One of the most important lessons for understanding the Bible is to look at the context of the passage. After Genesis chapter 9 and the story of Noah and the ark we have a list of the table of nations which is the account of Noah’s sons who spread out across the world. Then in chapter 11 we have the epic fail of the tower of Babel where people tried to build an identity without God. After 11:9 there is no general list of nations. From 11:10 to 32 there is a genealogical list but this is focused on the line of Seth and speciﬁcally how it leads to Abraham.
There is in eﬀect no hope for the human race when the people left to themselves are trying to get themselves out of a problem. This is Biblical silence ! At the end of 11:9 people have come to the end of their resources and God has scattered them.
But there is hope because God intervenes again and calls one man, Abram (later Abraham) to leave his family and go to the land which God will show him. It is all about grace. God is making a covenant with Abraham. It is an unconditional covenant or agreement based on what God will achieve. God takes total responsibility for this covenant being fulﬁlled. There is no sense of conditions i.e. Abrams if you do this then I will bless the world. God says this is what is going to happen. Of course Abraham has free will and we see him fail at diﬀerent points but this doesn’t stop God’s plan being achieved. This truth of God’s ability to ensure that His plans come to fruition is a very comforting doctrine. God’s plan for this world and even for your life is not dependant on you. God promises to bless the world and this will happen through Jesus, who is a descendant of Abram. Grace is the language of the Bible. We have to understand that God loves us and wants a relationship with us but His plans are not dependent on us. The incredible greatness of God is that He involves us in HIs plans. This is a great privilege. It is totally grace !
God’s Blessing Rev David O’Mara