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Jan 3, 2015

90 Day Challenge – Day 3

Sarah Christmyer

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Bible Time Period: Early World

In the Early World, you created the heavens and Earth and tested Adam and Eve in the garden. Help me today to choose the life you offer.

Reflection

Today we read about God’s covenant with Noah and the growth of the nations after the flood and the building of the Tower of Babel. This ends the time of “prehistory” as a curtain is drawn on the Early World.

Key verses to remember from the period of the Early World

  • “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen 1:1)
  • “The Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, … I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel” (Gen 3:14-15)

Today’s Reading

Genesis 9-11

Today’s Question

This is the close of the Early World period. What kind of a world is it?

Join the discussion below!

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  • What kind of worls was it.? It was a world being restored after the flood. Everyone was together in unity and in unity we find strength. That is why they were able to build the tower. In Genesis 11:6 the Lord said “If now, while they are one people and all have the same language, they have started to do this, nothing they presume to do will be out of their reach. (NABre)”

    In our world today we need to be united for the common good of all. Together we can move mountains. Lut us all strive and pray for unity in 2014.

    • Blessings Ronlee. I fully agree with your sentiment about working together and our efforts to secure unity. However, the messages from the story of the Tower of Babel was to demonstrate that though man suffered from the deluge he hadn’t learned from his mistakes. It’s understood that the events of the flood were passed down from generation to generation. Mankind continued to sin – they knew that this may again happen to them. So what does the ingenious man do instead of changing his ways – he builds a tower so high that the next flood won’t drown them. We do this today; we go out of our ways to find ways to continue to sin. This is evident with contraception. We fear getting someone pregnant; so instead of doing what’s right and abstain; we make medicines that would allow us to sin. The same hold true for condoms.

      The people of the time of the Babel were prideful. They knew what’s best for them. The insertion of the the various languages was an allegorical way of demonstrating that through pride, we separate ourselves from each other. Pride looks to ourselves instead of the other. Pride also separates us from God.

  • This world resembles the condition we live in today to a degree. God has revealed His covenant of salvation with Noah and his nation of people. In today’s world we also have such a covenant for eternal salvation through the saving grace of the Trinity. In Noah’s time, the world is filled with sin especially those who want to be godlike. We still have that today with many who worship false idols of materialism and atheistic beliefs with man as god as the cornerstone of their belief. God reveals his power in his disruption of Babylon. Today we also know that a life do sin without repent enhance will lead to less desirable state after death.

  • After reading the chapters of Genesis 9-11, I think that the world was in a state of flux. Because of the arrogance of these peoples, they decided to make a tower that “with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves…” Gen11:4
    Instead of glorifying God, they wished to become equal to Our Father. Now, I perceive that Satan had a great part in this contemptuous plan. God so loved the human race that He ceased the entire project by changing the language of the people! What an incredible idea! He saved us from falling into the grasp of Satan. Satan still attempts to thwart our desire and quest for salvation each and every day. During the Early World period, his attempts with Adam and Eve and the great flood were countermanded by Our Loving Father in Heaven. God love us so!
    Without a common language which is a key element in all aspects of life, a society can not function.

    • This was so helpful to me. Thank you for this post. It really brings focus to the reality of our sinful ways and God’s merciful love for us.

    • It was interesting meditating on the fact that to salvage us He dispersed us confusing our language. . .but in the coming of the Holy Spirit in Pentecost we were able to reunite by the speaking of different languages, for God’s Glory to bring all people to Him to His Gospel, His Good News.

    • Thank you for your insightful words. You helped my confusion and now I understand God’s reasoning of confusing the people.

      • Margie, Thank you for your kind words. Because I struggle with these discussions, I know the Holy Spirit was right here with me when I wrote what is above. He deserves all the credit! May God bless.

    • I think we are in a similar state of flux now. There is much arrogance and sin in our country and in the world. We are not communicating effectively, not willing to listen to one another and see the “other” as a beloved child of God. Relativism is widespread as we rationalize bad behavior and gossip about everyone and everything on social media and “reality ” shows, thus tearing down dignity. We must be breaking God’s heart!! He has sent the Blessed Virgin to us several times in the last 150 years, begging us to change our ways and to pray.

  • The people were living in a like-minded manner, which is good if that means they are keeping God first and foremost in mind…God knew their intentions and therefore confounded their speech in order to turn their hearts to Himself…Today, as Ronlee says we could use the cooperation that these peoples had, however also like them we have a world that wants to “live for itself”…what God will do to “confound us”, I don’t know…but I suspect that the “end of the story” will come in the Book of Revelation which tells of Jesus’ Second Coming…a much better solution to our problems than confounding our languages…I also suspect that we do enough all on our own to confound ourselves and make things difficult and confusing…just look around at the very different ways that people react to situations…everyone is going their own way…very few work together to solve our world’s problems. Our only solution is the salvation that comes God…and that is what I pray for. God’s Salvation…Jesus Christ…

  • At the close of this period, the people are again turning away from God (the Tower of Babel), but the story ends with hope as it mentions Abram who, as we know, will become Abraham, the “Father of all nations” and will receive another covenant from God. The story keeps repeating– man turns away from God (Adam and Eve, Cain, pre-flood evil culture, Ham, Tower of Babel) but God keeps sending good men to repair the damage (Abel, Seth, Enoch, Noah, Shem– who may or may not be Melchizedek– and finally, Abram/Abraham).

    • Ah but we know that Abraham will not be the last leader God will send Eventually God will send Himself in the Person of Jesus

  • What kind of world was it? One much like our own…self-absorbed, arrogant, full of pride and hard of heart. They forgot the God Who made them, and Whose mercy spared our race from total destruction. Then as now, the story of the Promise lived on in only a few. Yet with only a remnant to work with our God accomplishes His will.

  • This is a world of rules and punishment for those rules! For God loved the world but man was unable to love God. How heart breaking for Ham that through his one offense to his father that his entire family was punished. I am so grateful to have Jesus as my redeemer, for I have the same nature as Ham, but through the grace of Jesus, can have eternal life and be forgiven. Was there forgiveness for their offenses? How fortunate I am to be living at this time in History, rather than this earlier period.

    • Blessings snowday. Do we take the curse as something that happened to Ham’s descendants or perhaps the curse was the actual way of living which was outside the will of God. Hypothetically, If you did something to me and I “cursed” your descendants are all the things they practice that are bad because of the curse or perhaps because of what they learned outside the moral and ethical will of God? I doubt “the curse” in and of itself does anything. On the other hand, let’s don’t test this theory. 🙂

      • At the end of the Early World, we see the world is becoming sinful and self-centered again. Trying to reach heaven with out the grace of God, or thinking they can do it on their own, without God’s help. As far as Ham goes, my understanding is that his sin, was incest. That he embarrassed his Father by sleeping with his Mother. His sin effected his offspring by the evil nations that sprung from them. There are parallels between what God told Adam and what he told Noah, both at the start of new creations.

  • Chapter 9 – It’s important to note that God not only established a covenant with Noah but also establishing moral codes and ethics for man. If one is violent towards another, he would be sinning against the Lord. Noah knew of this covenant and these moral codes and handed those down to his sons. They in turn would tell their offspring and so on and so on. The point is that man knew his place with God after the flood – the Earth was wiped out because of their corruption. This is embedded in the hearts of man from this moment on. It’s up to man to behave accordingly in respect of God. The rest of the Old Testament is flooded with conflicting actions by man against God; God’s mercy towards His children; and man’s general inability to control the evil that is inbred in their hearts. Soon after the flood, man resorts back to his old ways

    Chapter 10 – The descendants of Noah are listed in this chapter. Some of the sons founded the nations of Assyria, Babylon, Canaan (the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah), the Philistines, the Amorites, and the Hivites. The key message is that these nations would later be at war with Israel; the same nations born of brothers. Taking it one step further, each one of us today are linked to our ancestral fathers – when a stranger calls us “brother” or “sister”, they’re not too far from the truth for we all made in the image of God and are all children of God.

    Chapter 11 – The Tower of Babel; an allegorical treatment of pride and its affects on each one of us – separation from one another and God. The genealogy of Abram is mentioned here to continue the lineage of Adam to Abram to David to Jesus, our Savior. Notice also that from the corruption that took place at Babel, Abram left his land to start something fantastic; a nation onto God. Notice how from not so good things come good things – God’s way of saving us from ourselves.

    • Thanks for this concise synopsis. I was thinking to keep notes in a notebook would be a useful idea and make it easier to keep track of what we are reading. Perhaps you can continue this for the entire 90 days, haha.

      • Good idea Michelle I’m keeping notes so I can go back to them and re-read the most important points and if Joe can conginue to do this synopsis it will be fantastic God bless!

  • God saved Noah and his family through the flood, but they were not perfect people – Noah drank and son spied. God had told them to go forth, instead they stayed in one area. Even after they were saved, they still disobeyed God. The chapter that is so reminiscent of today is the one about the Tower of Babel. The people built this tower of bricks (their handiwork) and were trying to build it to God. Very similar to satan’s deciding in Isaiah to take God’s place. God destroyed the tower and destroyed the common language so the people had to finally do what God wanted and scatter. It makes me realize that sometimes when things go wrong in my life, I have to look hard to see where I’m missing God’s plan for my life and get back to where God wants me to be.

    The most comforting is the rainbow and that first covenant. Every covenant of God is forever – God never lies, so every time I see a rainbow I’m reminded of how God made those promises to Noah and the future generation.

    My eyes used to cloud over the begets – now I realize how important they are to establishing the line from Adam to Jesus. But also, many of the names (if you look them up in the trusty Concordance) have to do with qualities of God. So I see them as two-fering. The genealogy and also a way to praise God.

  • The earth is not the Garden of Eden God originally planned, despite the cleansing from the flood. The animals are full of fear and dread of humans. And humans aren’t thanking God for being saved from the flood. Instead, they mistrust each other and think about themselves.

    • I agree but thank Heaven, however, that we each are individuals and have the power within us to bring about change. Perhaps not change that will effect the world but indeed we have the power to bring about change in our small part of the world. This could be going out of your way to help another, saying a kind word to someone or even a smile at a stranger. I know I am hoping to make 2014 a year of change in my life and it will begin with little things and above all prayer!

  • One thing I have learned from doing this study several times is to pay attention to doubling, and there are two instances of this in the reading (that I noticed, at least). The first is the repetition of the command to Noah and his family to “Be fruitful and multiply” (Gen 9:1, 9:7). I have heard some Christians support population control by saying that this is an Old Testament command that is no longer valid in our time, but I see no evidence in the New Testament that this has been rescinded. Since the command was doubled, it would be especially important in Biblical terms.

    The second instance of doubling is the two genealogies of Noah. The first (Gen 10) traces the lineage of all three of Noah’s sons, Shem, Ham and Japheth. I have learned to pay attention to any notes in the genealogies as they are usually significant. Here we see a note on Peleg and Joktan, the sons of Eber in Shem’s lineage. It says that the earth was divided in those days (Peleg means “division”). The genealogy mentions Peleg first (the oldest?) but then goes on to list the descendents of Joktan (the younger brother?). Then in Genesis 11:10-32, there is a new genealogy, this one of only Shem. Everything is the same as in Genesis 10 until we get to Peleg (there is not mention of Joktan or the divided earth) and here the genealogy is different from Gen 10 as now we get the descendents of Peleg, down to Abram.

    I am curious about this difference and the mention of the divided earth. Is this a foreshadowing of Esau and Jacob where the division between brothers brings about an important change in generations of follow (Jacob gets the blessing instead of Esau, the older brother)? Note that Jesus is descended from Abraham (Matthew 1) who comes from the lineage of Seth, through Peleg (not Joktan). I’d love to know the real story behind this division of brothers!

  • In my opinion, today’s world is similar to the early history. We are living in a world where many are most concerned with boosting themselves up to increase their self-worth and esteem. This does not appear too different from the early world. After all, why did they build the Tower of Babel and why would Ham want to embarrass his Father by humiliating him? How sad, but Ham must have desired some self-affirmation that he was better than his Father. We see this same type of activity on Facebook with people posting a daily self-taken photo of themselves and posting it on Facebook. Why? They are looking for compliments to make themselves feel better. Again, why? Perhaps they are lacking that spark of God in them that yearns to please Him and not themselves. I am no expert but I live in reality and it saddens my heart, to say the least. I am not judging anyone as we are all struggling with unique circumstances in our lives but to me priorities become extremely misaligned when we put ourselves above our fellow man. There is so much suffering in this world due to homelessness, poverty and hopelessness and I just pray that we take a lesson from Pope Francis as this new year begins and become truly dedicated to the poor in this world and those in most need. One thing has definitely not changed over the course of history, Our God judges each of us on our own lives, and I pray he has Mercy on each of us.

        • L.O.L.!!! Don’t feel bad Michelle. Even when people are actually speaking to each other sometimes what is “said” by one person is not always what the other person “hears”. When we are writing it is even worse because we don’t have the benefit of seeing facial expressions or hearing the tone of voice. My husband and I have been married for 30 years and we still sometimes say things to each other that the other person totally misunderstands. I agree with Zenaida that Free-Will is a gift from God but I also agree with you that we might never learn. I honestly didn’t think you really meant Free-Will was a pesky little thing. It even made me laugh a little. I guess I have the same sense of humor you do. I thought it was your way of saying that we don’t quite understand or appreciate our Free-Will and thus we don’t exercise it properly.

          • Thanks for understanding, Barb. I believe this study is going to be a truly rewarding experience.

          • Yes it will definitely be a rewarding experience. The icing on the cake for me is this discussion board because I have a bad habit of reading through the assignments but I obviously don’t take enough time to reflect and absorb anything because I must be in too big of a hurry to get on with my day. After I read the assignment, I join the discussion and this slows me down and I have even found myself re-reading at least parts of the assignment and even some of the comments and then saying to myself something like “Ah!!!!” or “Really!!!!” or “I didn’t think of that! That is a really good point!”

          • Well said, Barb. I feel the same. I didn’t post the first two days but know it will be a richer more meaningful study when I do. The laundry can wait, right?

          • I am definitely the same way. I read the assignments but have a hard time slowing down to reflect on the meaning behind the words. This discussion is a blessing. Not only does it enable me to focus on the meaning of the passages but enlightens me to insights others have.

          • I do the same Barb read the assignment I use my spanish Bible to undestand better what I’m reading and them cime to the discussion to understand better what I read I’m a newby readingthe bible most times I don’t understand the message

          • You are not alone Maria. A lot of us do not understand the message that is why I am so grateful for all the wonderful bible studies we have available to us and also to being able to share comments and ask questions online.

      • Yes, our memory is so limited! But God does give us a nudge every now and then; e.g. confusing language of the people in the early world. This way, we turn back to Him for guidance.
        Michelle (below), I wouldn’t call free-will pesky. It is, after all, a gift from God, too. Let’s just persevere in making our free will aligned with God’s will (‘Thy will be done on earth as in Heaven)!

        • Zenaida, when I said pesky, that was my sense of humor kicking in. This is my first time on a discussion board and I need to remember that we don’t know each other, therefore, what we write is exactly what people think I mean. Perhaps by day 50 we will know each other’s writing styles well enough to know when they are not being literal. Sorry if I was confusing or sounded flippant.

          • lol, I too call free-will ‘pesky’… the only time we are close to God in doing His will is when we are non-responsible for our own actions… to be close to God’s people, we should all be sitters of small babies or old, Alzheimer’s and other ‘diseases’ of the brain… too often, I find myself remembering the time I ‘awoke’ to find myself in a room, not knowing anything or anybody… happy to be, not worried about any thing… because no things crossed my mind at all… no dead son…no daughters, who each sought different paths than mine…no husband…no mother…not even ‘me’… just happy to be..

        • I think if we lost our satellites and there was no social media or cell phones or internet or itranslate :), this generation would be in a similar situation as those in Babel, confused. They would have lost the communication with each other that was so familiar.
          That is scary. And it could happen so easily.
          I agree with everyone, our world is a moral mess with only a small percent of the worlds population even getting enough to eat. And the societies that are well fed continue to slide further and further into sin. It’s good we are all praying for God’s mercy, surely we are lost without it.

          • I think even with the satellites and cell phones we have lost our communication. People are changing the language we use to hide the evil we do to make society think it is good. “Same sex marriage” and “women’s right to choose” come to mind as concrete examples. People speak about love as being a purely emotional choice to “marry” someone. Another example is the whole issue of transgender language and condoning of that behavior. It’s all a confusion of language to influence people to accept it. We also see this language confusion all the time in the media and in politics.

          • And to that, I would add “Women’s Choice” as it relates to life. My babies were real from the moment of conception. I don’t comprehend abortion, but I do sympathize with those women who are contemplating it. We should all pray for them to make Godly decisions and also pray for the innocent babies who aren’t given a say in the decision.

            By the way, I don’t mean to be simplistic, but the covenant God made with Noah is something that has always stuck with me. On our wedding day, my husband and I were greeted with a magnificent rainbow just prior to our ceremony. We felt so blessed by God and, in spite of many trials over the years, our love for each other and for God in our lives has remained strong and continues to grow stronger. I can’t see a rainbow without remembering this covenant of love.

    • Well said….speaking of the poor. Our prayers, hopes and physically doing something for those less fortunate needs to be a priority for us all. However, there are so many of us that are spiritually poor that go on their “merry” lives not knowing the awesomeness of God. Should our prayers also go to them as well? I have family and friends that don’t understand the Catholic faith though they are Catholic themselves. Should they also be in our prayers? Just suppose what those with great wealth could do for the poor to physically improve their living conditions. Thanks Michelle for a well thought out post.

      • I am not certain whether your questions are rhetorical but were they not, of course those not knowing God’s awesomeness are worthy of and more so, in need of our prayers. As for our family members, most definitely, as well. As to understanding our Catholic faith, I would probably consider myself, like some of your family, one of those trying desperately to understand our Catholic faith and I too was born into a Catholic family. I feel like my learning curve is great but thanks to a very patient friend who once told me that I need to always know that Jesus loves me, a lot of reading, and now this Bible challenge, I am hopeful that each day God is providing me with opportunities for growth. I feel this spiritual growth is the catalyst pushing me to want to help those in need. Your thoughts, however, give me pause to think that although taking care of the poor is necessary and right we must not forget those who, although not financially poor, are still in need of our prayers and God’s love and Mercy because they are poor in faith, and spirit. With God wanting so desperately to be alive in each of us I suppose my prayers should be for all those in need of God’s love and my efforts wanting to serve God where he sends me. Thanks for your insight; this is going to be an enjoyable 90 days for growth, I suspect.

        • you are so right, I often find myself praying for teenagers who have no one to pray for them. It is a difficult time for them and they need our prayers. By the grace of God go we!

        • Thanks, Michelle. You have described my spiritual condition. exactly. I have taken every adult religion class offered by my parish and have been trying to understand our Catholic faith. My journey has taken years but I feel the end must be in sight soon. I am hoping God will give me the necessary grace to gain a strong and permanent peace of mind.

          • We are fortunate to have such great Catholic teachers and role models.
            Mary, I think you’ll find that your spiritual journey never ends, but I think I know what you mean. Sometimes we feel like we’re stuck, like the present difficulties or obstacles to our growth will never end. But by remaining strong in faith, walking daily with Jesus, with the hunger and desire to learn more and grow closer to Jesus, we will one day recognize the blessings we are receiving, even amongst the difficult times. I apologize in advance if I’m being presumptuous, of course, I’m speaking of my own personal experience. Michelle’s spiritual growth is the catalyst that encourages her to want to help those in need. I think that’s part of our journey and our growth. We begin to look outside of ourselves. His greatest commandments are to love Him and to love others.

      • I agree, great post, Michelle! Re-reading it in 2015, I was going to “like” it but I already did, a year ago!

        Yes, we should pray even for those who profess to be Catholic but don’t understand the faith. I was one of them. I used to say I was Christian first, Catholic second. It wasn’t until I made a Cursillo weekend a few years ago that I began to understand and embrace my Catholic faith.

        But we can do more than pray for them. We can evangelize TO them. Dr. Scott Hahn wrote a great book, “Evangelizing Catholics: A Mission Manual for the New Evangelization”. There are dozes of resources for apologetics. There’s also a great new resource called Symbolon (http://www.symboloncatholic.org) being used in parishes across the country for adult faith formation.

        Bottom line is, the more we know about our Catholic faith, the better we witnesses become to educate others and bring them to a relationship with Christ.

        • Same here! This world can be so enticing that like in the Early World it is easy to get caught up in myself and my needs! Soon I am joining the crowd wanting to make myself look better! Our Bible Study group has been together for 11 years and we’ve done most of the BibleTimeline studies…it helps but it all became more personal when I was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer that I consciously made a choice to trust God to take care of me and my family through it all that I developed a real personal need for God!

          • Good for you that you have placed your trust in God. May He bless you for your fidelity and may you be wrapped in the healing power of His love.

          • Marjorie, God has miracliously cured me of Cancer twice (two different cancers) I will say prayers for your continued good health. It was the Bible Study class that helped to bring me back from ‘Chemobrain”

          • With God everything is possible if one thing I have learned in these past 4 years is to trust inconditionally in Him I have seen so many prayers answered that is amazing how there is people that still don’t believe my group at church is amazing any time anyone need prayers there we go a chain of praying for that person of course is always His will and not ours but we trust Him and know is the best every time.I will pray for you Marjorie for your health and that He give you strenght to.keep.going. God bless you!

        • Thank you for this link Marianne, I will check it out. At the moment I say I am Christian first and Catholic second. I am getting involved at my Church and starting to open my eyes to my Catholic faith!

          • Hi Rosemarie. Congratulations on taking this step to get involved in the Church. You will find that your faith and works will grow exponentially! I pray for you as you come to see the beauty of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church. God bless you!

          • I was born in a catholic/atheist family my grandmither was a believer she use to read the bible every day at any time the rest of my family never believe in anything I was baptized and did my first comunion but it was until 4 years ago that I came back to the church when a friend of mine invite me for an Emaus retreat that was a very important step in my life since then I been trying to understand my faith and everyday I ask the Lord to.give me strenght to keep walking on His steps is not easy to understand His ways but anything else don’t seem to me worth the time or energy.I hope to finish this challenge I will try with all.my might to do it I need to understand His word and what He want from me and for me. God bless us all!

          • And God bless your grandmother, for giving you the gift of faith in God amidst the atheism. You could have gone either way, but you chose the best!
            If you are praying for strength, may I suggest that you add Joshua 1:9 to your prayers every day. It worked for me!
            “Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

          • I also wholeheartedly recommend that EVERY Catholic take Dr. Edward Sri’s study, “A Biblical Walk through the Mass”. At the very least, buy the book. The study walks you through every single step of the Mass; why we say and do everything that’s said and done.
            I lent out this book to a fallen away Catholic and she loved it. It gave her such a clear understanding that she never had before. She ended up borrowing it from me twice, then wanted to get her own copy.

  • I have a “Tower Phobia” so I relate to the Tower of Babel story. I feel there are two kinds of buildings men build Cathedrals and towers. Cathedrals are built to honor God. Towers are built to boost mans ego

    • Cool point Barbara! Isn’t it interesting how the last century-plus—witnessing some of the most brutal inhumanity, warfare, injustice & bloodshed in all of history—coincides with the first time since Antiquity that *towers* have been the the most prominent features of our cities, instead of Cathedrals?

      • Yes and most of those towers were built to “make a name for ourselves” I happened to find of picture of a rainbow over the City of Boise to the right of the rainbow was the tallest to date building in the city under construction (since been completed) I downloaded the picture and printed this Verse

        Genesis 9:12-17

        12 God said, “This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: 13 I have set my bow in the clouds, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14 When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, 15 I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. 16 When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.” 17 God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant that I have established between me and all flesh that is on the earth.”

        Under the picture I wrote note the Tower of Bable rising in the righthand corner. Ironically this building is the Zion National BANK

        • Quite true.. towers are always named after some company or individual, be it the owner, developer, largest tenant, or whoever happened to buy naming rights.

          Cathedrals are dedicated under the patronage & protection of a saint (or angel) in Heaven who can intercede for us to the Father thru His Son, Our Lord!

        • This is not a rainbow but note the stark contrast between the towers in New York City and an event called “Manhattanhenge”.
          Just another reminder that God is always present…

          • That picture is both awesome and aweful. Awsome because it showes the power of God. Aweful because it showes the narrow path we must take to reach God. Thank you.

  • I am reminded of this saying “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” It seems that God’s people keep revolving in a never-ending circle with a new cast of characters each go-around. It’s almost like a soap opera filled with good and evil and the continuing war between the characters. Most are self-involved, only looking out for themselves. Then along comes someone to reset the goodness level. But people soon forget and the tide turns once again. I pray each day that people will see the goodness in God and change accordingly. After all, how much more evidence do they need to believe in Him? Isn’t the structure of the environment of the world proof enough? I wonder if God ever regrets giving man free will? Probably not. He wants us to use that free will to choose His way of life!

    Dear God, help me to show others the right way to use our free will through my living example. I appreciate Your gifts to us, the beings You so lovingly created in Your image. I struggle to be like You in every way. Please help me to get closer each day. Amen

    • please… the good sometimes father the bad, and the bad fathers the good… no one person can be called good or bad until the time of his death…

  • the close of the early world period was God renewing his world. It was a world established with a “covenant,” a world with new dietary laws where the introduction of eating flesh of the animals was given by God except eating the flesh of animals with blood in them. It was to be an orderly world with the establishment of the first Covenant in Scripture, the Covenant with Noah.

  • The languages I find confusing. How does it go from Ch 10 stating each had their own language to the beg. on 11 stating that the whole world had the same language and words?

      • I pay attention to everything – ch10 is a long-story, a telling of peoples by language and by place… ch11 takes us back to the story of the Tower of Babel and the differing of the languages sprang up…a lot of the Bible tells us the long-story first, then brings us back to the main story…

    • This is what I really enjoy about this study and discussion board. I didn’t notice that in Ch 10 each had their own language and the in Ch 11 the whole world had the same language. I could do this study 10 more times and probably never catch that if I didn’t take the time to read all the comments. A big thank you to everyone who takes the time post comments. We all benefit from them. By the way in answer to Peggy, I don’t have an answer to the question either.

    • I’ve noticed that too. My best guess is that ch. 10-11 may not be in exact chronological sequence, but rather 10 describes all the then-existing (at time of writing) nations that grew out of the families > tribes > clans separated at Babel. Then ch 11 goes back & provides the narrative of what happened–like a detailed recap on how these groups had their origin in a formerly-united humanity, and how they got separated.

    • Maybe because chapter 10 is mainly about Adam descendant and then in chapter 11 there is how they become to go their differnets ways and differents languages?

  • I agree with Mike about the similarities of the world we live in today. I must say – in 3 days – I have learned some really interesting things I didn’t realize before. I’m so grateful for this study.

  • I agree with Mike that the condition of the world we live in today are similar to that world. And I must say that in 3 days I have come to realize more about the Bible than I ever have. I’m so grateful for this study.

  • I am awed how God loved us enough to give us a fresh start, yet evil immediately manifests itself through Ham. I see this as the same thing we have with same sex relationships, abortions, and the evils that promulgate the world. Despite evil we still have a covenant relationship as long as we choose to abide by its conditions. To me this shows humanity remains the same but emphasizes clearly that we are given choices and those choices are made through acts supporting the words.

  • In Chapter 5, the firstborn son is named, whereas, in Chapter 11, more than one son is named and the overall lifespans seem to be getting shorter. Chapter 5 seems almost local compared to Chapter 11 where there is a spreading across the face of the earth. Looking at all of the different areas, it is sad that people seemed to loose sight of God so quickly (not just the Tower of Babel) but somehow as if, the further they physically traveled, the further they moved away from God spiritually. Almost as if all roots were severed and the core of their beings were distracted and their journey in the wilderness lasted hundreds of years, until the Gospel started to spread, offering the opportunity to reunite with God and God’s family.

    The word Chaldean (Chap 11:28) struck a cord, as it reminded me that there are still Chaldean Churches in Iraq, Syria and Egypt. It is humbling that they have such a clear lineage without any language shift (even more humbling is the suffering and strength of these members of our family). I had a quick scan at the Chaldean Church history and know it isn’t really that simplistic but they are still family.

  • My eyes opened in a special way to the connection between the sexual sin of Seth seeing his father naked and how his line then becoming the ones to inhabit Canaan. Those became the people who the Isrealites eventually had to fight in order to take the promised land. I love, love learning more and more about how God connects us. Praise Him!

  • I have heard that Noah broke his covenant with God when he got drunk with wine. Also that his son Ham shamed his father by looking on his nakedness and then tells the others. My question is “looking on his nakedness.” Is it true that this statement means he had sex with his mother while Noah was drunk?

    • This is from the website, http://www.wcfaz.com/index.php/teachings/75-lesson-3

      After Noah’s ark settled on land & they began their new life we have
      a confusing event. Noah drinks too much, goes to sleep & Ham
      ‘looked upon the nakedness of his father.’ This is when we must use
      Typology, which is looking at a different part of Scripture to unveil or
      reveal a truth. ‘Looking upon the nakedness of his father’ is a Hebrew
      expression which means to sleep with your father’s wife. Refer to Lv,
      18:6-7, 20:11. This causes Noah to curse Ham’s unborn son Canaan, the
      fruit of the sin. Noah could not curse Ham because God had already
      blessed all of Noah’s sons . This makes sense in the narrative because
      it explains why Canaan is mentioned in this scripture. Later in the
      narrative when the Israelites enter the land of Canaan, the first thing
      God warns them about is the infamous sexual perversity, particularly
      incest, of the Canaanites. Lv 18:7; 18:1-6. Ham’s actions could have
      been actually a power play for the leadership of the family. If you want
      to study this further I recommend either the Navarre Commentary or
      Walking With God by Tim Gray & Jeff Cavins. Evil has happened
      throughout our history and is still happening.

      • Thank you Peggy this is very informative. I will purchase the Navarre Commentary and Walking With God by Tim Gray & Jeff Cavins. Again thanks a great deal.

  • Throughout all of these readings we see the sin of pride weave through all these genisis lives. We do not do what we should but expect no punishment for our selfishness

  • For me the chapter reveal quite a bit about the nature of sin and pride and a reminder that anything obtained outside of God’s will will be lost.

  • AGAIN, THIS WORLD BEGAN WITH ONE FAMILY CHOSEN BY GOD TO BE FRUITFUL AND MULTIPLY AND THEY DID. THE PROBLEM WAS THAT THEY BUILT A TOWER TO REACH THE HEAVENS AND BE AS ‘GOD”. EVE HAD ALSO WANTED TO BE AS “GOD” WHEN SHE ATE OF THE TREE. GOD SCATTERED ADAM/EVE OUT OF THE GARDEN…HE CONFUSED AND SCATTERED THE BUILDERS OF THE TOWER…THE PATTERN IS SET FOR GOOD–EVIL–REDEMPTION–SALVATION…GOD GIVES US WHAT WE NEED,,WE SIN..HE GIVES US REDEMPTION…HE FORGIVES US…WE SIN AGAIN ETC.ETC.

  • This according to me is a world that is very much similar to our world today.

    there is worship to the one GOD and also worship to others.
    the world runs in its own perception without seeing the true meaning of the presence of ones self in the situation with the prospect of God plan.

    children of God have left moral and have now moved to wrong sexual activities.
    marriages have been made as per the will of man choosing and directly picking up people to make up their like of color and beauty.

    blood is shed so easly of human with out a second thought.

  • there is one hope a full family that God has seen and that family depends on God for all things and were thankful to God. God was with them and remembered them also into their hands did he give the rest of the living being.

    In the same way we are the family of GOD here on earth His Church. we can pray and bring about the change. as well said by Mr. Gandhi ” be the change you want to see.”

  • It is similar to the modern day world.. People today are so focused on making a name for themselves. All medical and scientific research focuses on inventing the first thing so that both the person and the Nation will become famous.

  • I agree with you pnkyB4brain, just to add. Out
    of something bad something good comes out. The ugly one is always seeking to destroy our souls and relationship w God. In this lesson we learn that God’s hand always is at hand and he will be glorify, as in Pentecost he unites all the different cultures to praise him in all different languages. Thank God for mass and the Eucharist which unites us all in the same language.

    • I find that new comments are mixed with the old ones. I think that the comments should only be for 2015 to see the NEW comments more easily. Then the comments are posted I think as to how meaningful they are.

      • Jeanne, Sleepy told me to “look under the # comments… click the down arrow and select ‘best’, ‘newest’,
        or ‘oldest’… :-)”. It works.

      • I noticed that last years comments are being posted too. I have to admit that for a few minutes I was annoyed. Because I have done this study a few times, I knew I could sort the comments and get the newest ones first so I got over being annoyed very quickly. I then started reading the comments from 2014 as well as 2015 and find that I am actually enjoying them and getting a lot out of thm; after all, it has been a whole year so it is not like I remember them and I am getting bored. Another thought I would like to throw out there is that even though the 2014 comments are one year old, they are still relevant. If we can take the study year after year after year and learn something knew every time, doesn’t it make sense that we could also learn something from the older comments too?

        • I agree Barb, there’s some good stuff from 2014! And I’m seeing that there are some all new perspectives in 2015. As well as people responding NOW to the posts from last year. So it’s worthwhile if you have time, to read both…

  • What kind of a world was it? Before the flood there was a lot of bad things going on. Is it any worse today? I would say yes, much more so. How are we supposed to populate the earth with so called “same sex marriage” and rampant abortion and birth control? So God gave us a clean slate with Noah and what happened? The same old thing. It seems we will never learn our lessons. God help us all. Sorry to be such a pessimist.

    • Please be brave, there are so many more cycles of following God, wandering off, repenting and reconciliation to come.

      • The cycle continues today and will until the end of time. God’s Love and His Mercy will prevail and that Hope is what my faith counts on.

  • What kind of world is it? They got a new beginning and still, because of the sins of their fathers before the flood, were unable to recognize God’s grace. It seems to me that the “power” of original sin just never really goes away. We are all sinners and even a second chance or a third etc somehow just doesn’t penetrate our heart, mind and soul to keep us from sinning. Thank goodness we have a loving God who forgives even before we ask.

  • After the cleansing of earth Noah, his wife, sons and daughter-in-laws do as The Lord asks them to do, which was to go out and multiply. In doing so they did just that from Noah, to his three sons – Shem, Ham and Japheth. I believe it is around 52 males born from the three sons of Noah, which is an amazing number of males born from three men.

    Within this section a fee key points that show The Lord’s redirection in life include.
    1. Covenant with Noah: Cleansing of the earth with Noah and the Ark
    2. Wanting to keep one dominant language and word bank in a tower in the city of
    Babel. The Lord would not have it so he confused them up scattering them
    throughout the earth
    3. Teran moving on with Abram, Saria, and. Lot to to Canaan, but when they
    Reached Haran, they settled there – and only The Lord knew that was coming.

    And within this entire section the ongoing of multiplying in numbers.

    Back then reminds me of times in today’s world where politics, personal plans and agendas are thoughts and plans of human beings. Then when The Lord steps the people on earth are reminded time and time again that our purpose on earth is that of the almighty Lord our God and not that of human beings.

  • Today’s reading ends with the “Tower of Bable” I was just about to go into my “towerphobia” rant. When I looked back to last years posts so I guess, I will just have to think of something New to say. I might say that the symbol of my patron saint, St. Barbara’s symbol is the tower in which she was imprisoned. And what is happening today? We are fighting a war in those very lands over what? The distruction of two towers. We will never be at peace until we start building Catherdrals not towers. But that will never happen. So we must make our bodies the “Temple of the Holy Spirit”
    I also note that at the end of the chapters, God renews the covenant.

  • An imperfect world of people trying to be self-sufficient. In building themselves up they will eventually fall to ruin much like we see even now for those that do not act in the light of God.

  • I have just discovered that capital punishment is justified according to Genesis 9:6 if the crime is killing a human being. I used to think capital punishment is not acceptable. However, I’ m still not comfortable with the concept. Please help me to clarify this matter.

    • The time of Genesis was approximately over 2000 years BC and from Genesis 6, we know that the people were lawless and did evil. If Noah (the only righteous man) and his family lived in a society without laws, such a severe punishment would send the clear message that murder was completely unacceptable to God. Later in the study we will get to the part where the law of “an eye for an eye” is introduced. It seems brutal to us in societies with so many laws, at that time one minor incident sparked off an escalation of violent retaliations. The law actually restrained the Israelites from unrestrained acts of vengeance and later when they were ready God introduced the difference between murder and manslaughter. We then move to the New Testament and the teachings of Jesus, which are to love your neighbour as yourself etc.

      God was working with the people at the time, where they were and with their understanding of the world. For example, God allowed divorce in the Old Testament because of the weakness of men (remember Adam and Eve were partners and together made in His image) but in Malachi 2:16 God says he hates divorce and in the New Testament (Mark 10: 2-12) Jesus explains that God allowed divorce at the time of Moses (about 1280 to 1240 BC give or take some years) because of the hardness of man’s heart.

      We are blessed with the Bible that gives us our guide to life. I hope this helps a little.

      • hmmm, well I differ in opinion to you, dearest Avila… God did not “allow” divorces – the people decided for themselves to divorce and why… they were probably most serious to begin with… child beatings to death; women raped and beaten, again to death; men not taking care of their women and/or children, once more leading to death… those are the reasons we give to make our politicians sit up and take notice… they were probably the reasons given by God’s children in defense of themselves getting a divorce…
        .
        God, in spite of welcoming children, and in spite of not wanting His children to be so violently relieved of their lives, did what you or I would to preserve the peace, and get our children back – He shut up, and let man make His own rules… to let man come back to us, and say he’s sorry…

        • Having reviewed my comment, I realised that my error was in saying God allowed divorce when Matthew 19:8 actually stated “He said to them, “Because of the hardness of your
          hearts Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so.” I know I am quoting out of context but it is a lengthy section covering the sanctity of marriage. At the time of Moses, a man could divorce his wife for no sound reason and she would be tossed out either to return to her parents without ever seeing her children again or left to fend for herself which she would struggle to do especially if she was old or crippled. I could not guess at why God allowed His children to exercise free-will to reject Him whether it was in not honouring each other or worshiping false gods (including child sacrifice). I can be grateful that the Bible shows us that God is consistent in His love for us, that when we repent and turn back to Him, He does not reject us.

          • it seems we, as the Jews did, take every thing God told his secretaries in writing the scriptures as being blessed by God, when nothing is further from the truth… while Moses is given the responsibility for the laws, we mistake them as God’s laws because they are written down in the Bible… we ought to go through them slowly, and get some better idea of the laws of Moses vs. the laws God gave to Moses…
            .
            ” I could not guess at why God allowed His children to exercise free-will to reject Him whether it was in not honouring each other or worshiping false gods (including child sacrifice).”
            .
            because that is what free will means – every one of us has that right, whether we acknowledge it or not – we all have the right to deny God and His will, but we have to accept the reality of our decisions…it’s not a choice to have free will or not; it is a choice, however, to decide which one we are following… every day, in every way, I choose to follow Christ….

  • The world at that time, had a fresh start with Noah and his descendants. Their very survival and subsequent fruitfulness was a gift from God, but many of them walked away from God. This makes me wonder how well they passed the faith on to their children. I also wonder what our personal towers of Babel are? What is it that I do that says “hey look at me, look what I did all by myself” instead of putting God first and simply thanking him for the blessing of being his instrument. The world at that time, in many ways mirrors the world of today, much sinning and selfishness but there still would have been faithful people living the faith otherwise the next chapters would have been very different. I think that as we travel this journey, there will be many falls but throughout we will see “hope” become reality.

  • So nice to see so many familiar folks again. Thanks as always for your insights. We should try this year to make a facebook group after the 90 days and post challenges or book passages etc every so often.

  • What kind of world is it? A world which has an Almighty God who continually bails out the creatures He has created, of which I am one. Haven’t we learned anything? Haven’t I learned anything. Focus on God’s will and stop separating myself from God’s other humans who are different from me. We are all one. We are all His.

    • Good points and reminders. I am with you constantly reminding myself to live life as God has willed it and even with constant reminders temptation is constant. God help us all to be mindful of you in day to day and second by second daily life.

  • THE WORLD OF THE EARLY TIMES IS A WORLD OF SUBSISTANCE. NOMADIC TRIBES, TENDING FLOCKS OF ANIMALS, TRADING GOODS, AND CITIES WHERE THERE WERE THE VERY WELL OFF AND THE POOR . THE WELL OFF HAD SLAVES AND SERVENTS . THERE WAS NO MIDDLE CLASS AS WE KNOW IT. THERE WERE WORKERS AND THE MOST SKILLED OF THESE BELONGED TO GUILDS WHO DICTATED THE TRANING AND COMMERCE OF THE WORKERS. IT WAS A LARGELY AGRICULTURUAL SOCIETY . WITH MARKET DAYS IN TOWNS AND HANDCRAFTED GOODS AS THE NORM. FAMILYS AND TRIBES WERE THE BACKBONE OF THE SOCIETY. WITHOUT THEM A PERSON HAD NO WHERE TO BELONG. THE IMPORTANCE OF WHO YOUR RELATIVES WERE BACK GENERATIONS WAS IN GIVING YOU A PLACE TO BELONG. THIS EARLY TIMES STORY COULD BE SEEN AS THE FAMILY ALBUM OF GOD’S PEOPLE. IT IS HOW THE PEOPLE OF GOD CAME TO BE , HOW FATHER GOD TREATED HIS CHILDREN AND IN RETURN HOW GOD’S CHILDREN LISTENED TO THEIR FATHER. THIS INTERPLAY BETWEEN THE FATHER AND HIS CHILDREN AND HOW MEN WERE TREATED BY THE FATHER WHEN THEY WENT AGAINST HIS WILL IS ALL PART OF THE FAMILY OF GOD’S STORY.

  • The world during this time is a world of origin and transition. It is a transition from a world before the flood to the rebuilding of civilization after the flood. Multiple languages are initiated following the Tower of Babel. The genealogies gives us a picture of the origin of many of the nations surrounding Israel along with Abraham’s genealogy.

  • God set some new rules down in His covenant with Noah. For me God describes in more detail what His Covenants contain. The chapter about Noah and God’s Covenant is a new episode, if you will, in the story of the relationship of God with Mankind. I simply love the symbol of the “bow” for the Covenant with Noah. To me rainbows show promise and hope after a rain. I like to think that God was quite serious with His instructions to Noah but as a symbol of His Covenant, He gave him a rainbow of hope and renewed life. God is a compassionate Father.

  • I find the tower story very problematic. God seems afraid of what people could accomplish if He doesn’t hinder their ability to work togrther. Why? No matter what they do they will never become God or be able to replace God. Why does God limit them? I can understand that people should have faith in God as their foundation and to have misplaced faith in materialism is going to in the end be unsatisfying and ruinous. I think that is the lesson. But to me it sounds like if you were to say, ” A person should be able to live on $30,000. a year and if they have more than that it should be taken away from them.”

    • no… it was because of our own desires to reach heaven before we had learned His lessons… it was us, not God, that was to blame…
      .
      “And the earth was of one tongue, and of the same speech.

      “And when they removed from the east, they found a plain in the land of Sennaar, and dwelt in it.
      .
      “And each one said to his neighbour: Come, let us make brick, and bake them with fire. And they had brick instead of stones, and slime instead of mortar.
      .
      “And they said: Come, let us make a city and a tower, the top whereof may reach to heaven: and let us make our name famous before we be scattered abroad into all lands.
      .
      “And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of Adam were building.
      .
      “And he said: Behold, it is one people, and all have one tongue: and they have begun to do this, neither will they leave off from their designs, till they accomplish them in deed.
      .
      “Come ye, therefore, let us go down, and there confound their tongue, that they may not understand one another’s speech.
      .
      “And so the Lord scattered them from that place into all lands, and they ceased to build the city.” (Gen 11:1-8)
      .
      note verse 4: “and let us make our name famous before we be scattered abroad into all lands” … they (we) knew they were growing too fast – why else would they put their name before God’s own? why the hurry to finish Babel? to make their name famous… whose name? no one’s but God’s Name is associated with Babel…
      .
      that is why it is so important for God’s Name to worshipped before any of our own…

  • Ok, maybe I’m nitpicking but I want to know how Nimrod (Gen 10:8) comes from being a “Mighty Warrior” to the bumbling idiot we now associate with that name?

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