I would encourage anyone reading this series to purchase the book it is based on.

Reading this week is Genesis 10. The origin of all people, tribes and nations. Dan makes 3 points initially:

  1. the chapter describes the origin only of nations known to Moses
  2. no written records were kept but passed down orally, which were quite accurate but not necessarily complete
  3. we do not know the exact identity of some of the names a places

Primary principles to be learned:

The unity of all people: We all belong to the same human family. (Acts 17:26)

Diversity among tribes and nations: it was always Gods plan. This chapter is about how that process got started.

Equality among all people: God is working among all people everywhere. Believing one group is superior to another is contrary to the Word of God.

Tribalism (in any form, for instance by aligning with a particular political party) has no place in the Kingdom of God: Believing any race, tribe or nation is superior to any other is a false belief.

We are all neighbors: we are all associated with one another. What the individual does can have significant impact on the direct as well as distant members of the human race. Conflict and hatred between neighbors is a sin against God and has no place in His kingdom.

Questions:

  • where do you see or experience for yourself, the effects of tribalism/racism? Why are these such powerful forces?
  • Why do these things have NO place in the Kingdom of God?
  • What is our/your role in confronting and overcoming the spirit of tribalism/racism?

I am beginning a new series that I will try and post to each Sunday evening. This is based on Dan Fountains book “The Kingdom of God: What is it?” This is a 52 chapter book meant to be used as a group study. I would encourage the purchase of this book to accompany these postings. I will not be posting each weeks readings in their entirety (wouldn’t be legal anyway) but simply what I think the high points might be and the most important questions Dr Fountain poses after each reading.

Week 8: Why Did Human Government (I think we could use the word “governance” as well) Without God Fail? Based on Genesis 4:1 through 9:17. This is of course the story of Cain and Abel, the descendants of Adam, the corruption of mankind and the flood.

Of the story of Cain and Abel Dan writes “The real issue in this story is not what they offered, meat or grain. Instead, it was the motivation in their hearts…Abel wanted to please God while Cain was motivated by pride…The disorder of Cain spread in every-widening circles to upset the relationship of man with himself and with God. (and I would say with God’s creation) Without the Word of God and without the desire to know him and trust him, the spirit of man was cut off from God and became controlled by pride and evil. Human government without God results finally in disorder and destruction. (sound familiar?)

Dan goes on to highlight Freud’s conclusion from his scientific studies that evil is so deeply seated in the unconscious mind that it cannot be eradicated and for this reason there will always be conflicts and war. He then quotes Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart (of man) is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?”

The flood intervened to destroy this evil civilization but did God cause it or was it a consequence of warped human behavior? Dan believes the answer is both. He states “We cannot separate God from human history, and we should not ascribe the cause of all events to God alone.” But what was God trying to teach us during this time and through this event? “He had to teach us this lesson in order that we would one day realize we must live in a relationship of obedience to him.

Questions: Our spirit came from God. Why did it become so corrupt? What does this teach us about the power of evil in the human spirit? What can be done to overcome the power of evil in ourselves and in our nations. Should we accept evil passively, or should we do something about it?