and did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a preacher of righteousness, with seven others, when He brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly;2 Peter 2:5(NASB)
Following the flood but before the call of Abraham, there is a brief section that gives significant insight into mans' speedy demise into godlessness. It shows how Noah's descendants became scattered across the world and the reason for their distribution. It helps us to understand how the nation states we know today were originally established.
For 120 years Noah had preached righteousness, spoken against the depravity of the day, built an ark of salvation, and warned of the wrath to come. He had called the people of his generation to repent of their wicked ways and be saved on the ark. But other than Noah's wife, his three sons, and their three wives, not one person turned from their sinful rebellion and judgement finally fell. God brought a flood on the world of this ungodly generation... for sin must be punished.
Because of their continuous wickedness, judgement fell on humanity by means of the Noahic flood. Although God's heart is always to bless and restore mankind... man's innate motivation is rooted in selfishness and rebellion against His divine authority. And when man rebels and sins against God - judgement will inevitably fall.
The post-diluvium population did not learn the lesson of the flood, but determined to revolt against God's authority and establish both a one-world government and a unified religion, in opposition to their Creator. "They said, 'Come, let us build for ourselves a city. Let us construct a tower whose top will reach into heaven, and let us make for ourselves a name, otherwise we will be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.'"
Not only did this generation have a unified language, but they determined to establish their independence by breaking free from the God who made them and Who deserved their honour not their disdain. They were motivated to deify the creature rather than the Creator. However, the foolish plans devised by human wisdom are no match for the eternal plan of Almighty God and His omniscient power, and riches, and wisdom, and might, and honour, and glory, and blessing.
Here we read how the collective heart of fallen man was not prepared to fulfil the directive given to Noah and his descendants. God had blessed Noah and his sons when they came out of the ark, and instructed them to, "Be fruitful and to multiply and to fill the earth." However, these people did not want to be 'scattered abroad, over the face of the earth', as God had instructed.
They knew that disobedience would result in God's wrath, but at the behest of Nimrod - a mighty man who defiantly opposed the Lord and resisted His directive - devised a satanic plan to disobey His command. He encouraged the people to remain independent from God by establishing themselves in a valley... in the land of Shinar. Their plan was to remain united as one people. Their scheme was, 'to make a name for themselves', that would resound through history by building 'a tower' that would reach 'into heaven'.
They concluded that by building a city and constructing a great tower that would access the heavenly realm, they could outwit God and circumnavigate His plans and purposes. They believed satanic sorcery and dark occultism would divorce them from God's jurisdiction and enable them to become a self-governing race.
They enjoyed a universal language and set themselves against the Almighty, unaware of the divine intervention that was soon to befall them where their language would be confused, causing this one, great, vast, rebellious community to be segregated into many nations with unfamiliar languages, a divided community, and the destruction of their nefarious plans to become united in opposition to God - under the authority of Satan.
These foolish people concluded that by their actions they would gain divine power and God-like authority. They no doubt presumed that they could once again tap into the evil, angelic realm that rebelled against God, corrupted humanity prior to the flood, and brought it to the brink of destruction. Even though these arrogant people knew about God, they refused to honour Him as God or to give thanks to Him. Instead, they became futile in their speculations and their foolish hearts were darkened - professing to be wise, this post-flood generation became fools.
There are many poignant lessons we can learn from this brief passage on this post diluvium population, including their prideful posture and their hatred of God. The same arrogant attitude and rebellious plan to bring in a one-world government and establish a united, anti-god religion with a Christless theology, still exists today.
However the satanic plans of man can never derail the supernatural plan of God, and will bring the inevitable judgement that befell Nimrod and the foolish people on that plain of Shinar who conspired together and said, "Come, let us build for ourselves a city, and a tower whose top will reach into heaven, and let us make for ourselves a name, otherwise we will be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth."
It is not God's will that any should perish, but that all would come to repentance. God even sent His Son to die on a Cross to pay the price of sin. It was because of God's grace and mercy that Christ died for the ungodly... but the Lord will not always strive with man and the day of grace will soon be over.
May we be willing to tell those who are lost in their sin, that today is the day of salvation for any who place their trust in Christ's finished work on the Cross.
Heavenly Father, thank You for the warning of the dangers of a rebellious spirit that seeks to elevate fallen man rather than our holy and merciful God. Thank You for the witness of Noah in his generation and that by Your goodness and grace we have been redeemed from sin and death by the blood of Christ, which was shed to pay the price for our sin. Keep me from any form of arrogant thinking and develop in me a humility of spirit that glories in the Cross of Christ my Saviour. And Lord, in Your wrath I pray that You would remember mercy and pluck many from the jaws of everlasting separation while it is still 'today'. This I ask in Jesus' name, AMEN.