Focus Verse: These are the clans of Noah’s sons, according to their lines of descent, within their nations. From these the nations spread out over the earth after the flood. (32)
All the people living in the world today are descendants (firstly) of one man and woman, Adam and Eve; (secondly) we are descendants of one family, Noah’s. With all our differences, it is easy to forget that we have a lot in common. In 1984, George Orwell wrote, “It was curious to think that the sky was the same for everybody, in Eurasia or Eastasia as well as here. And the people under the sky were also very much the same—everywhere, all over the world, hundreds or thousands of millions of people just like this, people ignorant of one another’s existence, held apart by walls of hatred and lies, and yet almost exactly the same.” We need to compare more than we contrast and highlight our similarities over our differences. When we forget where we come from, we forget Whose we are. We are all children of the same God.
Focus Verse: Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.” (4)
The people who set out to build the tower of Babel were in rebellion against God, Who had commanded them to spread out over the earth. The people did not want to be scattered. They wanted to make a name for themselves. As followers of Christ, we are not put on earth to make a name for ourselves. We should be working to make the name of God famous.
We can make plans in our hearts, but it is God Who ultimately directs our steps. No matter how carefully or hard we work, He is the One Who decides whether or not we will succeed. Shakespeare’s character, Hamlet, said it well: “There’s a divinity that shapes our ends, rough-hew them how we will.”
Focus Verse: So Abram went, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Harran. (4)
As Noah was obedient to God in building the Ark, Abram was obedient to God when he was called to leave his country and go to another land. God promised that He would bless Abram and make him into a great nation, but he did not give Abram any specifics. When God calls us to do something or go someplace, He rarely tells us every single detail because He wants us to walk by faith and trust Him. Perhaps if we knew every step upfront, we would not obey Him. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”
Focus Verse: “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” (19)
“Come, follow me,” remains Jesus’ invitation to all of us today. The only thing Jesus told the disciples He would do if they followed Him was send them out to fish for people. He did not promise them wealth, fame, or security. Following Jesus does not mean having an easy life. Notice that the first disciples “at once” and “immediately” left what they were doing and who they were with to follow Jesus. Our answer to Jesus’ call to “follow me” should be made in the affirmative without hesitancy.