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GOD'S STORY

GOD’S STORY: part 53 Cities

What does GOD think of cities?

“Then Cain went out from the presence of the Lord and dwelt in the land of Nod on the east of Eden. And Cain knew his wife, and she conceived and bore Enoch. And he built a city, and called the name of the city after the name of his son—Enoch. To Enoch was born Irad; and Irad begot Mehujael, and Mehujael begot Methushael, and Methushael begot Lamech.” (Genesis 4:16-18)

Cain lived, and prospered. He married, had children and lived to see several generations. 

God mentions that Cain built a city and named it after his son. Jacob would later become named Israel… which in turn would be the name of the Hebrew nation in perpetuity.

GOD refers the the New Jerusalem, the city spanning thousands of 1000s of square miles in the New Earth, with great enthusiasm,

“Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:1-4)

And so GOD is not opposed to cities per se.

And yet, there is also the Tower of Babel which leads to mankind being dispersed in order to prevent them from completing the tower,

“But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built. And the Lord said, “Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them. Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.” So the Lord scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they ceased building the city.” (Genesis 11: 5-8)

Preparing the Bride for GOD’s Story

How do we prepare as the Bride of Christ? One aspect is to learn GOD’S STORY. He created us in His image…. Piece by piece, and peace by peace, we learn to walk as He has walked. And we learn His perspective.

Cain and the building of Cities

GOD allowed Cain to survive the murder of his brother yet ultimately, to prosper. 

Through Cain… and his brother Seth… humanity would survive and thrive. But it is through Cain that we see an absence of worship of GOD. It is through Cain that cities and progeny develops first. It is through Cain that the sin of man develops and grows until the Flood wipes out virtually all that went before.

Man’s ingenuity is seen in Cain. But it is an independent ingenuity. It is an ingenuity which extends as a result of man being created in GOD’s image; but without GOD there is no mention of beauty or grace or peace. The cities of Enoch and New Jerusalem are completely different one from the another, the one being originated by man’s concept and design, the other originated and planned by GOD.

In GOD’s Story, man can get on without GOD though tragedy and chaos ultimately ensue. When man looks to GOD, creativity and worship bring things to life with great beauty and blessing, and ultimately, with hope.

My preconceived thoughts 

Initially, I thought GOD was opposed to cities and preferred the pastoral. And yet, throughout the Old Testament, He enables the Hebrews to inhabit cities they didn’t even have to build, and convicts gentile kings to allow His chosen people to return to the homeland of Israel and to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.

GOD is not opposed to cities. But as with Sodom and Gomorrah, as with man’s corruption, cities can manifest evil. His Jerusalem, His city of peace, is on His heart and will be until the New Jerusalem is manifest. 

Man without GOD

Mankind has and does develop to sophistication with or without GOD. Cain’s story shows us where that pattern without GOD began. However, when we look at Seth, we’ll see how a man who is born in sin yet knows GOD, can instead develop a society that seeks after Him.

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GOD'S STORY

GOD’S STORY: part 52 Brother’s Keeper

Preparing the Bride for GOD’s Story

How do we prepare as the Bride of Christ? One aspect is to learn GOD’S STORY. He created us in His image…. Piece by piece, and peace by peace, we learn to walk as He has walked. And we learn His perspective.

Genesis 4:9

Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?”

The answer is Yes, we are our brother’s keeper. Yes and Amen.

We are our brother’s keeper

The Father has put into our hearts a love for one another. He has created us in His image and His love overflows toward all His children, as we also must do. We are called to watch out for and watch over our brothers and sisters in Christ. We are also called to love our neighbours, those who may not know the Lord as their LORD. Yes, we are called to be our brothers’ keepers.

Let s all meditate on this well known parable in Luke 10:30-37,

“Then Jesus answered and said: “A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.’ So which of these three do you think was neighbour to him who fell among the thieves?” And he said, “He who showed mercy on him.”Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”

How will be “do likewise”?

What GOD says we are to do

Show love and compassion.

GOD’s love and compassion for Cain

Even Cain the murderer was shown compassion.

Genesis 4:10-15 reads,

“And He said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood cries out to Me from the ground. So now you are cursed from the earth, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. When you till the ground, it shall no longer yield its strength to you. A fugitive and a vagabond you shall be on the earth.”And Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is greater than I can bear! Surely You have driven me out this day from the face of the ground; I shall be hidden from Your face; I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond on the earth, and it will happen that anyone who finds me will kill me.” And the Lord said to him, “Therefore, whoever kills Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold.” And the Lord set a mark on Cain, lest anyone finding him should kill him.”

There was a consequence for Cain’s sin and yet, as he received the consequence and was full of fear, the LORD GOD committed to protect Cain’s life.

The LORD is good. His mercy endures to all generations. (1 Chronicles 6:34)

From GOD’s point of view

We are to model the Lord. From His point of view, He is full of compassion for all. There is no-one who cannot receive the Kingdom of Heaven. 

And so we are called to “go out into all the world….” (Mark 16:15)

And so we do!