September 20, 2015
“God’s Love For the Nations”
Pastor Kenny Lee
I think this is one of the first times that I'm kind of glad that I am not reading the text, but preaching from the text. At least I can pick and choose what I read, right? Anyways, great job Kathy. Oh by the way you know we had Mr and Mrs Fink get married in our church. The one who started it off was Pastor Brendon of course and his wife, and then Mr. and Mrs. Fink got married recently. How long has it been? Four months? Four months, great. And then you know we recently had the engagement of Brian and Kathy, which we are really excited about. So congratulations to them.
SIGNIFICANCE OF SEVENTY
Back to Genesis… (wonderful things happening). What’s going on in Genesis? Up to this point, what’s going on? What is God doing in Genesis? What is God doing in this book here? Well first and foremost, what I wanted to say is this, is that: We’re going backwards, we’re jumping ahead as it were, let me explain. Chronologically, we’re jumping ahead. What I mean by that is in our Western world we are so bound by time, time is so important, but not scripture. Scripture is more concerned with theological thought, not science, not scientific truth, scientific method, but theological truth. So in other words, God is at the center and man is not. And so because of that what you’ll notice is that actually [chapter] 11 actually goes before [chapter] 10. Remember the Tower of Babel has already taken place and this is a result of it. This was during the time of Peleg, that it’s kind of hinted there. In verse 25, “To Eber were born two sons: the name of the one was Peleg, for in his days the earth was divided, and his brother's name was Joktan.” So why is that? What happened in the preceding verse, in the preceding chapter what happened? God gives a blessing. God gives blessing to Ham, Japheth, and Shem that they are to be fruitful and multiply. God also brings curses, God through Noah brings curses and blessings on the son, and then after the chapters of scripture says that Noah lived 350 years after the flood, lived a good life, lived up to 950 years and died. And what are the results of that? So what’s going on in the next generation? And we see that God’s word is faithful, that God’s word is true. Noah’s sons have many children. How many nations are there? Anyone count? You don’t have to. The pastor has done it for you already, actually I cheated I looked at somebody else’s reference because they’ve already done it, no need to reinvent the wheel. So how many nations are there? Seventy. Now are there actually seventy? No. Are there more? Probably. But you know the way Moses wrote Genesis, he doesn’t haven’t the convenience of punctuations, exclamation points, question marks, parenthesis, they don’t have a chiseled highlighter, they don’t have anything like that. So they have to do all these techniques, one of the techniques is numbers. There are seventy nations. There’s something interesting about the number seventy, it’s a number of perfection. There’s 7, there’s 10, there’s 3, right? But we are going to concentrate on the 7 and the 10. There’s seventy nations. There is something significant about that. What should it remind you of? Another book that Moses wrote, Exodus. Guess how many people went into Egypt. You guessed it, seventy! There must be significant about that, what could it be?
EVEN IN OUR UNITY, WE TRY TO DEFY GOD
First of all, what we noticed, what I noticed, is that there’s unity. Why is there unity? Well its one family! Everyone dies on the world and there’s one family. And we’re always striving for unity, right? This whole world is trying to find unity. Unity in diversity, that’s where we get our word university. We’re trying to find union in diversity; we’re trying to find unity. Well we have union here. The world started as one. They stayed as one, but there was a problem. You know how I said that actually the Tower of Babel story came before all this. And that was the problem, there was unity and then unity starts growing and people started growing and people started getting new ideas. They started building a city and started depending on technology; they’re depending on all these things. Why? To be God like. Not to fall under God, but to be like-God. And that was a problem. We try to defy God. Even in our unity, what we try to do is defy God. We try to be self-sufficient; we try to think that we are enough.
That’s the problem with our world these days. But the problem is a little bit further because we notice that there’s diversity. Of course there’s diversity. Look at our room; we’re a diverse bunch of people. Not only diverse in our culture, in race, in gender, but also in generations. What we strive for in this world is unity, same thing in this world, same thing in Noah’s world, in his son’s world. We have the genealogies, we have Japheth and Japheth had all these people, had all these kids Gomer, Magog, Madai, you know, and what they did is they settled in very different regions, Russia, Indonesia, Asia. They say that the Asians may be part of the Japheth. Asia minor in that area, they spread their own. Another thing you notice is that, the way scripture is written is this. First you notice is that it’s Japheth, you know why? Japheth is like the least important, theologically speaking, of course everyone in the world is important. But Japheth is the least theologically important, then comes Ham, then comes Shem. And so what is God trying to do? What God’s trying to do right now is thus far we’ve been seeing the world, God’s been showing us on a global scale of what’s going on. Adam and Eve the first human and then what we see is Noah and the flood, a global devastation. Now what God is doing is God is looking through a microscope and narrowing things down. What God does is God shows how the nations are being filled. Somehow narrowing everything down and eventually what will happen is we’ll get down to one family. That one family will become a nation; from that nation will have a child. And you notice that when you read through scripture that is the pattern of scripture, that’s the way, it goes. So the way I sectioned these things off is: Number one, we started as one, we started with unity. See we have to realize that we started from one family. This whole world started with one family. But that one family became diverse, became dis-unity. And then what we’ll see is God has a plan for true unity.
See what we don’t understand in this world is we think somehow we started differently, somehow humanity started differently. The thing is when we look at scripture, humanity started as one. Noah and Noah had three sons. We are trying to be so different. We look at each other, we point at each other, and especially in this world, in our world, especially in America, the melting point. We point at each other; we look at each other. Even Sundays, on any given Sunday, it’s the most divided day of the week. The Korean church, the Asian church, there’s the White church, Black church, there’s the Chinese church, there’s all these other churches, I mean which is okay, because they speak their language, so having different tribes, different tongues that’s a good thing. But the thing is what we do is we tend to point at each other and think that we are better than each other. Somehow putting each other somewhat different, pointing at stereotypes and just pointing at each other and thinking that we are better than each other. But what we don’t realize is that theologically we come from one that we come from Noah’s sons. From there we see sons of Japheth, sons of Japheth goes furthest away, and then from there comes the nations of Russia, Indonesia, Asia, and Asia minor and all of that.
YOU CANNOT GO AGAINST GOD’S WORD
After that we have people that are closer, sons of Ham. Nothing is changed; humanity hasn’t changed at all. We read in verse 8 “Cush fathered Nimrod; he was the first on earth to be a mighty man. 9He was a mighty hunter before the Lord. Therefore it is said, ‘Like Nimrod a mighty hunter before the Lord.’” You know that sounds pretty good, “He was a mighty hunter before the Lord.” He was the Gibor of the day; he was a mighty man. But we’ve got to read really into that right now, what does that mean to be a mighty hunter? You know hunting wild game and everything; after all after the flood we could eat meat now. But what does that mean being a mighty hunter before the Lord? He was a mighty man; the mighty man is a good thing. But he was a mighty hunter. The depiction is that Nimrod, remember Nimrod’s grandfather is Ham, and what we know about Ham is that he did not respect his father, Noah. So what would his son be like? He was a mighty hunter. See what that means is, the depiction is that he was not just merely a hunter of animals, but he’s actually a hunter of people. He was a tyrant. He did this in the very sight of the Lord. He would go and terrorize and imperialize and dominate other nations. And he did that before the Lord.
Why would a person like Nimrod do that? Do you remember the curse of Ham? That Ham would be a servant, servant to his brothers. So what Nimrod does is he tries to go against God’s curse, tries to dominate people, but what we realize that later down in history, do the sons of Canaan become servants? Yes. You can’t escape God’s word. No matter how hard you try, you cannot go against God’s word.
GOD GIVES US HOPE
So right now what is Israel doing? As Moses is writing, penning this Genesis, what are they doing right now? What they’re doing is as a nation they are going up to Canaan. Why is he going up to Canaan? Because God wants to show them a promise land. And what God is doing is God is showing how because of generational sin, because of sin and all of that stuff, that God’s word is coming true. You see that people, nations have their own territory, they are somehow afraid of one another and they are kind of attacking one another. But its okay, there’s hope.
You know a lot of time we look at our genealogy, we look at our father, we look at our mother and we somehow think, “I’m doomed, look at me, I don’t have any hope. My father abused me, my father left me, my mom and dad are always fighting. I have a bad genealogy, I have a bad pedigree, I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth” and we somehow think that we are doomed. But the fact of the matter is when I see Israel, when I see sons of Shem there’s hope. Why? Because of what God is doing, we see God is the one when he dispersed the nation, dispersed the people and gave them different languages, there were seventy. That God was in on all of that, that God was orchestrating all of that. And what God is orchestrating is “Yes we are the sons of Japheth, who is theologically least important, whose all the way out there. We’re not even the sons of Ham, we’re not especially the sons of Shem.” But what God does is he shows us that he has a plan because of the fact that he loves all of the nations. God loves the whole world and what God is showing us through this tribe of Shem. Because of Israel there is a plan. Just like when God allowed seventy Israelites to go into Egypt, out of Egypt will come a nation of Israel. God has a plan. What is that plan? God’s plan is eventually to use this tribe, this nation to bring blessings upon the world, to bring hope to for your family, for my family. See what would happen is this that what God would do through this nation; the hope of one child would come, that child being the only Son of God.
CURSE OF HAM, REDEEMED THROUGH CHRIST
But you know what’s interesting is this. We look at Ham’s family, from Ham’s family founded the Canaanites, the Egyptians, people from Sidon, Assyria, Ninevah, all these heinous, evil cities, but does God have hope for them? Yes, in fact when we see the genealogy of Jesus, the one and only child of God. Who is in that genealogy? Number one Rahab, a Canaanite prostitute. Who else is in the genealogy of Jesus? None other than Ruth, who is from Sidon. What God does is God has hope; he gives hope to families, nations, to the world. So does God bring hope to your family? Yes, of course. Is there hope for whatever situations that you are in? Yes. And what God does is this: God sends his one and only Son and what the Bible is doing is bringing us onto a journey. A journey to show that he has the nation, you and I, the whole world in mind. And God brings his one and only Son out of this nation and actually this nation doesn’t even want him, this nation says “I want no part of him, what he should do is he should die.” The Romans didn’t want anything to do with him. The Israelites, his own people, didn’t want anything to do with him, and what he did was he died on the cross.