"And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there. And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them throughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter. And they said, Go to, let us build us 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. And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. Go to, let us go down, and there 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: and they left off to build the city. Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth."
The above text was written in a literary structure commonly referred to as a chiastic pattern. This structure is a device that the ancients often used to highlight a main topic, action, or idea and the pattern is often found in scripture in both testaments. The subject is the center of the pattern and the stress is on this main idea so that the reader will know that it is the major event, idea, or concept to focus on. Let's briefly outline the structure in these verses to find this middle place. (The word "chiasm" is related to the word "cross" so that the word itself explains the idea of a center point.)
a. Introduction--Verse 1--The Earth is one in voice under one Lord.
b. The people settle in a single area in rebellion to God's command to go out and multiply--verse 2.
c. The people say let's make brick and mortar rather than choosing solid stone thus unifying ourselves (that which God made and further rebellion)--verse 3.
d. The people say let's join together to build our own unacceptable means to heaven which is terribly rebellious--verse 4.
*Verse 5 is the center of the structure--the stress is on the Lord coming down!
d. God says your rebellion has not escaped the eyes of Heaven's Throne and I will not allow you to unite against Me (the unacceptable is rejected and destroyed)--verse 6.
c. God says I will come down and confound your plans and cause your unity to cease--verse 7.
b. The LORD scatters the people around the earth--verse 8.
a. Conclusion--The Earth has many voices but still only ONE LORD! Verse 9
Yesterday we saw another example of the earth unifying itself against the LORD of all creation. Another state has chosen to accept an abomination rather than to submit to God's plan. Men and women are deciding that the first institution that God ordained--marriage (a shadow of salvation, God and Israel, Christ and the Church)--is now an institution that they can decide to redefine willfully against scripture as they wish. It is one of many indicators that humanity is trying once again to unify itself against the Holy One. From abortion, gay rights, pornography, euthanasia, divorce, and a whole host of other rebellious acts, humanity is on a collision course with the stress of the LORD coming down. Like at Babel, God sees all of this. He even used this prophetic chiasm to outline that Heaven sees and God will act. Where does that leave you!
What Utter Blasphemy!
I was sitting in a restaurant in Greenville, SC yesterday having lunch with beautiful wife, Melodie. We were discussing some of the sermons we had heard in our state campmeeting and discussing the coming of the Lord. Also, I had shared this outline with a friend of mine who is very much a mentor just a day or so prior. Finally, I was thinking about Peters' sermon in Acts 2 as I wrote about yesterday. That is when it hit me! Regardless of your choice, the Lord is coming! How He comes to you, as friend or foe, is your choice. When the church unified themselves in prayer the Lord came down in a mighty and dramatic way in Acts 2. When the world unified itself against the Lord in Genesis 11 He came down in a mighty and dramatic way as well. When He comes, are you going to be found united with Him or in rebellion against Him? Are you going to forgive your brethren, set aside petty differences, and seek the Lord as never before for the souls of men, or are you going to persist in your rebellious ways and act like a carnal worldling? Either way, the Lord is coming down! Get ready! It is soon! Jesus Christ is Soon2Come!
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