The Beginning of Paganism

I call Nimrod the wolf spider because the old spider (Satan) used him to introduce paganism to the world. Paganism is having an inordinate passionate relationship (a love affair) with God’s creation, at the expense of the invisible Creator. God tells us to enjoy His creation but not to love it in an excessive way and certainly not to worship it. I get it! I really enjoy God’s outdoors and have all my life. The overwhelming feeling of freedom, being alone attached to a tree high in the mountains overwhelmed by the sights and sounds of God’s creation. Then hearing God’s still small voice speaking through it all saying, “Do not love the world nor the things in the world” (Jn. 2:15). In fact, God’s creation sheds incredible light upon His creative genius. The faithful cycles of the growing seasons glorify Him – witnessing to His faithfulness filling hearts with food and gladness drawing people to Him (Acts. 14:16-17).

Paganism deflects this witness by drawing the attention from the Creator to the creation. Paganism is the belief that all visible creation came from an invisible union of unseen gods and goddesses (great spirits) through natural and supernatural processes. Pagans grow to love what they consider the handiwork of this relationship: the winds, creeks, rivers, seas, oceans, mountains, trees, flowers, insects, birds, fish, dogs, and cats. It was not a great leap for the early earthlings to believe that the earth, the sun, moon, and stars also came to be through the very same naturalistic method. Ironically, the truth is just the opposite. The universe – the sun, moon, and stars –  speak not of gods, but of the living God. They witness to the world of God’s creative power and genius (Rom. 1:18-22). There is no language where their words are not heard (Psa. 19:1-4). God stamps His image upon everyone, giving them the ability to see His faithful work in the night sky and hear the voice of creative genius as His stars speak. And for those who cannot see or hear, God places within them a conscience and His law stamped in their hearts. Together they bring into fallen minds His existence. This becomes a silent but clear repetitive testimony to His being and His faithfulness drawing people to Himself (Rom. 2:14-16). The wolf spider distorts all of this deflecting attention away from the Creator. 

The wolf spider became a mighty hunter in defiance of the Lord (Gen. 10:8-9). He developed a passion for God’s great outdoors. He was a man’s man. He found a way to fuel his pride and exercise his power though the pursuit of game. God knew that his excessive craving was going to lead to a rebellion. God’s clear plan was for the people to scatter throughout the world and to become His witnesses. Nimrod may have become a household name because of the fame he gained from his hunting expeditions, and the source of food that he provided. It is well within the possibility that he fed hundreds of people, not to mention the excitement that he generated in the kinds of animals that he brought in. The population at this point was in the thousands – not the millions. The families of the earth were just 100 years removed from Noah’s leaving the ark, so Ham, Shem, and Japheth and their families had repopulated the earth for at most one hundred years. This wolf spider could have easily become the favorite son of all the people. As mentioned earlier, he also had skill in architecture. He built Babel, Erech, Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar. From that land he went to Assyria and built Nineveh, Rehoboth Ir, Calah, and Resen between Nineveh and Calah (that is the principal city)” (Gen. 10:10-12). It is interesting that God referred to these cities as “the beginning of his kingdom” (Gen. 10:10). This means that God recognized this wolf spider as a king, and evidently so did the people.

The wolf spider led the people to build a tower to reach into the heavens so they could feel in closer touch with creation – the sun, moon, and the stars. His kingdom was destined to become the Babylonian kingdom, the first kingdom on the flood ravaged earth. Babylon and its famous tower became the capital city of paganism and the worship of God’s creation soon became the dominant world religion. The old spider was well on his way to holding sway over the entire earth (1 Jn. 5:19). 

Legend says that the wolf spider (Nimrod) married a woman named Semiramis. The male wolf spider had a mate. They had a child named “Tammuz.” There is historical evidence that this myth contains at least some element of truth. There are hotels in Alexandria, Egypt, and Athens, Greece, today, named after this woman. Semiramis claimed that Tammuz was the virgin-born fulfillment of the “seed of the woman” prophecy in Genesis 3:15. Satan counterfeits the work of God. Tammuz was said to be gored by a wild boar and killed. Amazingly, Tammuz is mentioned in the Bible. God reminded Ezekiel of what the people of Israel were doing. The elders were secretly worshipping pagan gods. They were thinking that God did not see them. God asked Elijah to turn and see women at the door of the north gate of God’s temple, and to Elijah’s dismay, women were sitting there, “weeping for Tammuz.” They may have heard the rumor that Tammuz had been killed (Eze. 8:12–14). Legend says that after forty days of weeping and prayer, the child was miraculously raised from the dead. A counterfeit resurrection! This supposedly happened on the feast of the goddess Ishtar, the Babylonian goddess of fertility. Ever wonder why colored eggs, rabbits, and baby chickens became mysteriously mixed with the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ? Blessings!