#3 The Dispensation of Human Government

The Dispensations
The Dispensations
#3 The Dispensation of Human Government

References: Genesis 9:1-6

Open your Bibles, find your way back to Genesis, chapters 5, 6, and we’ll go up to chapter 9 a little bit tonight. We talk about the dispensations. I’ve always enjoyed this study. As a matter of fact, Howard showed me a Sunday school lesson or something I did years ago printed out on the dispensations because I think it does so much to make clear how the Bibles put together and also our responsibilities in the age in which we live. The third dispensation, we call the dispensation of human government, remember that we had the dispensation of innocence in the Garden of Eden until Adam and Eve sinned and then the punishment was that they were expelled from the garden and of course they fell into sin, a punishment upon all of us. Then the dispensation of conscience was when the Holy Spirit dealt with each individual the spirit with our spirit guiding and leading us and that lasted until the time of the flood and the flood was the punishment upon that dispensation and upon the earth, quite a severe punishment as a matter of fact and then our dispensation that we’re looking at now that of human government will go from that time when Noah and his sons and their wives come off the ark and that lasts up until the time of Abraham and when God calls Abraham we’ll have a new responsibility with Abraham and his family and the nation of Israel. When you look at Genesis 5, you see a genealogy that took us from that time of Adam all the way up to Noah. As a matter of fact, in verse 4 of chapter 5 you see Adam’s name and then all the way down to verse 29 of chapter 5, all the way down to verse 29 you see Noah’s name and there are nine generations of people in between.
Generations of people who lived a long time by the way, eight, nine hundred years was pretty average but nonetheless in nine generations the world had gotten to the place where God destroyed it all and started again, quite a drastic thing. I remember hearing a guy preach a sermon one time about the day that God overreacted when God takes judgment upon things and maybe a way we wouldn’t do but we’re not a holy God either and we don’t see things the way God sees things. This flood then came upon the world in chapter 6, notice verse 5, God saw the wickedness of man was great in the earth. Every imagination of the thought of his heart was only evil continually and it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth and it grieved him at his heart and the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth both man and beast creeping thing, the fowls of the air for it repented me that I have made them and then from there through the rest of chapter 6, 7 and 8 you find the story of the building of the ark and the flood and so forth.
What do we believe about it? Was it literal? Absolutely it was literal. I read to you this morning in this morning’s sermon a quotation from a guy I remember that was angry at Christianity and one of the reasons he was mad at Christianity was the story of the flood.
How could God do such a thing? Well that’s always been a problem for some people. Some people don’t even take it literally try to write it off as maybe a story of some kind. Brian McLaren was a pastor of a church, wrote a book called A New Kind of Christianity in which he did not think things like the flood even belonged in the Bible as a pastor of a church. He said this in this light a God and he spells it with a small G, a God who mandates an intentional supernatural disaster leading to unparalleled genocide is hardly worthy of belief much less worship. This is a pastor of a church. How can you ask your children or non-church colleagues and neighbors to honor a deity so uncreative, overreactive and utterly capricious regarding life? You imagine saying such a thing.
And by the way Cedar Ridge Community Church in Baltimore, Maryland is where he pastored and it had thousands of people coming to it. So sometimes that’s what people want to hear. You want to hear something totally different? I like to read Henry Morse. I know some of you know him and his book both on Revelation and his one on Genesis because he was the chairman of civil engineering at Virginia Tech. Quite an educated man wrote the Genesis flood with some years ago back in the 60s, and he’s talking about the rainbow. Chapter 9 verse 13, you have, I do set my bow in the cloud and it shall be for a token. So listen to somebody who does take the Bible literally when he’s talking about the rainbow. Listen to him say this, before the flood, the upper air contained only invisible water vapor, and therefore no rainbow was possible. With the newly hydrological cycle following the flood, the former vapor canopy is gone and it is physically impossible now for enough water to ever be raised into the atmosphere to cause a universal flood. When a storm has done its worst and the clouds are finally exhausted of most of their water, then there always appears a rainbow. And so God would have us remember again his promise after the great flood.
A lot more refreshing to read somebody like that, isn’t it, than Brian McLaren’s type of thing. Well, we come then to this time when the flood happens. It’s on the earth for a year, and then God brings the ark to rest and waits until Noah and his family can come off the ark and from that time forward we call this human government. Like it or not, whether you like government or not, or the government you live under or not, it is an ordained institution of God.
And you remember that. As a matter of fact, how does Romans 13 describe it? Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers, for there is no power but of God. The powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God.
All of those protesting in the streets and so forth. And they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. So God’s pretty serious about this. In Proverbs 815 and 16, Solomon writes, or God is saying, by me kings reign and princes decree justice. By me princes rule and nobles, even all the judges of the earth.
It’s by God that these things happen. And so God has brought to the earth a time after the flood in which he will establish human government. Now it’ll be abused by men and dictators and kings and queens and all the rest. As a matter of fact, in chapter 10, you find in verse 8, Nimrod himself who will build Babel. And the end of the dispensation of human government will come to an end at the tower of Babel when God disperses the languages and the nations. So it’ll be abused, but so is Israel. Israel was abused by wicked kings and so forth.
And the church is often abused and finds itself not doing what God wants it to do. We will see as we go ahead in our study, human government as a continuing principle. That is, it isn’t just that it was for that particular time and it didn’t exist after that. It goes on after that, just like conscience goes on, but we’re not in a dispensation characterized by that. And human government will continue on. We will see human government mixed with the mosaic law, for example. And in that dispensation of law, you have a union of church and state. Although it’s not a church, it’s a union of Israel and government. So the religious and the civil are combined in what we call a theocracy.
So we’ll see government in that form. And then in the church age, we talk about a separation of church and state, so that the government does not oppress the church. But then when we go to the dispensation of the kingdom, Christ will rule with a rod of iron again. And there will be what we call a union of church and state again.
So God will use the government in various different ways that he wants in the various different dispensations. Also, I want you to remember that if you drew a timeline from the beginning all the way to the end, you could have on that timeline one arrow going up, you could have another arrow going down. The one arrow that goes up would be a progressive revelation of God. That is, we go through the ages and the Bible will be written part here and part there. We get more information as we go along. So God is telling mankind more about himself and about what he should do. And then when the Bible begins to be written by Moses, we learn how God did that through the ages. So in one way, things are going up in the sense of we know more about God. Revelation is more complete.
You and I have the completed revelation of God in the Bible right now. But also we could draw an arrow down and that is where human civilization is going. It is walking away from God and each dispensation, it seems, carries man’s nature farther and farther away from God until we finally get down to the end to the Great Tribulation period.
So we have one arrow going up, another arrow going down. But we ought to be able to draw an arrow straight across and call that faithfulness of God’s people. Because no matter what age people have lived in, there have been faithful people. There have been unbelievers, sure, in every age. But there has also been faithful people. And these genealogies that we have, especially here in these early chapters of Genesis, give us a number of those faithful people. Hebrews 11 gives us faithful people out of every dispensation up until the age of grace.
So I hope that we will learn that we living in the age of grace can be faithful people before God, just like Noah was and just like Abraham is going to be and so forth in all of these. Also, you could draw a map with a bunch of mountain peaks. You could have a valley and a mountain peak, a valley and a mountain, a valley and a mountain. And you could label each valley a dispensation and each mountain peak a judgment or vice versa.
There is a responsibility and then there is a judgment. There is the fall and then there was the flood and then there was a tower of Babel and then there was a captivity in Egypt. Then there was the tribulation period.
Then there will be Gog and Magog at the end of that. There’s always these cataclysmic judgments on the earth. And by the way, men like Henry Morse and John Whitcomb and others, and today many scientists who are Christian men, realize that these great catastrophes like the flood and even like the tower of Babel and other things show up in the way the earth is.
And when we look at the fossil record and we look at the layers of the rocks and we look at all of that, it actually substantiates what the Bible says about what happened in these great catastrophes. Well, we want to look tonight at three chapters, chapter 9, 10 and 11. I have that on your outline, although most of our time will be spent in the first one. And that is chapter 9, and if you will turn there, where we call it a new dispensation. Because beginning in chapter 9, Noah is coming off the ark. Actually, at the end of chapter 8, the flood is done, and the raven is sent out, and then the dove is sent out, and then the people go out on dry land. And so, beginning in verse 1, and going through verse 6, we have six new things that are instructed in this new dispensation.
Six things that I’ll list under number 1 there. And you find them in verses 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6. Number 1 is they are to replenish the earth.
Fill it up again. So, verse 1 says, God blessed Noah and his sons and said unto them, Be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth. Where have you heard that before? Well, Genesis chapter 1, right? When God made the earth, and there was nothing in it, and he created it all in six days to the animals and then to human beings. He said, fill up the earth, replenish it. Replenish is literally just the word fill, so fill it up.
And by the way, they are supposed to do that. And verse 7 also says, you be fruitful, multiply, bring forth abundantly in the earth, and multiply therein. So, I hope you’re doing your job. Well, we had four kids, but we’re up to 11 grandkids anyway, you know? So, we’re doing our part to help fill the earth, and so are many of you. That’s what we do.
We fill up the earth. That’s God’s purpose. Isaiah 4518 says, he created it, not in vain. He formed it to be inhabited. So, God made the earth to fill up. So, that’s pretty plain. And when they come off the ark, and the only living creatures come off of that ark also, the earth is a pretty empty place, and a pretty big place. And they are to fill it up just like they did in the beginning.
All right? So, the first one is to replenish or fill the earth. Secondly, in verse 2, the fear of man is put into animals. The fear of man in animals. The fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air. Upon all that moveeth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea into your hand, are they delivered?
That’s kind of interesting, isn’t it? Someone noticed that the list here, given in verse 2, are mostly non-domesticated animals. So, other animals like the cattle, like horses, I suppose, maybe dogs, I don’t know about cats, but maybe dogs, that there’s not so much fear in the domesticated animals, but these wild animals, we call them, have this fear in it. And so, evidently, there wasn’t this much fear in these animals before the flood.
How much there was, we’re not sure, but not like there is now. And why is that? Well, one reason may be is because there are only eight people on the earth at this time, and they’re kind of outnumbered. And there’s a lot of animals that don’t have a lot to eat. And so, they may look at Noah and his family as good pork chops or something. So one may be for safety, and another may be for food, and both for the man to be able to hunt them, and the animals to be able to survive from one another, from the food chain, and so forth.
But anyway, kind of a new command given. I think it’s interesting because you’ve probably been in some situation before, haven’t you, where you’ve come across a dangerous animal, some kind of wild animal, and the fact is, you ought to be afraid of him because he’s probably more powerful, bigger, poisonous, whatever, and yet he’s afraid of you and runs away. How many times have you seen a poisonous snake, and it makes you jump off the ground three feet, but the snake runs away from you?
Because God made it that way. The story I always remember is when I was a boy down on the river in the Nyingwell River down here outside of Buffalo, and Grandpa would have us trap minnows, and they had these glass minnow traps that you put crackers in, and then you would sink them down in the water, and the water would run through that trap, and the crackers would go out the back end, so the minnows would come up and fill up the trap, and then you pick it up, and you got a trap full of minnows. Good enough. Well, because it’s given off crackers, there’s also some water moccasins that like to eat crackers, and there are snapping turtles and things like this. So I remember this one time, I was putting that trap down, and you have to put your hand down and get it all the way to the bottom and set it on the bottom of the river, so the water was right up to my armpit, and I had my arm down like this, and so I’m putting that trap down and letting the air go out, waiting till it’ll sit there, and just at that time, this snapping turtle. And he was as big as a garbage can lid, I think. He came up and his face came out of the water right where my face was.
I always remember that. I had my face here. He came up. I looked at him and he looked at me and we both jumped.
He went down and I went up. And if you know those old softshell turtles with that nose that looked like the Tin Man on the Wizard of Oz or something, I mean it’s the ugliest looking thing you ever saw. And scared me but it scared him.
You know? And it’s a good thing God put the fear of animals or the fear of man into animals so that we could be protected in times like this. Or I might stand before you with no nose right now because he could have taken it off. So you’ve experienced times like that and God instituted that here after the flood on this new heaven or new earth, I should say, at this time. Thirdly, verse three, is the permission to eat animals. So verse three says, every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you.
Even as the green herb have I given you all things. So we have no discussion or command before this about whether people ate flesh, ate animals before the flood, but it seems like they did not. And you remember the commands in the first chapter how that God gave them every green tree and all the herbs, yielding fruit and so forth. They had all of that to eat. This is the first time we find God saying go out and eat the animals as well.
So interesting that we have that command. I suppose if you’re, you know, there are people that are vegetarian for the reason that they think we should never kill an animal. Others might be just out of health.
I don’t know. But obviously we find here in this chapter, we’ll find before we’re done with these six verses, God places a very high value on the human life. But animal life becomes expendable.
Kind of interesting. All like vegetables and fruit, we can kill animals and eat them. Now there are clean and unclean, although the prohibition on the unclean animals will come under the law. So as far as we know at this time, there were not unclean animals. You could still eat catfish and pigs, I guess. You better be careful. You don’t have only two of them out there.
So, you know, let them grow for a while. But the clean and unclean, there are clean and unclean animals taken onto the arc, maybe for food, maybe for sacrifice and so forth. But all of that long list of things that are clean and unclean will come in Moses’ day under the law. So at this time, they probably could eat a lot of things. So there might have been a food shortage, by the way. Maybe when Noah and his family came off the arc, there wasn’t a lot growing out there. There weren’t a lot of trees with fruit on it yet.
There wasn’t a lot to eat. And this is one way probably they can eat it. Moriff said in his commentary that he believes that this might have even been an early command to show the difference between animals and man so that we would not make this mistake that modern people have thinking that evolution took place, you know, and we’re another animal, just like they are, just more highly evolved than they are. No, there’s always been a difference between the man and the animal, both in fear, and in eating. Of course, animals eat human beings now and then too.
So, you know, they have always done that. Well, animals are not image bearers of God, are they? They’re not made in the image and likeness of God, though, as we’ll see, by the way, in a minute, they do have life in them.
They have a life in them that’s different than animal or vegetable life, different than the trees and things like that. But they’re not image bearers of God. So even Peter, in 2 Peter chapter 2, can call them natural, brute beasts made to be taken and destroyed. He says, you know, the apostates of his day are as natural, brute beasts that God made to be taken and destroyed. So even Peter admits that the animals were made.
One of the reasons is so that we could have them for meat. So when they die, they die. Then there’s no doggy heaven and no doggy hell.
They don’t live on after that. They’re made for this purpose. Now, let me say, shouldn’t we be wise about it? I say, absolutely. Is there anything wrong with preserving life? Not at all. Obviously, we can go so overboard that we think that if any little snail becomes extinct, that it’s such a terrible thing.
I’m sure hundreds, if not thousands of various species of all kinds of living creatures have become extinct already. And it hasn’t worried God at all. And shouldn’t worry us. Yet, we should not be wasteful either. You know, there are times when man has been wasteful with animals, maybe just to kill the animal, to get the horns and to get the hides and leave the meat and the animals laying all over the ground, all over the countryside. You know, of course, we shouldn’t abuse our privilege with the animals, but neither should we have it in such a worshipful way that any time an animal is killed, it’s such a terrible thing as if we equated them to human beings. So there’s a permission here to eat the animals in verse three. But in verse four, there is a prohibition to this, a limiting to this, and it is the eating of the blood. And so even before the law of Moses, where eating the blood is going to be prohibited, now God says, but flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat? It’s also kind of interesting that God sees the blood as an important part of life, both of human life and of animal life.
And I think primarily out of symbolism, there are not to do it. Let me remind you of Leviticus. When we get to the law, God says in Leviticus 1711, a very well-known verse, the life of the flesh is in the blood. And I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your soul. for it is the blood that make an atonement for the soul. Let me remind you of something here in verse four when you’re looking at it. If you have the version I’m reading from, the flesh, but the flesh with the life.
You see that word life. You pronounce that word nephesh in the Hebrew. Nephesh is the same word for soul. So it very literally says the life or the flesh with the soul thereof, which is the blood thereof. The soul of an animal is the life that’s in the animal. If you want to make a distinction, maybe the distinction should be made with the word spirit. We have a spirit that is we have a way to communicate with God and have fellowship with God. Our soul is a fellowship simply with this earth as life on the earth, but our spirit is our communication with God. Animals don’t have that communication, but they do have life.
I mean, as I said, they’re different than a plant, different than a squash. It’s a life. They feel pain. They reproduce.
They go through a life cycle and all of that. And so God says those animals are kept alive by the blood that is in them. And so I equate, God says, the blood with the life or with the soul that is within that animal, within that person as it were in a human being. And so perhaps the reason God is even making a prohibition at this time of eating it is, is because God takes life seriously and you don’t abuse it. When God had man’s sacrifice all the way back to Cain and Abel, now up to Noah and all the way forward, he will ask for blood, right?
Life for life. So the life that is taken in sacrifice of an animal is a, as a special thing to him, a sacred thing, if you will, to God. The life of the flesh is in the blood. And without the shedding of blood, there’s no remission of sins. So I’m not going to forgive sin until that sacredness of life is withdrawn. That becomes a serious thing with God.
And why is that? Well, primarily because God himself is going to become a man. And he’s going to give his life for the whole human race.
And he’s going to have to give that life through the shedding of his blood. Isaiah 53 that talks about the suffering Messiah, as you know, says in verse 10, Yet it please the Lord to bruise him, talking about the Lord himself being crucified. It please the Lord to bruise him.
He hath put him to grief. When thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. When God sees the Lord’s soul being made an offering for your sin, when he sees that upon you, then he pardons you of your sin. So God sees the life being taken from his own son in the shedding of his blood being applied to your sinful soul. And when God sees that, he says, then I forgive you of your sin. And so even when that was all foreshadowed in the Old Testament, you take the animal, you shed the blood, which means you’re shedding the life out of that animal, and then I will cover your sins. But all of that pointed ahead, of course, to the time when the Lord himself would do that very thing with the life of the flesh that was in him. Also, there was evidently, even at this early time, a lot of paganism, which many times involved the drinking of the blood of sacrifices of animals, sometimes even of human being, and all through the centuries, there was that pagan use of blood in that drinking of blood and things like that.
And perhaps God is also, you know, giving a prohibition against any of that kind of paganism here early in the Scriptures. Okay, so number four is then the prohibition of eating blood, even though you can eat the animals, you drain the blood, you take the life out, and then you eat it without the blood in it. Number five, in verse five, is simply the sacredness of human life. And even though you can take the life of an animal, human life is different. Human life is sacred. So he says, surely your blood of your lives will I require at the hand of every beast, will I require it, and at the hand of man, and at the hand of every man’s brother, will I require the life of man. And so now we have a certain difference, and that is if an animal kills a man, the animal is to be killed because the man is more important than the animal. How God held every animal responsible, I don’t know, but obviously you have a right to protect yourself against an animal that would kill you, or that kills somebody else.
You have the right to do that. It’s not a crime, in other words, to take an animal’s life. In the law Exodus 21-28 it says, if an ox gore a man or a woman that they die, then the ox shall surely be stoned. That animal has to answer to God for that. His flesh shall not be eaten, but the owner of the ox shall not be guilty.
So that happens. But if a human kills another human, Then even that human being we’re going to see his life is to be taken because I will, he says, hold every man responsible. Notice in the end of that verse, at the hand of every man’s brother, will I require the life or the soul, the blood, the nafesh of a man. And you have to stop and think that at this time there were only three brothers on the earth, right?
Shem, Ham and Japheth and Noah. And so if one of you decides to do like Cain decided to do, I’m going to hold you responsible for that. And then by the way, in this, in that sense as their families increased and other men and women were born, in that sense and that sense only are we all brothers on this earth. We’re not brothers in a spiritual sense as being children of God as you know. But in, in another sense, human beings have an affinity with each other that we don’t have with animals. Matter of fact, that animals don’t have together. I don’t know that animals have family reunions. Maybe the squirrels in that tree in my backyard. Maybe that is a family reunion.
I don’t know. But, but, but human beings have this brotherhood. And so only in that sense, in a non-spiritual sense, could we refer to the fact as God says here, I’m going to hold your, your sins and your crimes accountable for your brother, for other human beings that are living.
Alright. So this action is going to be as we’re going to see next in a collective sense. So number six, probably the most well-known verse of all these verses and number six is there’s a command to practice capital punishment. So capital punishment, governmental punishment, punishment applied by man collectively is what we’re seeing here. So he says, who so shed a man’s blood by man? That is this brotherhood of human beings. Shall his blood be shed?
And why? Because in the image of God made him, not if you go kill an animal, but if you kill a human being made in God’s image, that has to be answered for. So think about it from, from Adam’s day up until Noah’s day, in this dispensation of conscience, there wasn’t this collective command for all of you to get together and punish the evil doer, punish the murderer.
Rather, God went after him individually and took care of it. But there wasn’t what we call today the rule of law. And without the rule of law, the earth got so bad in those nine generations that God wiped the whole thing off and started again. So God is now saying there needs to be a rule of law among human beings. And if there’s not a rule of law, you’ll get to this point again. And by the way, in the last dispensation at the end of the dispensation of grace, as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be in the coming of the Son of Man, we will get to that point again, where the rule of law is thrown out.
And God has to bring a unique judgment on the earth. Now, who so shed a man’s blood verse six says, and this word Shedeth, I’ll come back to it in a minute too, but it means to pour out his blood. Who so shed a man’s blood, you take his life, in other words, the murderer. Something has to be done about this, by man shall his blood be shed. And so man’s blood, not animal blood, has to be taken by man. That’s a collective sense.
You get together and do this. Somebody called this God’s dominion mandate. In every dispensation, God has a dominion mandate. And that is, he says, this is how I want my will to be done on the earth. This is how I want it to be done. And in this time, what he’s saying is, my will is to punish the murderers and punish the evildoers.
And the way I’m going to do it is through you, through man, collectively. And so we have this government. Romans 131, when we read it, called it the power, let every soul be subject under the higher powers. There is no power but of God.
That power is in the collective sense. And so every man’s brother has to do this. The whole community has to take care of this. And who so sheds man’s blood by man shall his blood be shed. And so you have to take his life. It’s life for life here. It’s the permission, if you will, of God for human government, collectively, to take the life of a murderer. And God is giving it to human beings here after the flood. As a matter of fact, and by the way, he does it, of course, because human beings are made in the image of God.
He makes that very clear. And when you kill another person, you haven’t just killed a fox or a bear. You’ve killed the image of God. And you’ve shed the blood.
You’ve let the life that is made in the image of God drain out of that person. Now, this will continue on. It’s a continuing principle. It will not just be in the days of this dispensation and then stop.
This will be carried on in the law, right? So in the Ten Commandments, thou shalt not kill. But what is the punishment if you do kill?
Your life will be taken by the government. And so to say, well, I don’t believe in capital punishment because God said, thou shall not kill. Sorry, it doesn’t wash with the scriptures. It’s the one who does the killing whose life must be taken by the collective sense of man, that is, of the government. And somebody has pointed out, by the way, that capital punishment then becomes the basis for all government. Capital punishment is the basis for all government because the ultimate crime is the taking of other people’s life, and the ultimate punishment is the taking of that person’s life for doing that. And if you don’t have that, then before long, you won’t have any laws.
If you’re not willing to apply the law of God here, eventually you won’t apply it anywhere. Sometimes, and most usually, capital punishment refers to individuals. In other words, there’s a criminal, he kills someone, he’s on death row, and we take his life. That has always been the case throughout the generations, throughout the different nations and so forth. Then sometimes, there’s a collective sense in where you as a people, as a nation that has an army, also has to go to war against criminals and take their life on the battlefield in a multiple sense. And is there such a thing as a righteous war? Absolutely.
It’s right to go to war when you have evil people who would kill others and kill you, you have to do what God is instructing here, the government to do, so every government has an army. To do this very same thing in a broader sense, if that becomes necessary. And a refusal to do it, someone said, is a denial of the sinful nature of human beings. To refuse to do this is to say, I don’t believe man is as bad as God says he is.
And so I can’t do this. No, you do what God has asked you to do. And just as Paul said, in the age of grace, in Acts 25, when he was taken captive and they accused him of doing things, he said, if I have done anything worthy of death, I don’t refuse to die. The apostle Paul, if I’ve done anything worthy of death, I don’t refuse to die in Acts 25. So here we have, before we leave chapter nine, briefly, you have responsibility, failure, and judgment. I’m skipping ahead and you’re outlined there a little bit. The responsibilities are these six things.
Here’s what you’re supposed to be doing. The first thing Noah does is go out and get drunk and violates certain principles of God. But the failure will be, we’ll see it in chapter 11, at the Tower of Babel. And the judgment will be the dispersion of the nations around the earth. And so there’s a responsibility here. We’ve just read them in the first six verses. Then there’s a failure to live up to this and then judgment. So let me show you just briefly right here at the end.
It won’t take much time. The reason why chapter 10 is here and the reason why chapter 11. Both of them, as you look at them, basically are genealogies.
But they have important things in them. In chapter 10, we have the new nations. You have the children of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
And so let me point those out to you. In chapter 10, in verse 2, the sons of Japheth and he begins to give them. There are 14, by the way, sons of Japheth.
Verse 6, the sons of Ham and he begins to give those. There are 30 of them. And then verse 22, the sons of Shem, the children of Shem, he gives them and there are 26 of them.
I give you the number because 14 nations come out of Japheth, 30 nations out of Ham, 26 nations out of Shem, and it equals what? 70. Isn’t that interesting? 70 Gentile nations. And so when the Jews referred to the Gentiles, always referred to them as the 70. When Jesus sent out disciples only to Israel, he sent out 12, the 12 tribes of Israel. But when he sent out disciples to go also to the Gentiles, he sent out 70. When the Bible was translated by Gentiles, they called it the Septuagint, the 70.
Because it was done by the Gentile nations. And so all of those kinds of things go back here to chapter 10 where you have these nations. And they must rule themselves with the rule of law. God has given them now the ability to wherever they go in this earth, they are to rule themselves with law collectively together.
Now chapter 11 is a new religion because it’s in chapter 11 where you have the failure of these nations to carry on this human government. And what do they do? They get together and build a tower called Babel. And by the way, in verse 8 of chapter 10, you have Nimrod. And then in verse 10, you have the beginning of his kingdom was Babel. So when we come to chapter 11 and verse 1, notice, by the way, here’s four failures, if you will, in the first four verses of chapter 11. We’re at the end of this dispensation of human government.
Here’s how they fail. First of all, they get themselves together into one nation instead of many. The whole earth was of one language and of one speech. It came to pass as they journeyed from the east. They found a plane in the land of Shinar and they dwelt there. They’re supposed to be spreading out into these nations.
Number two, they are in one place, not many in the land of Shinar. Verse three, rather than having faith in God, they have faith in their own skill and art. They said to one another, go to, let us make brick and burn them thoroughly.
And they had brick for stone and slime they had for mortar. In then finally in verse four, they worship the creation more than the Creator. And they said, let us build a city and a tower whose top may reach unto heaven and let us make us a name lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth. Now that tower that they built, I don’t think we’re supposed to believe that they were actually trying to build a tower tall enough to go through the atmosphere and up to the place called heaven. But everywhere where we have found these towers are called ziggarets in archaeology.
Everywhere they have found these, on the top they have the signs of the zodiac. So what they were doing was building a tower where they would worship the stars and worship the heavens. And so here they are worshiping what God made instead of worshiping the God who made all of that. And that becomes a great sin before God. Besides the fact that they haven’t spread out, they haven’t multiplied and replenished the earth, they haven’t done these things that they’re supposed to do.
So God punishes them. I wish I had time to go into Nimrod, Samarimus, and Tamus, and the Christmas trees, and the Easter bunnies, and the birthday cakes, and all of that. But we’ll do that in another time. But that was part of that worship too that started here at the Tower of Babel. So the judgment begins in verse five of chapter 11. The Lord came down to see the city and the tower which the children of men built, and the Lord said, behold, the people is one.
They have all one language. And this they begin to do. Now nothing will be restrained from them which they have imagined to do. Because remember at the end, at the flood, he said, every imagination of the thoughts of their heart is only evil continually.
Whatever they imagine now they’re going to do. So let us go down Elohim, plural, God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Let us go down there and confound their language that they may not understand one another’s speech. So the Lord scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth, which is what he had told them to do in the first place.
And they left off to build the city. Therefore it is the name of it called Babel, of course, as in language. Because the Lord did there confound the language of all the earth, and from thence did the Lord scattered them abroad upon the face of all the earth. You follow that chapter down through a few generations until you come to verse 26, and you come to the name Abraham. And we’ll come back there of course next week and pick up Abraham at Here is the Judgment upon the first attempt at human government. It wasn’t very good, was it? So when we criticize our own government, let’s remember what the first one looked like too. It wasn’t doing what God wanted it to do.
And governments all fail at one time or another until the King of Kings and Lord of Lords will finally come and rule on the earth. I wanted to go back to that word shedath by who so shedath man’s blood, that Hebrew word means to pour out as in cutting the animal’s throat and pouring out the blood, pouring out the life of the flesh. And that principle was used, sometimes it’s spoken up often in the Old Testament, of the sacrificial animal where his throat was cut and the blood is poured out upon the altar. It’s even used of the Holy Spirit being poured out in the last days. But it’s also used of Isaiah 5310, where the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ himself was also poured out, made an offering for our soul. And so here is rather than the guilty dying for the innocent, here is a picture of the innocent dying for the guilty, pouring out his soul, pouring out his blood. And the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ was poured out for us, the innocent for the guilty, rather than the guilty being poured out, so that we can go free.
Barabbas is a great example, isn’t it? Here was a man who was guilty and he deserved to die, but he gets to go free because an innocent man dies in this place. And it’s a picture of all of us, that Jesus Christ died in our place.
We’re all Barabbas, we’re all Son of men, and Jesus died in our place by the shedding of his blood. So we learn a lot from these chapters, especially 9, 10 and 11, and this dispensation of human government. We live under a government and we have to remember, as critical as we may be, whatever we may think, governments were established by God and they need to be there and they need to be doing the principles that God gave them to do.
And when we have that rule of law, man is better off as sinful human beings on this earth. Stand now with me if you will. And let’s go to the Lord in prayer and we’ll sing a song together.
Now Father, thank you for reminding us again of these principles and the word of God that we see way back to the days of, from Adam to Noah and Noah to Abraham, the ups and the downs of things that have gone on throughout this world. May we not be surprised. May we understand the nature of human beings. May we understand why you have given certain commands and prohibitions and things that you have given because of this. But Father, may we see your hand in it all and your purpose in it all. May we be good stewards of what you’ve given us to do and the age in which you’ve given us to live. And may we also be good ambassadors for the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. So blessing these things, speak to our hearts in the way that we need. We’ll thank you in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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