For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. (Romans 8:20-22)
When God created the garden of Eden, He made it a perfect place to live. After creating man, he empowered him with ability to exercise dominion over the garden and everything in it. The Lord gave Adam great freedom in fulfilling his responsibilities, with one exception, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.” (Genesis 2:16-17) As we know, this one prohibition created an opportunity for sin (Romans 7:7-12) and Satan used it as a means of deception and mankind still lives in the consequences of Adam and Eve’s decision. According to Genesis 3:6-7, When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise [sakal – to act with insight, prudence], she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened.
As a result, not only did God curse Satan, Adam and Eve, but He also cursed the ground. According to Jamieson Fausett and Brown Commentary:
In the rich and smiling garden of Eden the vigorous and prolific soil yielded a spontaneous produce, and the industry of man was confined to the easy and pleasant work of checking or regulating the luxuriant growth of vegetation. This state, because anything we are told to the contrary, would have been perpetuated but for the disobedience of rebellious man, who, with the solemn warning of the penal consequences still ringing in his ears, transgressed, and with the loss of his innocence forfeited the happy place of his primeval abode. The awful curse of an offended God fell not, however, upon Adam himself, as it did upon the serpent, but upon the ground ‘for his sake;’
It therefore would be necessary to expel them from Eden, so that their sin might not be immortalized. In Genesis 3:23, therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden, to cultivate the ground from which he was taken. Cherubim were stationed at the entrance to keep mankind from his paradise, for a time. Adam and Eve must leave paradise for a corrupted (cursed) world. Man would now face the results of Adam’s sin, illustrated in the life of his son, Cain. Without a provision for sin, Cain would commit a heinous crime by murdering his brother out of jealousy. The Lord addressed it with him in Genesis 4:7, “If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master [masal – to rule, reign, have dominion over] it.” Of course, Cain was not able to rule over or master his sin. By inheritance, we all face the same challenges.
The Coming Flood
According to Josephus, Adam had been warned by God of two judgments, one by fire and another by the violence and quantity of water (Antiquities 1.2.3). God never told him which one would come first. It would be 1,656 years from creation until the flood, a time where the corruption of sin became more and more consuming. It ultimately resulted in a deeper corruption, brought on by demonic forces and documented in Genesis 6:1-8:
Now it came about, when men began to multiply on the face of the land, and daughters were born to them, that the sons [ben – offspring, descendants] of God [Elohim] saw that the daughters of men [adam – mankind] were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves, whomever they chose. Then the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, because he also is flesh; nevertheless his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.” The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men, and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown. Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. The Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. The Lord said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky; for I am sorry that I have made them.” But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.
This passage suggests that there was a further attempt to immortalize man’s sin through a demonic attempt to pervert mankind in an even greater way, an organized conspiracy among evil forces to corrupt mankind and the animal world, such that the promise of Genesis 3:15, “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel,” would never be fulfilled.
Testaments of the Patriarchs
According to the legend found in the Tamud of the orthodox Jews and the Essene community, all of the patriarchs from Adam to Aaron (thirty-seven or more) were prophets and all wrote testaments for their posterity. According to the Book of Enoch, chapter 6:1-5, it is reported:
And it came to pass when the children of men had multiplied that in those days were born unto them beautiful and comely daughters. And the angels, the children of the heaven, saw and lusted after them, and said to one another: ‘Come, let us choose us wives from among the children of men and beget us children.’ And Semajaza, who was their leader, said unto them: ‘I fear ye will not indeed agree to do this deed, and I alone shall have to pay the penalty of a great sin.’ And they all answered him and said: ‘Let us swear an oath, and all bind ourselves by mutual imprecations not to abandon this plan but to do this thing.’ Then sware they all together and bound themselves by mutual imprecations upon it.
According to chapter 7:1-6,
And all the others together with them took unto themselves wives, and each chose for himself one, and they began to go in unto them and to defile themselves with them, and they taught them charms and enchantments, and the cutting of roots, and made them acquainted with plants. And they became pregnant, and they bare great giants, whose height was three thousand ells: Who consumed all the acquisitions of men. And when men could no longer sustain them, the giants turned against them and devoured mankind. And they began to sin against birds, and beasts, and reptiles, and fish, and to devour one another’s flesh and drink the blood. Then the earth laid accusation against the lawless ones.
The Purity of Kind
Hebrews 11:7 gives us further definition of this reality, By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household, by which he condemned the world, and became an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith. Humanity was warned of the upcoming judgment, but only Noah, his wife and three sons, and their wives would be delivered from this judgment. The lesson to be learned is that God intends that mankind would keep each of his “kind” pure. Noah was instructed in Genesis 7:14-15, they and every beast after its kind, and all the cattle after their kind, and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth after its kind, and every bird after its kind, all sorts of birds. So, they went into the ark to Noah, by twos of all flesh in which was the breath of life. This principle applies to mankind as well, as Ezra 9:1-4 conveys:
Now when these things had been completed, the princes approached me, saying, “The people of Israel and the priests and the Levites have not separated themselves from the peoples of the lands, according to their abominations, those of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians and the Amorites. “For they have taken some of their daughters as wives for themselves and for their sons, so that the holy race has intermingled with the peoples of the lands; indeed, the hands of the princes and the rulers have been foremost in this unfaithfulness.” When I heard about this matter, I tore my garment and my robe, and pulled some of the hair from my head and my beard and sat down appalled. Then everyone who trembled at the words of the God of Israel on account of the unfaithfulness of the exiles gathered to me, and I sat appalled until the evening offering.
Ezra was instructing men to remain holy, to be set apart and not to intermarry with anyone not of his kind. In Ezra 9:12, ‘So now do not give your daughters to their sons nor take their daughters to your sons, and never seek their peace or their prosperity, that you may be strong and eat the good things of the land and leave it as an inheritance to your sons forever.’ Peter helps us understand further details of this intended corruption in 2 Peter 2:4-9:
For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of darkness, reserved for judgment; and did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a preacher of righteousness, with seven others, when He brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; and if He condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction by reducing them to ashes, having made them an example to those who would live ungodly lives thereafter; and if He rescued righteous Lot, oppressed by the sensual conduct of unprincipled men (for by what he saw and heard that righteous man, while living among them, felt his righteous soul tormented day after day by their lawless deeds), then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment,
It took more than two hundred years since the flood for the third judgment of God to visit mankind. It came in the form of a scattering of the people and a confusing of their language, as reported in Genesis 11:1-9:
Now the whole earth used the same language and the same words. It came about as they journeyed east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. They said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks and burn them thoroughly.” And they used brick for stone, and they used tar for mortar. They said, “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, otherwise we will be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.” The Lord came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built. The Lord said, “Behold, they are one people, and they all have the same language. And this is what they began to do, and now nothing which they purpose to do will be impossible for them. “Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, so that they will not understand one another’s speech.” 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.
In this passage, the people were organized in the land of Shinar and conspired to build themselves a city which would have a tower whose top will reach into heaven, to demonstrate to God that they could do it without God, to establish a name for themselves. It reminds me of Lucifer’s declaration in Isaiah 14:14, I will make myself like the Most High. Genesis 11:4 tells us that they were concerned about being scattered abroad, so they understood this was contrary to God’s will. In Proverbs 18:11, A rich man’s wealth is his strong city, and like a high wall in his own imagination. It teaches that man’s abilities apart from God produce only an imagination of strength. When men come together to conspire against God, it reflects a spirit that is uncontrollable, according to Proverbs 25:28, Like a city that is broken into and without walls is a man who has no control over his spirit. When man operates outside of God’s authority, he sets himself up for judgment. The Lord had to scatter the people while confusing their languages; He will always come against unholy alliances. In Psalm 127:1, Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it.
A Man of Promise
The immediate conclusion to this problem would come through a man named Abram, later named Abraham by God, who would receive promises from God of blessings and also a charge to leave his home for a new land, a promised land. It would be there that Abraham would begin to realize the promised blessings. The solution to the corruption of mankind is a walk of faith, choosing to believe God for His promises as revealed in His Word. In Hebrews 11:9-10, By faith he lived as an alien in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, fellow heirs of the same promise; for he was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God. When the believer follows the leading of God by His Holy Spirit, he is trusting in God’s provisions for life instead of his own resources.
The promises God made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob redound to the new covenant believer as Paul defines in Romans 4:13, For the promise to Abraham or to his descendants that he would be heir of the world was not through the Law, but through the righteousness of faith. When mankind places his trust in God’s promises, he walks in God’s righteousness with all of its provisions for life. Moses spoke about Israel being separated for an inheritance in Deuteronomy 32:8-9, “When the Most High gave the nations their inheritance, when He separated the sons of man, He set the boundaries of the peoples according to the number of the sons of Israel. “For the Lord’s portion is His people; Jacob is the allotment of His inheritance. When man allows God to define the boundaries of his life, he becomes the Lord’s portion (heleq – possession).
The motives that caused Babel to construct its tower still exist today. Prophesy tells us that when Anti-Christ appears, he will use his authority to establish a one-world government (see Revelation 13) and most of the world will go along with him. Peter tells us that the provisions of God are available to all who believe. In 1 Peter 2:9-10, But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; for you once were NOT A PEOPLE, but now you are THE PEOPLE OF GOD; you had NOT RECEIVED MERCY, but now you have RECEIVED MERCY. This has always been God’s plan for man to overcome corruption.