Then the LORD came down to see the city and the tower that the sons of men were building.
Almighty God Himself came down to see what the children of men were doing, and when He comes down (a phrase which is used to accommodate Himself to our methods of expression), nothing can escape the penetration of His eye. He looks at our day books, ledgers, and other memorandum books, to see how we are building the tower of our life; He visits our country residences and palatial buildings for the purpose of trying their foundations; He looks into all the building of our fortune, that He may see whether our gains have been honestly secured. Terrible is the day for the bad man on which Almighty God lays His great hand — the hand on which the winds are hidden, the great palm in which all the stars of the heaven are gathered — upon the tower which is being built. He will shake it, and, if the foundation is bad, the whole superstructure will be thrown down to the dust! When men build their towers under the conviction that every stone of them will be tried by Divine power — when they build their cities, and erect their towers, and extend their properties, under the assurance that not one thing of all the things that their hands are doing will escape the test of God's Spirit — we may expect life to be built upon a true foundation, and according to a righteous plan. What we have to ponder is this most certain fact, that God will come down to see our work, and that there is no possibility of concealing from Him any incorrectness of plan or any deficiency of service.
; Hebrews 11:16
I. THEIR BUILDERS. Of the first, men - mostly wicked men; of the second, the Architect of the universe.
II. THEIR ORIGIN. Of the first (Enoch, Genesis 4:17; and Babel, Genesis 11:5), hostility to God; of the second, love to man.
III. THEIR DESIGN. Of the first, to be a bond of union among sinners; of the second, to be a residence for God's children.
IV. THEIR APPEARANCE. Of the first, that of slime, mud, bricks, or at best stones; of the second, that of gold and pearls.
V. THEIR DURATION. Of the first, it is written that with all the other works of man, they shall be burnt up; of the second that it shall be everlasting. - W.
The Lord came down to see. 1.
Men's apostasy and proud attempts are knit together with God's visitation.
2. God is below when men think He hath forsaken the earth, and is near to visit the wickedness of man.
3. God's descent is for vengeance sometimes upon sinners.
4. God doth visit the beauty and strength of wickedness.
5. The apostate sons of Adam may build their fabrics to prevent God's judgments.
6. Jehovah will mark for vengeance the sons of wickedness and weakness in all their buildings against Him (ver. 5).
God speaks, as well as marks, the attempts of the ungodly to their reproach and confusion.
2. God points out the greatest advantages of violent workers of iniquity to scorn.
3. Unity of minds, resolutions, and communications, are the greatest props to wicked undertakers.
4. Violent workers of iniquity presume to finish as well as begin: that nothing shall be withheld from them.
5. Proud and presumptuous undertakings of men are a scorn and derision to God (ver. 6).
PeopleAbram, Arphaxad, Eber, Haran, Iscah, Lot, Milcah, Nahor, Peleg, Reu, Salah, Sarai, Serug, Shelah, Shem, Terah
PlacesBabel, Canaan, Haran, Mesha, Shinar, Ur
TopicsBuilded, Building, Built, Sons, Tower, Town
Outline1. One language in the world.
2. The building of Babel.
5. It is interrupted by the confusion of tongues, and the builders dispersed.
10. The generations of Shem.
27. The generations of Terah, the father of Abram.
31. Terah, with Abram and Lot, move from Ur to Haran.
Dictionary of Bible ThemesGenesis 11:1-9
5004 human race, and sin
6125 condemnation, divine
4029 world, human beings in
FROM THE PREFACE TO THE "HOLY CITY." UPON a certain First-day, I being together with my brethren in our prison-chamber, they expected that, according to our custom, something should be spoken out of the word for our mutual edification; but at that time I felt myself--it being my turn to speak--so empty, spiritless, and barren, that I thought I should not have been able to speak among them so much as five words of truth, with life and evidence: but at last it so fell out that providentially I cast …
John Bunyan—The Riches of Bunyan
Meditations to Stir us up to Morning Prayer.
1. If, when thou art about to pray, Satan shall suggest that thy prayers are too long, and that therefore it were better either to omit prayers, or else to cut them shorter, meditate that prayer is thy spiritual sacrifice, wherewith God is well pleased (Heb. xiii. 15, 16;) and therefore it is so displeasing to the devil, and so irksome to the flesh. Bend therefore thy affections (will they, nill they) to so holy an exercise; assuring thyself, that it doth by so much the more please God, by how much …
Lewis Bayly—The Practice of Piety
He Does Battle for the Faith; He Restores Peace among those who were at Variance; He Takes in Hand to Build a Stone Church.
57. (32). There was a certain clerk in Lismore whose life, as it is said, was good, but his faith not so. He was a man of some knowledge in his own eyes, and dared to say that in the Eucharist there is only a sacrament and not the fact of the sacrament, that is, mere sanctification and not the truth of the Body. On this subject he was often addressed by Malachy in secret, but in vain; and finally he was called before a public assembly, the laity however being excluded, in order that if it were …
H. J. Lawlor—St. Bernard of Clairvaux's Life of St. Malachy of Armagh
The First Chaldaean Empire and the Hyksos in Egypt
Syria: the part played by it in the ancient world--Babylon and the first Chaldaean empire--The dominion of the Hyksos: Ahmosis. Some countries seem destined from their origin to become the battle-fields of the contending nations which environ them. Into such regions, and to their cost, neighbouring peoples come from century to century to settle their quarrels and bring to an issue the questions of supremacy which disturb their little corner of the world. The nations around are eager for the possession …
G. Maspero—History Of Egypt, Chaldaea, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria, V 4
The Promise to the Patriarchs.
A great epoch is, in Genesis, ushered in with the history of the time of the Patriarchs. Luther says: "This is the third period in which Holy Scripture begins the history of the Church with a new family." In a befitting manner, the representation is opened in Gen. xii. 1-3 by an account of the first revelation of God, given to Abraham at Haran, in which the way is opened up for all that follows, and in which the dispensations of God are brought before us in a rapid survey. Abraham is to forsake …
Ernst Wilhelm Hengstenberg—Christology of the Old Testament
The Book of the First Generations of Man, and the Glory of the Cainites.
I. THE BOOK OF THE FIRST GENERATIONS OF MAN, AND THE GLORY OF THE CAINITES. A. THE BOOK OF THE FIRST GENERATIONS OF MAN. 1. The reasons why Moses records the generations of Adam 1. 2. Why he so particularly gives the years, and in the case of each patriarch adds "and he died" 1-2. 3. Why Enoch is placed in the records of the dead 3-4. * Was Enoch a sinner, and do sinners have hope of eternal life 4. * Of death. a. How we are to comfort ourselves against death 5. b. How reason views death, and how …
Martin Luther—Commentary on Genesis, Vol. II
Appendix xii. The Baptism of Proselytes
ONLY those who have made study of it can have any idea how large, and sometimes bewildering, is the literature on the subject of Jewish Proselytes and their Baptism. Our present remarks will be confined to the Baptism of Proselytes. 1. Generally, as regards proselytes (Gerim) we have to distinguish between the Ger ha-Shaar (proselyte of the gate) and Ger Toshabh (sojourner,' settled among Israel), and again the Ger hatstsedeq (proselyte of righteousness) and Ger habberith (proselyte of the covenant). …
Alfred Edersheim—The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah
Cain Murders his Brother; Called to Account.
IV. CAIN MURDERS HIS BROTHER; CALLED TO ACCOUNT. A. HOW CAIN MURDERED HIS BROTHER. 1. What moved Cain to commit murder 107. 2. Cain's hypocritical actions in concealing his anger that he might the more easily commit the murder 108-109. * Cain the picture of all hypocrites 110-129. * The attitude of hypocrites to their neighbors. Also, how we are to view the efforts of the pope and bishops in behalf of peace and unity 111-112. * Against what people we should most guard 112. 3. How Cain listened to …
Martin Luther—Commentary on Genesis, Vol. II
An Exposition on the First Ten Chapters of Genesis, and Part of the Eleventh
An unfinished commentary on the Bible, found among the author's papers after his death, in his own handwriting; and published in 1691, by Charles Doe, in a folio volume of the works of John Bunyan. ADVERTISEMENT BY THE EDITOR Being in company with an enlightened society of Protestant dissenters of the Baptist denomination, I observed to a doctor of divinity, who was advancing towards his seventieth year, that my time had been delightfully engaged with John Bunyan's commentary on Genesis. "What," …
John Bunyan—The Works of John Bunyan Volumes 1-3
The Old Testament opens very impressively. In measured and dignified language it introduces the story of Israel's origin and settlement upon the land of Canaan (Gen.--Josh.) by the story of creation, i.-ii. 4a, and thus suggests, at the very beginning, the far-reaching purpose and the world-wide significance of the people and religion of Israel. The narrative has not travelled far till it becomes apparent that its dominant interests are to be religious and moral; for, after a pictorial sketch of …
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament
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