Sermon Transcript: The Creation of Nations 12/6/2020 Jeff Schwarzentraub 44 min read - Have you ever wondered how we got all the nations that we have? I mean, sometimes we plan for vacation and we plan within the states, but there's other times where we plan and we go outside the United States or we take a mission trip, we go outside the United States and many times when we do that, we're looking at brochures or we're getting online and we're trying to figure out, okay, tell me a little bit about this culture and how do people think in, what language do they speak and what is it gonna be like when we get there and how do we prepare for what it's going to be like? And if you've done any traveling outside of the United States, you know that every culture has some distinctives to it. Everyone's just a little bit different in terms of language and culture and how they view different things than what we do. And so oftentimes when we go on a mission trip, if it's a short-term one, two or three weeks, we often learn more about ourselves than we even do about the culture that we're in. So have you ever wondered how we got all the nations that we have? Have you ever wondered where all the languages came from? In the book of Genesis in the beginning, that's what God puts in. In Genesis chapter 10 and 11, we learn how language and how nations were developed by our God. And that's what we're gonna talk about today, because it's really important for us to understand that as God created all the nations of the world, what he was up to, what he was doing and how he wanted us regardless of where he placed us and where we live, how it is that we can relate to Him. So I wanna encourage you to open your Bible this morning to Genesis chapter 10. And as you're turning there, let me just bring you up to speed on where we've come. We've just had the flood. And in Genesis chapter nine, God makes a covenant with His people. That's a promise that He will never ever destroy the world again by a global flood. That's His promise. He also gives a sign. He hangs His bow or rainbow in the sky as a promise that when we see it and He looks at it, He'll always be reminded that He will never destroy the earth again completely with water in a global flood. We read about His sons, how they were called to populate the earth which was what God's plan was all along. And in Genesis 10, we get to the what's often called the table of nations. Now, before we begin this genealogy, let me tell you this. This is not the first genealogy you'll see in the Bible. We've been through some already. It's not the last one you're gonna see in the Bible, but is distinct in how it's developed, because this genealogy is not vertical. Most genealogies traces back to the beginning or most genealogies bring us down to somebody or someone that we really need to understand. This genealogy is not like that. This genealogy is more horizontal. This genealogy is gonna give us a breadth of how things got stretched out. When we get to Genesis chapter 11, starting in verse 10 when we read about Shem, we're gonna see again, a vertical genealogy that's gonna come all the way down to Abraham who married, Sarai, who became Abraham and Sarah who's the father of the Jewish nation through which the Messiah Jesus Christ came. So we'll see another vertical one. This is horizontal, okay? If you're reading through the book of Genesis, this is usually one that you'll put on in audio Bible and just play it or you'll skim it and you'll be done with it. But I'm wanna let you know something. God puts everything in his word for a reason. In the last couple of weeks I've tried to listen to a different preachers that have preached this and depending on who they are, they've taken different amounts of time to do it. Some have preached this for 50 minutes to an hour and gone through each name individually and where they all were and what they accomplish. And I can be honest with you I was 25 minutes into the message and I'm falling asleep. Now, if you're a linguist and you wanna know how all languages got birth, you're gonna wanna hunker down in Genesis chapter 10. If you're a historian and you love world history, and you wanna know where all the nations come from, you're gonna wanna hunker down in Genesis 10. For most of us that read this, we're gonna read this understanding that God is faithful to who He is and that He's made the nations He said He was going to make and so we get an idea of that. So a lot of what we're gonna do in chapter 10 is gonna be more of a broad view or a flyover. This text was extremely important to Israel because when they had the word of God, they understood then too who were the nations that were blessed and who were the nations that were cursed and they could look right in the word of God. And so as we begin this, let's take a look at Genesis chapter 10. You have full permission to laugh at me for every mispronounced word I am trying my best. It's probably the most difficult passage to pronounce them all, I won't get them all right, but hang with me. Now look at what happens. It says, now these are the records of the genealogies of Shem, Ham, and Japheth the sons of Noah and the sons were born to them after the flood. You remember that last week when we were in Genesis chapter nine, as we saw them come out of the Ark, God, again instructed them to do something that He instructed them from the beginning. In Genesis chapter one, we read that they're called to be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth. That's what God has wanted from the beginning. If you flip back one chapter in Genesis chapter nine and verse one, it says, and God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, this is after they came off the Ark. "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth." God's consistent with his command. In chapter nine in verse seven, he says, "As for you be fruitful and multiply, populate the earth abundantly and multiply in it." Do you see the God has a consistent pattern of what He's trying to tell the world. God wants to see the world full of His glory. Why would he wanna repopulate the earth? Because men and women are the crown of his creation. Men and women are image bearers of God. So when children are born, who are image bearers of God and the earth is filled and the earth is populated, more of God's glory is seen throughout. So what was God's plan from the very beginning? Don't miss this, God's plan from the very beginning is to populate the earth so that His glory can be seen all around this wonderful earth that He created. That's our God, and He's remained consistent. And so now what we're gonna see is we're gonna see Japheth, Ham, and Shem and their descendants. We're gonna see their sons and some of their sons sons, a couple of generations. And what I'll do to go through this, to keep it at a high level, I'll do my best to read the names and then we'll stop and we'll highlight some different parts. But today what I wanna talk about are four things that God's word demonstrates to us when we read through chapters 10 and 11. My hope is to get through Genesis chapter 11 and verse nine. One thing to keep in mind finally, before we start reading this is Genesis 10 is not chronological. In other words, Genesis chapter 11:1-9 really come right after chapter nine. So this is not a chronological chapter. This is not what happened first. You're gonna see that what happened first was Genesis chapter 11 verses one through nine. But what you see is it's theological. God said, "I want everyone in the earth to be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth so that my glory can be on display everywhere." And in Genesis chapter 10, here's one thing that God's word demonstrates. It demonstrates that His plans for his people and His world will always prevail. When God says, this is what I wanna do with you, He's gonna do it. When God says, this is what I'm gonna do in the world, He's gonna do it. It's important for us to understand this individually. It's important for us to understand this collectively. Everything in God's word from Genesis, through the end of revelation, which means even now, everything God has purposed and planned for your life is going to go the way God wants it to go. Everything He's purposed and planned for the entire world is gonna go the way God wants it to go. And Genesis 10 tells us that. So let's dive in and take a look, Genesis 10:2. It says the sons of Japheth. So we're gonna start with Japheth. And what are we gonna learn? The sons of Japheth were Gomer and Magog and Madai and Javan and Tubal and Meshech and Tiras. The sons of Gomer were Ashkenaz and Riphath and Togarmah. The sons of Javan were Elisha and Tarshish. You remember the name Tarshish that's where Jonah fled, Kittim and Dodanim. So from these coast lands, the nations were separated into their lands, everyone according to language, according to their family, according to nations. So what do we see? Through Japheth we have new lands, we have new languages, we have new families, we have new nations. With Japheth we see 14 generations or 14 nations of people that come through him. So here's a couple of noteworthy points that you may want to understand. When it comes to Japheth what he populated through his sons is primarily what you would refer to today as Europe. Some of the settlements would include from Gomer came Ukraine, from Magog, Tubal, and Meshech came Turkey and some of Russia. From Javan came Greece, from Ashkenaz came Southern Russia, from Elisha came Cyprus and from Kittim, the Greek Isles. Now we read about Tarshish and we'll see this in the book of Jonah, 'cause remember he was supposed to go to Nineveh and he fled Tarshish. Many people think Tarshish is modern day Spain. Some believe it's closer to the UK, but it was in that area. So what you have through Japheth's sons, as they spread out with these 14 nations, it's really going to populate most of what you know today as modern day Europe and some around the Mediterranean Sea. Then we get to his youngest son. We get to Ham, verse six. I'm gonna try to read through all of this, hang with me. It says the sons of Ham were Cush and Mizraim, and Phut and Canaan. The sons of Cush were Seba and Havilah and Sabtah and Raamah and Sabteca. And the sons of Raamah were Seba and Dedan. Now Cush became the father of Nimrod. He became a mighty one on the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the Lord. Therefore it is said like Nimrod, a mighty hunter before the Lord. The beginning of his kingdom was Babel and Erech and Akkad and Calah in the land of Shinar. From that land, he went forth into a Syria and built Nineveh, and Rehoboth-Ir, and Calah and Resen between Nineveh and Calah that is the great city. Mizraim became the father of Ludim and Anamim, and Lehabim and Naphtuhim and Pathrusim, and Casluhim from which the Philistim and Caphtorim. I'm taking a breath, all right, we cool. All right, here we are verse 15. Canaan became the father of Sidon his first born and Heth, and the Jebusites and the Amorites, and the Girgashites and Hivites and the Arkites and tghe Sinites and the Arvadites and Zemarites and Hamathites and afterwards families of the Canaanite were spread abroad. The territory of the Canaan extended from Sidon as you go toward Gerar, and as far as Gaza, as you go towards Sodom and Gomorrah you are farmiliar with those names, and Admah and Zeboiim, as far as Lasha. These are the sons of Ham according to their families, according to their languages, by their lands and nations. So what do we have again? We have languages, we have lands, we have nations and we have families. So Ham had 30 different nations that were birthed from him. Here's some points of consideration that are noteworthy. Most of Ham's descendants went South. Much of what you know in Africa today comes out of Ham's line some in the middle East as well. So here's what you have with him. The nations that were settled by Ham include Cush, which we know today as Sudan, possibly Southern Ethiopia, important pay attention to Cush, we're going to talk about that later. Mizraim, which is Egypt, Put, which is Libya, Sheba, which is Yemen, Sidon, which is Lebanon and Palestine, which is Canaan. So the occupied lands of all the Canaanites, the Girgashites, the Hivites, all of that. They occupied Palestine. So now what we see, through Japheth we have most of Europe. Through ham it's going down some of the middle East but now down into Africa. Some other points of reference here, in case you were looking for biblical names for a child, this may not be your favorite chapter, but it says here in verse eight, it said, now Kush became the father of Nimrod. He became a mighty one on the earth. Out of all the names and I'm gonna list, Nimrod's the worst name in here. Okay, don't name your kid, Nimrod. Nimrod by definition means to rebel. Rebellious one, that's what it means. And here's what it says about him. Listen to his testimony. He was a mighty hunter before the Lord. Therefore it is said like Nimrod, a mighty hunter before the Lord. Now we read this and think, well, he hunted animals. That's not really what he hunted, he hunted humans. I mean, he was a killer. He was totally against God in every single way, everywhere that he went. He was completely rebellious towards the Lord. Now it's really interesting what the text says. This is gonna be important for us to know when we get to chapter 11, it says this about, Nimrod. The beginning of his kingdom was Babel. What's the first establishment that Nimrod tries to do? Build the city of Babel bad news. So when we read about Babel and all the people that are gonna create the, you know, this great city with this great tower and all this stuff, who's behind all that stimulating them? Nimrod, what a horrible name. The more I say it, I don't like it, right? So that's who he is. But we need to see that because he nestled in Ham's descendants, hey, here's Nimrod, the rebel. He also went to Assyria and built Nineveh. Nineveh was one of the cities in the old Testament. I mean Assyria Nineveh, all these places were horrible towards the Jews. I mean, so what we're reading about here in chapter 10, for any Jew that would go back and read the Hebrew scriptures, they'd be like, "Yeah, we know that, we're familiar with Nimrod. We know what he did. We were familiar with his nations. We know what's going on there. We know the Canaanites. We know that they're not good. We know that they're cursed." So that's why this is important. So now seen 14 nations from Japheth, we've seen 30 from Ham. Now we're gonna see Shem, verse 21. It says, also the Shem, the father of all children of Eber and the older brother of Japheth children were born. The sons of Shem were Elam and Ashur and Arphaxad and Lud and Aram. The sons of Aram were Uz and Hul and Gether and Meshek. Arphaxad became the father of Shelah, and Shelah the father of Eber. Two sons were born to Eber. The name of the one was Peleg, for in his days the earth was divided and his brother was named Joktan. Joktan became the father of Almodad and Sheleph. Let me say it again. Sheleph, this is hardest one in the text I think. Hazarmaveth and Jerah and Hadoram, and Uzal and Diklah and Obal, and Abimael and Sheba and Ophir, and Havilah and Jobab. All these were sons of Joktan. Another breath, all right. Now their settlement extended from Mesha as you go towards Sephar the hill country of the east. These are the sons of Shemm, according to their families, according to the languages, by their lands and by their nations. So what do we have again? We have families, language lands and nations. These are the families of Noah according to the genealogies by their nations. Out of those nations were separated on the earth after the flood, who did all this? God, because God's plan for his people and for his world always go the way that God wants it to go. Here's some points of distinction with Shem. They settled in regions for Shem, a lot of the Middle East. So Elam is modern day Iran. Ashur is Iraq, Aram is Assyria Jopten is Saudi Arabia. But one thing I wanna point out to you most significantly is this. Notice in verse 21, it says also the Shem, the father of all the children of Eber. The Hebrews that we would now call the Hebrews, all God's descendants come from the line of Shem. The Shemites or as we might say today, the Semites, right? So what we're gonna see when we get to chapter 11 is through Shem and his vertical genealogy. We're gonna come all the way down to Abraham and Sarai or Abraham and Sarah who formed the nation of Israel. So when you hear people talk that they're anti-Semitic, they're against the line of Shem, they're against the people of God, why? Because God created the nation of Israel so that all the nations of the world would be blessed. So as these nations scatter out, God's going to create a nation by his grace to reach them all. So in Genesis chapter 10, there's way more to go over than what we have time for. But it's really interesting because if you do study this and you realize the breadth of it, and Japheth has 14 nations and Ham 30 and Shem 26. That's 70 nations that come out of these three different men. It's the creation of nations. And 70 has significant meaning in the Bible where most of us are familiar with seven being the number of perfection, but 10 represents the completeness of God's law. I mean, this is, God's saying that this is perfect the way I wanted it and it's representative of what I designed it to be. We see the number 70 often throughout the old Testament. I mean, Moses appointed 70 elders in numbers, chapter 11. We know that when the Israelites were taken by the Babylonians, how many years did they stay in captivity? Do you remember? 70 years it was the perfect time for them to fulfill God's law. When we read Jeremiah 29, when He's gonna bring them back and He's got purpose and He's got plans for them declares the Lord. Where's all that come from? The 70 years of captivity and after that, here's what God's gonna do. He says perfect, complete fulfillment of his law. That's what the number 70 stands for. So what's he saying here in Genesis chapter 10, what's he trying to communicate to us. Here's what God's trying to say. "My purpose for my people and for the world went exactly the way that I wanted it to go." Isn't that awesome? I mean, Genesis chapter 10, probably not one you're gonna go home and memorize this week and say, "Man I can't wait to memorize that. I'm going to hunker down." But there is a lot of great information in there and there's more than we ever have time to go over, but I want you to see that every word of God is true and it has a purpose. And what we see here from the text is that God did through those three sons exactly what God wanted to do three through those three sons which was to populate the whole earth and spread out his image, bearers all over the place. Now we get to chapter 11. So Nanoid is God's word demonstrate that His plans for His people and for His world will always prevail. But now we see that his understanding of language and race differs from ours. Notice verse 11. This is really chronological right after chapter nine. It says, now the whole earth used the same language and the same words. Can you imagine that? Everybody spoke the same language. Everybody had the same dialect. Everybody understood each other. There was no place you could go that you could talk to somebody where they didn't understand exactly what you were saying in the same tongue that you were saying it in. That's what the world looked like. So how many languages are there at this time before the spread of all the nations? There's one, but we also need to ask the question if there's one language, how many races were at the time? 'Cause we I really need to understand this. I don't know about you. Have you, had any talk about race in the last I don't know, day? I mean, we need to understand this. How many races were there at that time? And by now, how many races are there now? We'll be better look at the Bible because we better hear what God has to say about this. So go back to Genesis chapter one when he created the world and let's see on day six what He did. It says in Genesis chapter 1:26. Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth." So look what God did. God created man in his own image. In the image of God, he created him, male and female He created them. There's the race. How many races do you read about? One, it's called the human race. There's always been and will always be only one race. So according to the word of God, there's only one race. There's the human race. So no matter where you go, no matter who you see, no matter they look like, no matter where they live geographically, what their cultural convictions are, political convictions are, they're the same race as you 100% of the time. So it begs the question then, right? Where, does skin color come from? Because when we look around the world, we might say, "Well God's colorblind." I'm not, you're not, we look different. So where does it come from? I'm gonna give you two ways that skin color develop. First and foremost is genetic. And the second is geographical, okay? So let's start with genetics, okay? When God creates a life, He takes a healthy life. He takes 23 chromosomes from a woman, 23 chromosomes from a man. When that comes together, it's called a zygote. We would call it life. That's where life begins. When those 46 chromosomes come together embedded in those 46 chromosomes are hundreds of genetic codes that forms what we call our DNA. That makes us who we are. Part of the genetic code that you have in your life determine guess what? Your skin color, okay? So all of us in our skin have what's called melanin. We might call it pigment. There are really a couple of different kinds. There's eumelanin, which is brown to black, okay? I'm gonna make sure I pronounce this one right? And then there is also what is called pheomelanin, which is really red to yellow. And if you looked at genetics and just to break it down real simple, parents have dominant genes and recessive genes that they pass on, okay? When dominance genes come together, both parents had their dominant genes their kids are gonna pretty much be the same skin color. When there's recessive genes in there, the children can have slightly different or very different skin color than one or both of their parents, why? Because of dominant and recessive genes in your genetic code. So in your genetic code if you have a lot of eumelanin in you, you are gonna be a lot darker pigment than I am. If you have a lot of pheomelanin in you, white, I'm sorry, yellow to red, you're gonna look a little bit different that way. And there's all sorts of that that each one of us have. Now think about this for a second. If I hold up a piece of white construction paper and a piece of black construction paper, and I said, "Hey, which one are you?" Chances are you're neither, I'm not white, I'm not black. Some of the darker people in the world, aren't all the way black. And some of the albino people, aren't all the way white. We use that to describe what earth calls race. God only sees one race, it's the human race. And God realizes he gave us genetic code to give us the color of skin that we have on our body. And guess what you can do about it. Not much, 'cause God gave it to you, right? So that's where the color of skin comes from. Now, here's the problem that we have, the world view skin color a whole lot different than God views it. And while we're on this topic, I remember singing a song when I was a kid in church, Jesus loves the little children all the children of the world, red and yellow, black and white they are precious in his sight. Jesus loves the little children in the world. Let me sing that song. And we say, praise God and we love all skin colors. But as a culture, we really don't. As a culture, racism tends to be something that we talk about all the time. So not only do you get skin color from genetics, you also get skin color from geography, okay? The closer you get to the equator, the more eumelanin is produced in your body to protect your skin from harmful UV rays, ultraviolet rays. It's why for those of us that are lighter skin and have less eumelanin in our body, if we go to South Florida or Hawaii for a couple of weeks and we come back home, our friends will say something to us. Hey, you look like you're darker. Yeah, 'cause I was producing more eumelanin to protect the harmful ultraviolet rays. And that's what my body did. If you have very limited eumelanin, like you're on the super light side. If you don't use like SPF 2000, your skin's not gonna turn brown. It will turn red, and it will hurt. Because you don't have it. The closer you get to the equator, the more eumelanin is produced. The further away, the less you need. You see why when the nations break out, the different skin colors could have developed even more over time. The different eumelanin and different contents and all this kind of stuff. So if God sees the world with one race and there's only one race and it doesn't matter what your color of skin is, you're still 1/10 of a percent different than the person that's the different, most different skin color than you, then why do we still deal with it? Because race has always been an issue. It's always been an issue. Once you turn your Bibles to numbers chapter 12, and this is a passage of many people are not even aware of or what actually happened, but I wanna read it to you because Moses's brother Aaron and his sister Miriam had a problem with Moses. And here's what it says. It says, then Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Cushite woman whom he had married for. He had married a Cushite woman. Well, what do we know about Cush? That's Sudan or Southern Ethiopia. What do we know about Moses's wife? She dark skinned. Who's got a problem with it? Family does. What's Moses doing marrying a girl that's got that much eumelanin in her skin? We're uncomfortable with that, we don't like that. What do we have in the Bible in numbers 12. It's called racism. When you look at people that have differences than you specifically different colors of skin and you treat them different, that is racism. There's only one race. And because there's only one race in raw image bearers of God, we're called to give God the glory for everything. And oh, how we like to talk about differences rather than similarities. And just think about it for a second. I mean, if people that don't go to brave church, ask you, "Hey what's your pastor look like?" What's the first thing you're gonna tell 'em? come on. Bald. Is that what you would say, baby? Okay, I'm sure your second answer would be, "It's kinda like if he moved to Hollywood, he'd probably be in a list or is that good looking?" No, we talk about our differences. We talk about what somebody doesn't have. It's who we are in our sinful state. When we see people that are darker than us or lighter than us, we say, "Oh, they're one of those." When we see people that go to different churches, we say, "Oh, they're one of those." And we see people who have different political views, we say, "Oh, they're one of those." There's no one of anything, but skin color, so what happens here? So Miriam's complaining about the skin color of Moses's wife. And then they both started complaining and how come Moses is the prophet all of us are Christians too, we should be able to talk. So God invites all three of 'em as he comes and gives them a visit. And he rebukes them and says, "Listen to me, I called Moses. and not only is he a prophet that I give dreams to, but I speak to him face to face and you need to back off." And when God lifts his cloud from that tent, do you know what happens? Let me read you what happens. But when the cloud he withdrawn, this is chapter 12:10 of the book of numbers. But when the cloud had withdrawn from over the tent behold Miriam was leprous as white as snow and Aaron turned towards Miriam and behold, she was leprous. Miriam complained that Moses his wife was too dark. God's like, you don't like dark skin? I'll give you leprosy. You know how white leprosy is? It's bright white. I'll give you the desires of your heart. I'll give you a leprosy. That way you can carry around whiteness all the time. Aaron sees it as Moses pray for her, that's terrible. Moses prays to God and said, "God help her." He was her healer. But even if her father spit in her face, she'd be unclean for a week or send her outside the camp. So they send her outside the camp and they have to wait a whole week to move on, why? Because God takes racism really, really serious. And God doesn't want us to judge other people by the color of their skin, ever never. Do we understand each other? So I'm gonna walk out on a minefield here a little bit and talk about some things that can blow up. And I wanna tell you, before I do that, I'm doing it as your pastor. I'm not trying to make any political statements. I'm not trying to spark anything, but I know this isn't a motive season that we live in and we need to talk about some of these things. If we don't address them here, where are we gonna address them? Because for us skin color is something that is so unique to how God made us, that we need to embrace whatever skin color we have. I wanna show you a picture that I found this week. It was on the cover of National Geographic and I was doing a little research. And I wanna show you this picture of these sisters that we'll put up on the screen. Do we have that? Okay, you see those two girls there? Now, if you saw them individually, you'd probably say that the one on your left is white and you probably say the one on your right is black. Here's the problem, they're twins. They were born at the exact same time from the exact same parents, what happened? Well, somebody got a little more eumelanin in their content. Somebody got a little more pheomelanin in their content. Somebody's hair looks a little bit different, right? They're sisters. Nobody knows what to do with that. I know what to do with that, there's one race. There's genetics. That's what it looks like. See, here's the problem that we have in our culture, like we'll even talk about numbers, chapter 12, and here's what we'll call it. Oh, there was an interracial marriage. You know, God calls it marriage. You know what that means? My kids are a little lighter on the eumelanin scale. If they choose to marry somebody that's darker on the eumelanin scale, I am 100% fine with that if they know the Lord Jesus Christ. My son can marry a darker woman and my woman can marry darker men. And for one of my daughters she's gonna have to, right? So she, can have any options lighter than her, right? So the point is, skin can make a difference. So I'm gonna share three words with you. These three words are emotionally charged. I don't care what your skin color is, how much eumelanin you have, how much pigment you have. It's gonna cause you to feel a little bit of motive, but I'm just sharing these three words 'cause I think there are three words that we need to talk about. You ready, ready, ready? Black Lives Matter. I'm gonna say it again 'cause I wanna make sure somebody drops something 'cause they're so nervous. Okay, here we go. Black Lives Matter. Okay, so here's what I wanna do first. When we think about that as just a statement. If the statement is, do people that people with more eumelanin in their skin matter, I just wanna ask our counter addition. I'd like you to shout out the answer really loud so that we all know it. Do people who have darker pigmented skin matter to God and should matter to us, do they? - [Congregation] Yes. - Of course they do. Of course they do. So if you asked me do black lives matter and we're talking about individuals or collective groups of people that have darker skin than me, my answer is 100% of the time yes because there's only one race and every single person matters to God. That's my answer. So we need to understand that. And we need to understand that racism is real. For me when I hung out college, I hung out with a lot of people that had a lot of darker skin than me. Some of my favorite people embrace church have a lot darker skin than me. And hanging out with my friends in college you would talk about what it was like growing up. And some of my friends that had more dark pigment in their skin would say, "Hey Jeff, when I was 10 years old or when I was 12 years old or when I was 13 years old, I remember when my dad pulled me aside and he said this." "Be careful when you drive through neighborhoods where people have lighter pigmented skin, because sometimes police officers that have lighter pigmented skin may pull you over with an attempt to arrest you or do something even worse. So if that happens, be polite and don't lose your cool." My dad never had that conversation with me. Is racism real? 100% you bet it is. Have people been treated unjustly because of the color of their skin? 100% they have you bet they have. Is it wrong? 100% of the time, it's wrong. As a Christian, what are we called to do? We're called to fight for justice and to call out injustice every place we see it. That's what we're called to do. So do black lives matter? Here's my answer of course. Well then pastor Jeff, why don't we put a sign on the side of our church? Well, I'm glad you ask. 'Cause I'd like to answer that question too. So when we're talking about individuals or collective groups of people based upon the color of their skin, I'm trying to make the case that everybody's created in the image of God and everybody's valuable and everybody's important. So because of that, we're called to love all people. But sometimes when people ask, do you agree with black lives matter? They're talking about an organization that wouldn't call themselves an organization, but would rather call themselves a movement and do you agree with that? So I have done my research over the last six months. And here's what I found out. To the three founders of the Black Lives Matter movement are Marxist, which is an anti-biblical view of the world. Part of what that believes is they believe in the breakdown of the nuclear family. They don't believe in men and women, a man and a woman being married. They don't believe in husbands and wives raising and nurturing the kids. They're gonna come up with a new definition for how kids should be raised. That's unbiblical and I don't agree with that. They also don't believe in biblical gender the way that Genesis one and all the way through the scriptures point out. So I don't agree with that. They also don't believe in biblical marriage the way the Bible points out so I don't agree with that. They also believe in are for the murdering of kids in utero and that's unbiblical and I don't agree with that. They also don't agree with law and order and would prefer to loot and riot. It's unbiblical and I don't agree with that. So do I believe in black lives matter? Here's my response. I love everybody that's a part of black lives matter because they were created in the image of God and they are worthy of hearing the gospel and we are called to love them. But as an organization or a movement, I fundamentally disagree with everything that they're about because it's unbiblical, which means it's satanic and it's inception. The ideas are satanic in their inception and the results are satanic in what they want to see. So ask me if I believe in black lives matter. I believe that every skin color matters. Ask me if I believe in the organization, I'll tell you, I love the people that are a part of it because Jesus Christ calls me to, but I'm fundamentally against everything they stand for. Here's the problem putting a Black Lives Matter sign on the side of a church. I'm a pastor, I have friends now that are quote, woke. That means that they believe or never knew there was racism before. I'm totally in it. Now every week at church, we're gonna talk about racial injustice that's all we have to offer. Racial injustice is wrong we should fight it. Corporate greed is wrong, we should fight it. Being treated wrong in your home is wrong, we should fight it. Every injustice that you see, we should stand up against 'cause that's what we're called to do as Christians. But the church of Jesus Christ has something that black lives matter and no other organization has. It has Jesus Christ and He shed blood on a cross and His resurrection from the dead. And let me just tell you about this cross of Jesus. In John chapter 3:16, what does it say? It says for God, so loved the world. He love a race, He loved the world. Never thought about what race Jesus is. Now, where I grew up, we went to church, we'd have pictures of Jesus on the wall on our small churches. He looked kinda like me. Sometimes he had even lighter skin with blonde hair and blue eyes. Let me tell you something. Jesus was in His Jews. He's middle Eastern. If on the day He comes back, you're looking for a white Jesus, you may miss him. And here's what the Bible says. The Bible doesn't say what color skin He has. 'Cause it doesn't matter, 'cause there's only one race. That's why Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5, "We no longer judge anyone according to the flesh." 'Cause it doesn't matter. When I walk past friends what they wanna do is they wanna get up and start apologizing for everything they've ever been in and everything that they are. So I need to make this statement so that you can hear me say it loud and clear, and I'm gonna say it for you as well, okay? I don't think you ever should and I never will apologize for the color of my skin or any blessing that I've ever received. And let me tell you why. 'Cause God gave me my skin coat and there's not much I can do about it. And every good and perfect gift comes from the Lord himself. So me apologizing for who I am and something I can't change is not right. For me, apologizing for ways where I've had racial tendencies in my upbringing or in my misunderstanding or whatever that I can repent of that I can change. And we all can change that because God wants His church to be reflective of the kingdom, which means people from every tribe, tongue, and nation. And when we get to Revelation seven, after we see the rapture where there's too many people to count, what do we see? People from every tribe, people from every tongue, people from every nation. So we see all the languages, all the cultural differences, they're all coming together in their own language, and what are they doing? They're worshiping the Lord and guess what? We all understand it. It is interesting in Acts chapter two, when the Holy spirit descends upon a group of people, what do they start doing? They start speaking in their own language and guess what? Everybody understands what they're saying. When I got back from visiting Louise Peralta in Mexico, I got Rosetta stone. I'm like way better at Spanish now than I was. 'Cause I was sitting in prayer meetings the whole time and I would hear them say stuff. And I got to the place. I can understand every third word. I'm like next time I wanna understand every other word when I go down. I wanna pray in Spanish, I wanna be part of that, right? Cultural differences are okay. Political differences, okay. How you view the world differently than me, totally okay. Ethnicities, okay. You like different foods than me, okay. That's all, okay. You have a different skin color than me, that's okay. Even people would say we're all, we're both white. I mean, you'd put our arm up here. You guys don't look like the same. We're both black. You don't look like the same color, right? Making distinction based upon skin color and treating people different is wrong 100% of the time. See we have the cross of Jesus Christ and we realized that because he broke down the wall of hostility and He in His one man in Ephesians two took both groups, the Jews and the Gentiles and brought them together and gave them peace. How did He do that at the cross? That's why for me, we won't put a Black Lives Matter on the side of our church because we have way more to offer than that. We have the Lord Jesus Christ to offer anybody that walks through that door and we care more about color of skin. We care about every single life that matters. While we're on the topic, I need to step on one more minefield. If the Bible makes it clear that there's only one race and if there really is only one race and if God makes it clear we are to treat everybody with dignity and respect 'cause we're all image bearers of the Lord Jesus Christ and where in the heck is racism coming from? Where's it coming from like, why do we have it? It comes from sinful man's heart. And we've already seen it in God's word, but it's actually been expediated or promoted by people in our culture. I'm gonna give you the name of one person. that's done a phenomenal job of promoting racism on an introduction to somebody here's what his name is. His name is Charles Darwin. Let me tell you about him. I was reading an article about him this week entitled, "The Dark Side of Darwinism" by a guy named Austin Anderson, this was written in 2016, and here's what he says. "Although best known for origin of the species, Darwin does not address human evolution and race until his book in 1871 called "The Descent of Man" in which Darwin applies his theories of natural selection to humans and introduces the idea of sexual selection. Here his white supremacy is revealed. Now listen to this, over the course of the book, Darwin describes Australians, Mongolians, Africans, Indians, South Americans, Polynesians, and even Eskimos. You know what the word he uses to describe this? Savages, I'm gonna say it again 'cause it's shocking, savages. He goes on to say it becomes clear that he considers every population that is not white and European to be savage. The word savage is disdainful and Darwin constantly elevates white European above savages. Listen to what he says. Darwin explains in his book that the highest races and the lowest savages differ in moral disposition and intellect. What is he saying? White people are more moral and smarter than people of darker skin. Who said that? Charles Darwin, would you let that guy come teach in your school? We do it every single day at every public university, every high school and every grade school. And as I've mentioned to you before, you have every right to send your kid wherever you want and some of you are called to public school to be a light to the school and by all means, you do that. But you need to be aware of what's being taught. You need to understand what is being, your kids are being educated by. Because the one person they won't let stand up is Jesus Christ saying, "There's only one race. There's only one race. We're all one race and at the cross of Jesus, you can come and have life." They're not teaching that. Let me continue. The idea that white people are more intelligent and moral persists throughout. At one point, Darwin says that savages have low morality, insufficient powers of reasoning and weak power of self command. That's what he says about nonwhite people. Listen to this final statement. Modern evolutionary scholars and teachers tend to ignore or admit that component of Darwin's theories but it hasn't gone completely unnoticed. As a matter of fact, if you study Adolf Hitler, you can attribute a lot of his theories for exterminating 6 million Jews right back to Charles Darwin and his theory of natural selection on race. I'm just being truthful here. I'm just saying, we need to be aware of this here. Most people if you were just to pull them on the street and ask them how many races there are, they would start thinking of all the nations in the world. They will start thinking about the 6500 languages there are. They'll start thinking about the near 200 countries that there are. And they would probably try to tell you, "I don't know, there's hundreds of races." No, there's one. It's called the human race. Jesus Christ established it, Jesus Christ is for us and there is no distinction between Jew or Greek, male or female for, we are all one in Christ Jesus, Amen. That's the word of the Lord. So what happens here? I mean, God's word that His plans for His people and His world always prevail. He demonstrates His understanding of language and race is different than ours. Thank you for being attentive as we shared that. But what else does he say? God's word demonstrates that his image-bearers prefer to expand their own greatness rather than his glory. Notice what happens. In chapter 11 of Genesis verse two, it says, it came about as they journeyed east that they found a plain in the land of Shinar settled there. Now notice this God said, "Spread out." What are they gonna do? We're gonna settle. God says, "By faith, go." They're like, "Nah, we're gonna stay here." Verse three, they said to one another, "Come let us make bricks and burn them thoroughly." And they use brick for stone and they use tar for mortar. One of the things you need to understand is God has just made a covenant with the world that he would never, ever flood it again. This tar that they're using for mortar is the same tar that Moses and his mother is gonna put in his basket to keep it from sinking when she sends him down the river. What are these people thinking? We're gonna build something and we're gonna protect ourselves from water too in case God changes His mind. That's what's going on in their heart. Now, why are they thinking that God might come after them? Here's why, because verse four is gonna show you the heart of man and how they're gonna go against everything God wants them to do. They said, this is Nimrod's people. Nimrod's the leader of all this. They said, "Come let us build a 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." What are they saying? We're gonna build an awesome place to live. We're even gonna build a tower that's protected from God so we can worship whoever we want whenever we want. And let me tell you about this building rebellion and our religion, it's so awesome, it's gonna go all the way up in the heavens. Everybody everywhere is gonna see how awesome our man-made religion is. And then let's do this. We wanna build a name for ourselves. We wanna build our reputation. We wanna expand who we are. Now can you believe all the way back in Genesis 11 people thought like that? That people wanted to live where they wanted to live, worship, how they wanted to worship and make their name great? Where would you find people like that? I mean, just raise your hand if you've ever met anybody in your life, if you've ever met anybody in your life that wants to live for themselves, that wants to worship how they wanna worship and wants to elevate themselves above everybody else? No, raise your hand if you've ever met anybody like that. We all have. I mean the older I get, right? Like I was given a shirt for my birthday. I turn 50 this Tuesday, I was given a shirt. I thought it was too supercharged to wear I said old lives matter, right? But I lost my total train of thought now. But think about this. We're the same way, right? In the heart of hearts that we have left in our sinful condition, what do we wanna do? I wanna live where I want. I wanna worship how I want, in the way that I want, worship who I want, and guess what? I wanna make my name great. You're gonna meet somebody that all they wanna do is tell you how awesome they are. I mean, because I'm about 50 I mean, there's things that have started to come out of me that used to be able to be repressed. Like there's, so what? Like what do you wanna do you wanna hug? High five, you want me to tell you you're awesome. I mean, are you cause pride and insecurity go hand in glove. Why do we have to talk about ourselves? Why do we have talk about our accomplishments? Why do we have to talk about how great we are? Why we have to talk about we have this and we have that and we're doing this and we're doing that? Because we're so prideful and we don't seek God and we wanna live where we wanna live. We wanna do what we wanna do. We wanna worship how we want to worship and we wanna make sure in the process, we get elevated. Otherwise God's gonna make us do what he wants to do. And I don't wanna do what God wants, I wanna do what I want, all right? And all throughout the scriptures, you see that God created us with one race. All of you, all of you if you trace your ancestry back are all sons and daughters of Adam. If you trace your ancestry back, all of you are sons and daughters of Noah and his wife, every single one of you, right? Because Acts chapter 17:26 says God from one man created all the nations of the world and he put you in the habitation that you're in, in hopes that you might do what? Seek God, why do you live where you live? It doesn't mean that you can't move 'cause even when you move, God was going before you to move you. Why are you where you're at? 'Cause God wants you to seek Him. God wants you to know Him, God wants you to love Him. What's the heart of these people here. The heart of these people here is like, we may be image bearers. We don't wanna do what he wants. We wanna build comfort for ourselves. We wanna worship the way we wanna worship We're trying to protect ourselves from that God in the heavens, it may not want us to worship that way, but we're here to elevate ourselves and make make us look great. 'Cause heaven forbid we have to do what He wants and scattered throughout the whole world. God's people are rebellious towards Him, but here's the final point. Even when we're like that, even though we're sinners and we still wanna leave a name for ourselves and we still want to leave a legacy and we wanna do things God's way. I mean, for so many of us, we're trying to leave a legacy. I want to be remembered. Let me help you. When your funeral ends or your memorial service is over and people are done eating hammer fried chicken, they're probably not gonna think about you much ever again, unless they're your direct family. No matter how much stuff you accomplish and oh, by the way, even if they do, you're not gonna care 'cause you won't be here. The only thing that matters is how well did you live for the Lord because that's the only legacy that matters. So we have, amen. So here's the final point that God's word demonstrates that his grace extends even to people who are completely rebellious. Don't you love that? That God's grace extends even to people who are completely rebellious. Now here's why I'm saying that. If you take notes, you know, the last week's last point was that God provides grace for sinful behavior. It's almost the same point. Why make the same point? Here's why, because it's biblical and because there's so many people that read the word of God and say something like this, I love the new Testament. That God is so awesome, so graceful. Ephesians 2:8-9, grace, grace, grace. But the old Testament, God is so mean. Floods, punishment, killing people, oh. All you see throughout the old Testament is the grace of God. Because He's the same God and He's giving grace to people who are rebellious even if you've run away from God. And even if you're basically giving God the spiritual finger, God's still coming after you with his grace, because that's who He is. So I love this text 'cause notice what he says in verse five. We're giving anthropomorphic language to God. We're giving human qualities to God that doesn't have human qualities much like when we say, God upholds me with His righteous right hand. He doesn't have a right hand, He's spirit. But we say things like that so we'll know the right hand is the place of power and that he's strengthening us. We see a lot of anthropomorphic language here. Now listen to what they just said. We're gonna build a tower to the heavens. What are you guys doing? It's the biggest worship center in the world. It's gonna go all the way to have. I mean, God's gonna be able to see this. Here's what God says in verse five. The Lord came down to see the city and the tower which the son of man had built. Do you see the irony there? We're building all the way up into the heavens. God's like I better come down and take a look. Your greatest accomplishments here mean nothing compared to the glory God, that's the point. God was everywhere, He didn't literally come down. He was with them, He could see them. The point of the text is that you think you're doing all these great things. And God's like, "Oh me, come down and take a look at that. What are you, what are you doing?" That's the point So the Lord said, "Behold there are one people and they all have the same language. And this is what they have begun to do. And now nothing which they purpose to do will be impossible for them. Now at first glance, you may read that tax and say, man, God's getting scared of human beings 'cause God's scared that because they all speak the same language and they're living for themselves that maybe they'll overtake God. Maybe nothing will be impossible for them. That's not what he's saying. God is not scared of people any more than I'm scared of my children. When my children misbehave, I'm not scared of them. They're younger than me and they're smaller than me. And I'm still the authority I'm not scared of them, but I do get scared for them. And when they misbehave and I think whether it's my daughters or my son, and I think that behavior, if that continues one day with your spouse, that's really bad. That behavior continues one day with your boss that's really bad. If that continues and you have employees one day, that's really bad. I'm scared for you. 'Cause if you continue to act like this and you go down that road, it's gonna be really bad for you. Here's what God's saying. If humanity lives completely for themselves, with one language, they're gonna destroy themselves. And so what's God gonna do, He's gonna give grace. That's what I love about God. I mean God just got done destroying the world by a flood. He gave a covenant and a sign of the covenant. I could never be God, not only don't I qualify for not being eternal and all knowing and all powerful and every other quality that He has, but my sinful heart wouldn't respond the same way God did and be like, well, I made him a promise. I won't flood them. I'm gonna get a huge magnifying glass and hold it over them right by the sun and just burn 'em. And when they start apologizing, then we'll stop there. I mean, God is so gracious. He's so loving, He's so kind. So in verse 70, we see the language again, let us go down. I mean, you see the Trinity saying, "Okay, let's descend to what they think is so big. And they're confused their language so that they will not understand each other speech. So here's God's solution. I gotta get them to spread out. What's the best way to do it? I'm just gonna change their language. Can you imagine, "Hey, go get me some wood, hey, go get me. Hey, what what'd you say? I don't understand you anymore, I don't understand you." Okay, we understand each other, we're going there. We understand each other, we're going there. We understand each other, we're going there. What's God saying? My plan is gonna prevail. I'm gonna do what I'm going to do. I'm gonna send you all over the world 'cause that's always been my plan. Verse eight, so the Lord scattered them abroad from there over the face of the whole earth and they stopped building the city. It's over, it's hard enough to accomplish anything when you're on the same page. But when you can't even understand each other, it makes it really difficult. And this is what God did, why? Because God wanted things to stretch out over the whole world. Now the beauty of this is this and hear this. Cause regardless of the color of your skin or our cultural distinctions or the way that we view politics or the way that we view education, all those things are the way that God created us and we're entitled to our convictions and opinions. But when we get to heaven, we see people from every tribe, tongue and nation speaking their own language and we get to understand it and we know that we're all there. not because of who we are, but because of how great our God is, who laid down his life for us, that's gonna be a beautiful scene and we can't wait. But keep this in mind as you're thinking about this text, because here's what you have in the Bible. You have all the way back in the beginning, a group of people that wanna get together without God, form a place to live, form a way of worship and make themselves great. When we started studying the book of Revelation, you're gonna see that on full display because one day, instead of Nimrod, who is a prototype of the antichrist, you're gonna see one day that we will have an antichrist and what's he going to do? He's gonna tell people you live wherever you want. Here's who you're gonna worship me and you're gonna make yourselves look great. And it's gonna be the most devastating time on all of planet earth. God's gracious, he spreads them all out. Therefore verse nine, its name was called Babel because the Lord confused the language of the whole earth. And from there, the Lord scattered them abroad over the face of the whole earth, which gives us chapter 10 that we read at the beginning. Here's where they all went. Did God get His purpose? Yes, does God understand race and language different than us? Yes, does God prefer his image bearers to glorify Him rather than themselves? Yes, but does God give grace to even those who are rebellious? Oh, he does. He does, He did to the people in Genesis and He does to us today. I mean, for those of us who are here, who would say, "I know I've been rebelling, I know I'm not a Christian, I know of Jesus Christ returned today. I don't have a relationship with Him. I know I've been living completely for me. I've been telling God I can live sexually a moral stat of my business. I can do what I want. Stay out of my business. I can be greedy, I can be covetous, stay out of my business. But today I realized that I need Christ." And when you recognize that you need Christ, you can turn from yourself. You can turn to Christ and give Him your life and He'll give you His. And there's complete grace for you to be everything that God wants you to be. And who you are in Him is more important than who you are as an individual. See Jesus came to die for sinners. It's a true statement. And all of us fall into that category of sinners. That's why he came. For God so loved the, tell me, - [Congregation] World. - [Preacher] World. Every single one of us, regardless of your skin color, regardless of your language, regardless of where you live. And he came so that you would have life in His name and have it to the full, amen. Would you stand with me as we pray. Father, we give you glory, we give you honor, we give you praise for who you are. We love you, Lord. Lord, we thank you for your word. If you're here today and you've never trusted Jesus Christ through repentance and faith, you can have relationship with Him. He's calling you to Himself. Repentance simply means that you know that the way you're going is wrong and God is calling you to Him and so you're gonna turn your life to Him. And you're going to say, Jesus, I know I'm a sinner, but I believe you died on the cross for all my sin and that you rose from the grave, come into my life and be my Lord and savior. Wash me clean, make me new. And Lord for those of us that are believers, Lord, there are things that you showed us in our hearts so that we need to repent of, or that we need to stand up for. That we need to be people that stand up for justice and fight injustice at every single level. And we also need to be people who are thankful for the exact way that you made us and show what it looks like to have Jesus on the inside of us. Lord glorify yourself because you're the one who's worthy of it all we give you all the glory. We give you all the honor. We give you all the praise. Use your word today to stimulate us to walk by faith, into things of you in Jesus name, amen.