it is His election in grace that brings a people to Himself. God has a plan and that plan concentrates on certain people and history was and is continuing to unfold according to that plan. All of the disobedient choices we make, even that which causes God pain, are still used as a part of God’s plan and purpose for the world. As uncomfortable as things have been, God is still on His throne, still in control and still our protector and provider. Therefore, our lives are never out of control.

Thanks be to God, Neil