A Quick Look: Genesis 11: 4
Really Read It: Genesis 10: 8 – 12, Genesis 11: 1 – 9, 2 Corinthians 12
Memorize: 2 Corinthians 12: 9 He (God) said to me (Paul), “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.
A nimrod is a person who is silly, foolish, or stupid, so if you are not allowed to call your brother stupid, you are not allowed to call him a nimrod either. As far as I know there has never been a person named Stupid, but there was a guy named Nimrod. He was one of Noah’s great-grandsons. Noah lived for so long that Nimrod was 200 before Noah died. They might have known each other. If they did, Nimrod did not learn from the great example of Noah. Nimrod did not learn to trust in God. He learned to trust himself.
Nimrod was “a mighty hunter before the Lord.” (Genesis 10:9) That doesn’t sound bad, but most really smart guys who study the Bible see Nimrod as a bad guy. “Mighty hunter” means that he hunted goats and lions, but it also means that he hunted people, and God did not like that. Nimrod did not care about God. The words, “before the Lord” mean in the face of the Lord. “In Your Face!” is NOT a smart thing to say to God. Nimrod knew about God. He knew the ways of God, and he ignored them. Nimrod worshipped other gods, but he also worshipped himself. He wanted power. He wanted to be great. And he did a lot of big things. So many people followed him that he started at least five cities. The most famous city that he started is called both Babel and Babylon. Since Nimrod started it, most people think he was running things when the people of the city built the Tower of Babel to make a name FOR THEMSELVES.
Our world is changing quickly. The 32gb iPhone 3 GS is the best new thing on the market. In Nimrod’s day the best new thing was bitumen. It didn’t use bits to send movies through the air. It was sticky stuff like tar that sent bricks higher into the air than ever before. The people of Babel built a huge tower, but God didn’t like it. It was not that God was against tar or towers. God was against pride. God was against the man, Nimrod who wanted to make himself great. God was against a city that wanted to make a name for itself, so He stepped down from heaven. He made the people speak a lot of different languages and He scattered them all over the earth.
God knows that when His children are proud they cannot worship Him. Proud kids can’t act the right way to other people or to God. Here are just a few of the things God said about the proud:
- Psalm 138:6 Though the LORD is on high, he looks upon the lowly, but the proud he knows from afar.
- Proverbs 16:5 The LORD detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished.
- Romans 12:16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
- 1 Corinthians 13:4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
Nimrod was a repulsive man because of his great pride. Paul was a great man because he was repulsed by pride. Bragging and boasting always come with pride. It’s an easy guess that Nimrod was a big time bragger. “Look at all my nice cities. I am so smart. I am so strong. I am so brave. The people love me, love me, love me.”
Paul stamped out pride with a different kind of boasting. Paul did so many great things and God did great things to him and in him. But Paul didn’t brag that God took him up to heaven or that he started so many churches or did so many miracles. Paul said, “I will boast about my weaknesses.” When Paul talked about himself, he talked about his weaknesses, and he even said he was happy about doing it. Paul showed us a great way to push back pride, but he had another reason for his weird kind of bragging. Paul talked about his weakness, became weak, and stayed weak, because God sends His power to weakness. Nimrod never got to see the power of God. The greatest thing Nimrod ever got to see was Nimrod. That would be really boring. Think about the power that came into Nimrod. None. And then think of the great power that came into Paul again and again and again. So you can pick a path of pride like Nimrod or a path to the power of God like Paul. Only a nimrod is stupid enough to pick Nimrod’s way.