Thursday, June 28, 2018

God Terminates Tower of Babel - Part 2 - God Can Do All Things Summer Series

So the Lord scattered them abroad from there over the face of the whole earth; and they stopped building the city. Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of the whole earth; and from there the Lord scattered them abroad over the face of the whole earth. Genesis 11:8-9 

“From these three sons of Noah came all the people who now populate the earth.” [Genesis 9:18-19] Historically, the post-flood roots of civilization come though Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Scholars trace the beginnings of Babel to the days of Nimrod, grandson of Ham. Stopping construction of the Tower of Babel occurs during the Babylonian Empire’s infancy about 100 years after The Flood and around 300 years before the calling of Abraham. The people’s rebellion against God and religious confusion causes God to intervene as God’s kingdom will never be decided by man. The Lord scattered them abroad over the face of the whole earth.

With millenniums between, we find contrasts and correlations between the Tower of Babel and Pentecost. While Babel is man’s attempt to reach heaven, at Pentecost the Holy Spirit comes down from Heaven to be God within us. In contrast, the confusion of languages at Babel fractures relationships, but on the day of Pentecost in Jerusalem there are “devout pilgrims from all over the world” who respond, “They’re speaking our languages, describing God’s mighty works!” God’s Spirit brings unity to the multitude of languages and creates community.  

God’s divine redemptive plan will always prevail. Through Grace, God brings people from all over the earth together, no longer divided but spiritually unified despite differences. From “every tribe and tongue and people and nation” disciples take the Good News throughout the whole earth. Glory be to God who can do all things! -dho

Thursday, June 21, 2018

God Terminiates Tower of Babel - Part 1 - God Can Do All Things Summer Series

Now the whole earth used the same language and the same words... “Come, let us build for ourselves a city, and a tower whose top will reach into heaven, and let us make for ourselves a name.” ...The LORD came down to see the city and the tower... The LORD said, “Behold, they are one people, and they have the same language. And this is what they began to do”... Therefore, its name was called Babel, because the LORD confused the language of the whole earth; and from there the LORD scattered them abroad over the face of the whole earth. 
Genesis 11:1-9

Photographer: Vicki De La Garza

After the flood, the generations of people from Noah’s lineage begin to populate the earth and, in time, begin to seek their own destiny and glory. With increasing arrogance and autonomy, the people celebrate their own greatness and create a sense of “corporate pride”. Substituting their relationship with God and uniting their human efforts, the people attempt to reach God through their own abilities. God intervenes to stop humanity’s willfulness, His power always transcending mankind’s limitations.

The people are trying to build a migdal, a fortified city with a tower reaching heaven. Increasing in unity with each other, they begin to see less of a need for a Creator. Rebellion repeats itself again. First the garden, then the flood, and now the tower, familiar patterns of rebellion and evil and arrogance emerge once again. God intervenes to save the people from themselves. He creates multiple languages, disrupts communication, forces a scattering of the peoples.
God created us for interdependence, and we can find strength in numbers. Yet God will jealously guard His position as our source of strength lest we substitute other relationships for our dependence on Him. - Blackaby
God desires a relationship with us, but this comes through grace, not human effort. We struggle to find the balance between independence and dependence, between courage and complacency, between strength and humility. What we can trust is that God is both Creator and Comforter, both Sovereign and Savior. He calls us to work independently and together but always for His glory. Over and over God rescues us from our selfish ambitions and renews us with His endless possibilities. After all, God can do all things! -dho

Thursday, June 14, 2018

“Who is like You, God?” - God Can Do All Things Summer Series

“God, Your justice stretches to the heavens,
You who have done mighty things!
Who is like You, O God?
You have made me see hard times: I’ve experienced many miserable days,
but You will restore me again.
You will raise me up
from the deep pit.
You will greatly increase my status
and be my comfort once again.
I will praise You with music played on a harp
because You have been faithful, O my God.
I will sing praises to You with the lyre,
O Holy One of Israel.
I will shout for joy
as I sing Your praises;
my soul will celebrate because You have rescued me. 
Psalm 71:19-23 The Voice

In reading Psalm 71, the Psalmist reflects on God’s faithfulness. The phrase “wondrous deeds” is the Hebrew word ‘pala’ meaning “extraordinary, beyond the normal capacity of humans, a word reserved for God alone.” (NKJV Study Bible) These extraordinary deeds do not exempt suffering or disappointment, do not guarantee success or reward; however, they do point to a God who can do all things. 
The righteous never lose hope, no matter how long God’s answer takes, no matter how difficult the problem. Because they know God intimately, they continue to hope, praising Him continually as they wait on Him. (Blackaby Study Bible, NKJV: Personal Encounters with God Through His Word) 
Take a moment to listen to Natalie Grant’s More Than Anything! The words echo the soul’s deepest need: Help me want the Healer more than the healing; Help me want the Savior more than the saving; Help me want the Giver more than the giving; Help me want you, Jesus, more than anything.

LISTEN:“More Than Anything” by Natalie Grant

Romans 5:2-5 reminds us of God’s “radical grace”! THIS is the extraordinary faithfulness of a God who can do all things. - dho

Jesus leads us into a place of radical grace where we are able to celebrate the hope of experiencing God’s glory. And that’s not all. We also celebrate in seasons of suffering because we know that when we suffer we develop endurance, which shapes our characters. When our characters are refined, we learn what it means to hope and anticipate God’s goodness. And hope will never fail to satisfy our deepest need because the Holy Spirit that was given to us has flooded our hearts with God’s love. Romans 5:2-5 The Voice

You can read about the personal story “behind the song” - click here!

Thursday, June 07, 2018

Introduction - God Can Do All Things Summer Series

Job answered God“I’m convinced: You can do anything and everything. Nothing and no one can upset your plans.” Job 42:1 MSG 
A theme throughout Scripture I’ve been thinking about for sometime - All things are possible with God - sounds full of endless possibilities, but so is God. God’s promises never fail; His character never changes. When life gets complicated or confusing, our frailty begins to wonder about God’s strength and certainty, we question the depth of His love, we lose hope. In the mire of difficult times, we miss the big picture, the Big God, the God who can do all things.
Job suffers enormous loss, endures illnesses, and questions the purpose of suffering, but he listens to God describe His power (Job 38-41) and comes face to face with the limitless provision of God. When Job answers I know You can do all things, and no purpose of Yours can be thwarted (Job 42), he is certain that God has the power to make everything whole, is able to have victory over every circumstance, that any intention of God, any plan or purpose of His will be accomplished. Our trusting God rests in acceptance of not knowing how God’s plan will unfold. Like Job, we must come to recognize the mystery and majesty of God who can do all things.
Jesus calls each of us to come to the table, the table of hope and love, of mercy and redemption, of freedom and community. All are welcome. This summer as we study the immeasruable possibilities of God, Scripture will help us discover or refresh the truth of God’s power and our need for trusting a mighty God who can do all things. - dho

This summer we will be looking at Scriptures thoughout the Bible that speak to the power of God who can do all things! We began May 24th, and you can read all the posts this summer at Breathing Room For My Soul. Enjoy your summer, and I would like to hear your thoughts about these posts! ~ Donna Oswalt\\