Tyranny: Part 1 by Abidan Shah, PhD

TYRANNY – 1 by Dr. Shah, Clearview Church, Henderson, NC

Introduction: Back in the early to mid 90s, there was a cartoon series called Animaniacs. It was like a variety show with short skits, and one of them was “Pinky and the Brain.”  They were genetically enhanced lab mice. Pinky was very nice but half-witted, but Brain was very intelligent and always scheming to take over the world. The reoccurring line in the show was when Pinky would ask, “Gee Brain, what are we gonna do tonight?” and Brain would reply, “The same thing we do every night, try to take over the world!” We may laugh about it, but there’s more truth in it than we realize. As we return to our series on apologetics, we come across a very important marker in the history of our world – The Tower of Babel. This is the point from which cultures, languages, and civilizations began. There’s so much that we can explore here, and we will, but, for now, I want to focus on a very important and applicable lesson from the Tower of Babel, especially considering a very critical election going on in America. Main point: The history of the world proves that in every period there arises someone who wants to create a global government to gain ultimate power. America was created with the vision of separating this grip of power. In fact, it’s only through God’s providence that our nation was founded, and we need his help to keep it that way. Crisis is a tool to reconcentrate power, and if were not careful, we will return to where we came from.

Genesis 11        5 But the LORD came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built. 6 And the LORD said, “Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them. 7 Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.” 

Context: Last time when we were in Genesis, we learned how God pronounced his blessing on Noah and his sons and commanded them in Genesis 9:1 to “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.” Then, in Genesis 10, we read the genealogy of Noah’s sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth. There is a pattern in the listing (Sarfati): “First, the sons are listed. Second, some of the grandsons are given, to explain the expansion of the nations. Third, the account ends with the settling of the clans into their nations and languages.” Not today, but later, we will look carefully at whether we can identify who these nations are now and maybe even what role they will play in the end times. By the way, these are not some mythical people like Tolkien’s middle earth races like elves, hobbits, dwarves, orcs, etc. The writer of 1 Chronicles under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit lists them again as real people and real nations. We will come to all that later. 

For today’s message, I want us to go to Genesis 11Here we find the reason for why they became different nations and languages and how that applies today. Let’s back up to verse 1“Now the whole earth had one language and one speech.” The word for language is “saphah,” which literally means “lip” in Hebrew. 2 “And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east…” Keep in mind that the ark had rested on the mountains of Ararat, somewhere to the northeast. This was probably about a hundred years after the flood since it was closer to the time that “Peleg” was born, fourth generation. If the Flood was somewhere about 2350BC, then this move was somewhere about 2250BC. “that they found a plain in the land of Shinar, and they dwelt there.” The word “Shinar” “possibly” comes from two words – shani” (two) and “ar” (from nahar – river). In other words, the land of two rivers. This would be the Tigris and the Euphrates. Yes, these are the names of the two of the four rivers that flowed out of the Garden of Eden. Albeit the terrain had radically changed after the flood, but the two rivers were still flowing near the same area as the now lost forever Garden of Eden. How would they know now? Don’t underestimate these people. They knew how to locate themselves by studying the location of the stars. Where would this be today? Modern day Iraq.

What was their objective? 3 Then they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They had brick for stone, and they had asphalt for mortar. Since this part of the world lacks good stone for building, they were going to use clay for baking bricks. By the way, this will not be some temporary project. The phrase is “nisrphah lisrephah,” which means “let us burn to a burning.” If that’s not enough, they will add “asphalt for mortar.” “Chamar” is bitumen or tarmac. We use as a binder on roads and airport runways. The point is that they were about to make something that no amount of flood or any judgment from heaven could ever destroy! They didn’t trust God’s promise in Genesis 9:11 “Thus I establish My covenant with you: Never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood; never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.”

Application: Are you afraid of what people are saying how the world will end? Yes, I’m fine with taking care of the planet, but the Bible tells us how the world will end, and it will not be the way they are saying.

4 And they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens…” The main focus was a tower, a ziggurat, a step pyramid that would reach into the clouds. In modern day Iraq, massive platforms have been excavated with possible suggestions of the site of the original tower. By the way, the image behind the title slide is the “Tower of Babel Stele” with Nebuchadnezzar in THE SCHÆYEN COLLECTIONBut why build a tower that will be all the way into the clouds? Bodie Hodge asks if it was to protect themselves from another flood, idolatry, fame, astronomy, sacrifice, or burial? Listen to verse 4 again, “let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.” It was to accomplish a super feat and to keep themselves together.

What was God’s response? Genesis 11        5 But the LORD came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built. 6 And the LORD said, “Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them.” This could be read as “Now, no sin will be withheld from them.” 7 “Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.” 8 So the LORD scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they ceased building the city. 9 Therefore its name is called Babel, because there the LORD confused the language of all the earth; and from there the LORD scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth. It almost seems as if God was against harmony, cooperation, and solidarity. To the contrary, God scattered them to save humanity from itself. Back up to Genesis 10        8 Cush begot Nimrod; he began to be a mighty one on the earth. 9 He was a mighty hunter before the LORD; therefore it is said, “Like Nimrod the mighty hunter before the LORD.” Nimrod = marad (Hebrew) which means to rebel. In essence, his name meant “let’s do as we please” or the “rebellious one before the Lord.” Early historical documents tell us that Nimrod was like the first Antichrist. He was a dictator. He tried to turn people away from God and to follow him. He was a hunter – not of animals but of men. 10 And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, Erech, Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar. 11 From that land he went to Assyria and built Nineveh, Rehoboth Ir, Calah, 12 and Resen between Nineveh and Calah (that is the principal city).

Every period in history had Nimrods, even our period. Their desire is to concentrate power and rule the world. Bill Federer in his 2-volume work divides the history of the world with regards to power in 3 parts: Concentrated Power, Separated Power, and Power Concentrated. Look back in history and you will see concentrated power in the great kings of Mesopotamia – Gilgamesh, Akkadian Empire – Sargon, Egypt – Djoser (with Joseph’s help), Yin Dynasty China – Wu Ding (1250BC), Neo-Assyrian – Tiglath Pileser III, Neo-Babylonian empire – Nebuchadnezzar, Persian empire – Cyrus, Greek empire – Alexander the Great, Indian empire – Chandragupta Maurya (with adviser Chanakya), Roman republic – Julius Caesar, Jewish people – Herod the King, Roman empire – Caesar Augustus, Coming of Islam – Umayyad Caliphate, Closer to our period – Lenin (Soviet Russia), Mussolini (Italian Fascist), Stalin (USSR), Hitler (Nazi Germany), the list is almost endless with Castro, Saddam Hussein, Iranian Ayatollahs, Putin, etc.

America’s founding fathers tried to divide power into three branches: Executive, Legislative, and Judiciary. Then, they subjected it to a Constitution and Ten Amendments. Then, they gave that power to the people to elect those who would represent them well. The goal was so all can have life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. 

Crisis has a way of grabbing power away from the people. That’s what’s happening in America and the world.

There’s only one true ruler who will never disappoint us. He is King Jesus.

Isaiah 9.       6 For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it and establish it with judgment and justice From that time forward, even forever.

Daniel 7        13 “I was watching in the night visions, And behold, One like the Son of Man, Coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, And they brought Him near before Him. 14  Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, That all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, Which shall not pass away, And His kingdom the one Which shall not be destroyed.”

Jeremiah 23        1 “Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of My pasture!” says the LORD…4 I will set up shepherds over them who will feed them; and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, nor shall they be lacking,” says the LORD. 5 “Behold, the days are coming,” says the LORD, “That I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness; A King shall reign and prosper, And execute judgment and righteousness in the earth. 6 In His days Judah will be saved, And Israel will dwell safely; Now this is His name by which He will be called: THE Lord OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.

1 Timothy 6        13 “I urge you in the sight of God who gives life to all things, and before Christ Jesus who witnessed the good confession before Pontius Pilate…” Let’s go to this passage for a moment in John 18:35   Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered You to me. What have You done?” 36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.” 37 Pilate therefore said to Him, “Are You a king then?” Jesus answered, “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” Let’s pick it up again in 1 Timothy 6      14 that you keep this commandment without spot, blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ’s appearing, 15 which He will manifest in His own time, He who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16 who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honor and everlasting power. Amen.

Revelation 17:14 “These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful.”

Revelation 19        11 Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. 12His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. 13 He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. 15 Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16 And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.

Invitation: Can you see what is happening in our world and especially in our nation? Are you praying for our nation? Do you know King Jesus? Are you saved?

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