Past Shadows: Present Realities #1
Genesis 9:1; 10:8-10; 11:1-9
April 18, 2021
The first time in my life I remember my parents coming to the realization that I had more than a couple screws loose happened before I turned 10. I was playing football in the yard against myself and I was about to win the National Championship. Unfortunately, though, I came up a little short on the last drive and failed to convert it into any points. The reason I did centered on something I hadn't noticed previously.
I ran to the right only to find a shadow matching my blazing speed stride for stride. So ran to the left and saw the exact same dark shadow running with me step for step. Even when my parents told me a shadow was just a projection of me, it did not change the fact that I was terrified of a shadow that never seemed to leave me no matter which direction I ran.
I’ve sense learned in my life that the shadow dance I performed that day at Derrick West Memorial Stadium isn’t just the stuff of childhood. We can ignore our shadows and even deny them. But it doesn’t change the fact that they project our world behind them.
The Bible has a lot to tell us about shadows. The Apostle Paul even goes so far as to tell us that the surest way to understand what God will do in the future is to study what he has done in the past. Jesus died and rose again on the third day. Therefore, we will one day rise with him. For all his works are “but shadows of the things to come.”
Unfortunately for us, though, there is an ancient adversary that imitates the work of God. Wherever you find the Prophet, Priest and King at work in the world, you will equally find The Beast, The Dragon and the False Prophet emulating it. Wherever you see the The Son, the Spirit, and His Bride living in Resurrection power, you will also see Babylon, Egypt and Rome Rising to thwart provident plans and steal that glory. It’s happening now. Today, I want to share with you how the Shadows of Babylon manifests itself in our world because I do not want you to be deceived or influenced by a false representation.
The Shadows of Babylon
(1) How It Manifests (Gen 9:1; 10:8-10)
Babylon manifests itself through charismatic leaders skilled in unifying the masses to rebel against what God has spoken.
God Had A Plan After the Food (Gen 9:1) –
“Then God blessed Noah and his sons, saying to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth.’”
Satan Had A Plan Too (Gen 10:8-10) –
“Cush was the father of Nimrod, who became a mighty warrior on the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the Lord; that is why it is said, ‘Like Nimrod, a mighty hunter before the Lord.’ The first centers of his kingdom were Babylon, Uruk, Akkad and Kalneh, in Shinar.”
The Threefold Nature of God’s Plan –
(1) Be fruitful;
(3) Fill the Earth
The Threefold Nature of Satan’s Plan –
(1) Nimrod means “rebel;”
(2) Babel means “to confuse;”
(3) Babylon means to “to live in a state of confusion.
Example from Nebuchadnezzar:
(1) Rebellion – “Look at the Babylon I created”
(2) To Babel – Has a dream of a statue that leaves him thoroughly confused;
(3) To Babylon – Ends his life eating wild grass in a state of confusion;
(4) Only Daniel and his friends have any clarity.
How This Battle Rages Today:
(1) Spirit of God - Male and Female in the Image of God;
(2) Spirit of Babylon – Rebel against creation by choosing your own gender; leads to confusion.
What Will Inevitably Happen to Those Influenced by Babylon –
(1) God judged the builders of the Tower of Babel by scattering them and confusing them;
(2) He will judge the masses the exact same way they operate.
(2) How It's Set In Motion (Gen 11:1-3).
The rise of Babylon came via technological advancement.
Rebellion of the Masses Against What God Has Spoken (Gen 11:1-2)
“Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. As people moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there.”
Idea in the Text:
God told them after the flood to multiply and scatter; now they find a plain and settle.
Rebellion That’s Emboldened By Achievement (Gen 11:3)
“They said to each other, ‘Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.’ They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar.”
Idea In the Text:
(1) Brick making was a step up from gathering stones to build a structure;
(2) Same thing with tar. It was an upgrade from mud. Made from wood sap and then, eventually, coal and petroleum; both of which are plentiful in Iraq (i.e., Babylon)
As their technology advanced, did their opportunity to shake their fist at God and construct a paradise without him.
In Our Day:
Technology has given rise to non-elected officials that have taken it upon themselves to be the gatekeepers of the public square and conversation not only in America, but in the whole world. That’s the Tower of Babel; the Spirit of Babylon.
(3) What the Mission Is (Gen 11:4)
Nimrod led the masses to rebel against God by constructing the Tower of Babel because they wanted to create a heaven on earth without God in it. That's what the Bible calls "hell."
The Proof (Gen 11:4):
“Then they said, ‘Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the whole face of the earth.’”
Ideas In the Text:
(1) Let’s do this or we will be scattered is outright rebellion now because God told them to scatter;
(2) It is an effort to build an abode in the heavens without the presence of the maker of the heavens.
Synonyms for the Heaven in the Bible:
(1) Dwelling place of God;
(2) Abode of God;
(4) Presence of God
A heaven without God isn’t heaven at all. It’s hell. Literally.
(4) How It Masks Itself (Gen 11:4, 8-9)
It masks itself by virtue signaling and appealing to our moral compass.
Come, Let Us Build (Gen 11:4a):
“Come let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches the heavens.”
What We Assume:
They wanted to build a skyscraper so tall that it will reach heaven itself
What’s Actually Going On:
(1) An Appeal – “Come”
(2) To Virtue – “a tower that reaches the heavens”
Build a tower to the heavens for the betterment of mankind becomes exactly the opposite of what it was meant to represent.
It Never Ends Well (Gen 11:8-9) –
“So the Lord scattered them from there all over the earth, and they stopped building the city. That is why it was called Babel-because there the Lord confused the language of the whole world. From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the earth”
God shares his glory with no one. He accomplished what he commanded Noah in his judgment. He will do the same in our world.