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The Journal

The Towel of Babel and Cultural Diversity

Dear Friends,

The problem at heart of the tower of Babel is people trying to assert independence from God. In 11:4 the people want to build a tower to reach to the heavens and make a name for themselves. They want to find their identity in their own achievements. It is the sin of the garden of Eden repeated - to be like God and run their own show. This is expressed in v4 come let us build a city. They fear being scattered over the earth. What is the problem with remaining in the one place ? After the flood God had commanded Noah and his family to increase in number and multiply on earth - 9:7. Further in 10:31 (it is not chronological) we are told that Noah’s descendants spread out throughout the earth. Cultural diversity through filling the whole earth is God’s plan for humanity. 

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Hidden Treasures

Dear Friends,

The Parables of the Hidden treasure can be viewed in 2 ways. In the first view the man is going about his normal daily life and stumbles accidentally onto treasure. He wasn’t looking for it. Some people are like that. They are not looking for God and then suddenly they come face to face with God and open their lives. The 2nd parable describes a pearl merchant who knows what he wants and goes for it. He finds a pearly of great value and so the merchant sells everything he has to gain it.  

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God's Eternal Covenant

Dear Friends,

Our God is a covenant making God. That is He takes the initiative and builds a relationship with us based on His Word which is His promise. In Genesis 8 & 9 God promises Noah that He will never destroy the earth again. Then in Genesis 12 and Genesis 15 God promises Abraham that He will grant him land and make his name great and all nations will be blessed through his descendants. This is an unconditional promise which is guaranteed by God’s Word and excitingly we see this Word fulfilled initially in Israel becoming a great nation and being given the land of Canaan. Ultimately this promise is fulfilled in the Lord Jesus whose Gospel of salvation blesses the whole world. At Mount Sinai God promises that they will be a great nation if they obey His commands. This is a conditional promise and we see in the history of Israel that they failed continually. We also have the Davidic covenant with King David in 2 Samuel 7 where God promises to grant that David’s descendants will always sit on the throne. This promise is fulfilled in the New Testament through Jesus who is a descendant of David. Later in Jeremiah 31 and Ezekiel 36 God recognizes Israel’s failure and promises that He will put His law in His people’s heart so they desire to serve Him. This promise points to the Gospel of Jesus and His death for our sin which brings forgiveness of sin and gives us a new heart. Jesus himself affirmed that He himself would inaugurate this new covenant through His blood – Luke 22. Understanding God’s covenant is exciting because we see that God is totally committed to us and blesses us with all He has. We are beneficiaries of His kindness and grace. 

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A Sacrifice for Sin

Dear Friends,

This week we look at Chapters 8 & 9. The flood has come and Noah and his family and the animals are in the ark. The central verse of these chapters is 8:1:- God remembered Noah. Whilst Noah was safe from the flood waters he and his family were still very vulnerable. This can be our experience as we live in a violent and unstable world. We wonder has God forgotten me ? Does God care ? This passage reminds us that the answer to those questions is a big Yes. Further God remembering Noah and us assumes that He makes a movement toward us to help us. He does that with Noah by bringing him safely through the flood waters and He does that with us by sending Jesus. 

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