Through the Bible in a Year – January 5

The Scheme for January and February can be found here

Genesis 10-11; John 5; Psalm 8

Our Psalm today is one of the great Psalms of contemplation ‘What is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him – yet you have made him a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honour’

Sometimes we hear that we now know so much more of the Wonders and scale of the universe that we have a far better grasp on our finitude than those of old – yet most of us have grown up under light polluted skies and have little sense of the carpet of life of the desert sky. We may see photographs from the Hubble space telescope in the comfort of our living rooms, but it is a far cry from the Glory of the sky when the cold bites our bones.

The Psalmist is full of wonder at the place God has assigned to human beings – yet our Genesis text finds the human trying to define himself over and against God – trying as it were to conquer the heavens, to make a name for himself. Not content with the glory and honour with which the Creator would crown him.

‘Nimrod, a mighty hunter before the Lord’ is a text full of ambiguity. It is all too easy to read of this man who has made a name for himself and built cities – great in the eyes of his fellow humans no doubt is the one who built cities. He gets honour and glory from men and we too might fete and honour such a one – but the Lord crowns with glory and Honour those whom he chooses.

Nimrod’s kingdom begins with Babel – the centre of the biblical rebellion against God – of those who build a name for themselves – and it is from Babel that we are scattered like ashes across the face of the earth. Dust we are, and to dust we shall return

Nimrod’s process of unification is shown to be one that is anti-God – as all such human plans are.

So it is that The Human, The One comes – the one who gives life to those He chooses – the one who does not accept honour from men, but only seeks and accepts the Glory that comes from above and so fulfils the human vocation to dwell in the space between the heavens and the Earth. But who will believe Him? Who will trust in the one who does not seek his own Glory?

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