“Let Us Build for Ourselves a City”

The family of Noah became seventy nations and began to refill the earth. I am abruptly changing metaphors. I called Satan in our last post – the wolf spider. He now becomes “the old spider.” This old spider’s webs of deceit continued and flourished through a man named “Nimrod.” I picture Nimrod as being the greatest and earliest human representative of Satan’s ability to hold sway over this earth even until today (1 Jn. 5:19). That’s a heavy thought! For this reason, I am transferring Satan’s former name as the wolf spider, to Nimrod. Nimrod’s name (now called the wolf spider) means “let us rebel.” Noah’s families were moving out fulfilling God’s plan to multiply and spread out over the earth. Until the wolf spider put the brakes on! This wolf spider must have been a very powerful charismatic man, the first to lead all the people in rebellion against God.

The wolf spider’s notoriety began with the words “Nimrod (wolf spider) began to be a mighty one on the earth” (Gen. 10:7). “Mighty one” means that here was a dominant human specimen. He was evidently a very powerful man set apart from the ordinary. The reason for his “mighty one” status was his ability as a hunter. “He was a mighty hunter before the Lord; therefore, it is said, Like Nimrod (wolf spider), the mighty hunter before the Lord” (Gen. 10:8). The Hebrew word “before” can be translated “in defiance of the Lord.” He defied God by his rebellion. The old spider had the wolf spider under his total control.

This wolf spider reminds me of another Bible character with the same mighty hunter resume. His name was Esau. Remember that Esau – Jacob’s brother – was a man of the field, who was said to be a skillful hunter (Gen. 25:27). Like the wolf spider he loved the rugged outdoors, fishing and hunting; and he was good at it. He could cook the game very well. He made a very tasty venison stew that became his dad, Isaac’s, favorite. Esau became Isaac’s favorite son for this very reason. But Jacob was a mama’s boy (Gen. 25:28). It would also be reasonable to assume that Esau became more popular with the world. But his downside – like the wolf spider– was that he had a secular worldview. He loved this world and the things in the world (1 Jn. 2:15). Esau sold his birthright – that which tied him to God as the spiritual leader – for a bowl of stew. Why? He was hungry!

Recall the story! Esau smelled the stew and asked Jacob for a bowl, delicious venison stew. Jacob knew Esau’s worldly bent. He seized on it. He made Esau a deal. Sell me your firstborn birthright, and the stew is yours. I’m thinking, what? No one could be that foolish. I would have failed to understand the depth of Esau’s love for this world. Esau’s response is well known. “What good is that birthright to me if I am about to die from hunger?” He was speaking foolishly! He made plainly known that he had no love for God; no divine worldview. It was the Holy Spirit’s way of letting the reader know where Esau’s heart was. It was not with God (Gen. 25:29-32). Esau despised his birthright (Gen. 25:33).

I think of the wolf spider as an Esau on steroids – He was probably much more the physical specimen, much more the hunter, and much more the food provider. And he, no doubt, mixed it with laughter and celebration. When he went hunting, he always came back with game.  Nimrod (wolf spider) became a household name. The folks became familiar with the animals that he brought in and the stories he had to tell. There may have been deer, elk, bear, game birds, quail, pheasants, and various species of fish and more. The wolf spider also, no doubt, acquainted the people with nature. He told captivating stories of his hunts, beautiful sunsets, beautiful trees, flowers, and eye-catching landscapes – the mountains, the valleys, the rivers, and the streams, all having a seductive appeal that are pleasing to the eyes. The wolf spider liked who he had become and stayed where there was plenty of game.

God did not tell him to find a place where he could make a name for himself and settle down. This wolf spider in his rebellious state became the first architect leading the people to build a city – a large city. He said, “Let us build for themselves a city (Babylon).” He had become so popular that the people fully trusted him and followed him, totally forgetting that God had told them to spread out. Then they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They had brick for stone and asphalt for mortar. And they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth” (Gen. 11:3). The descriptive list – us, we, a name for ourselves – indicate that pride and power were now in total control of their actions – permanently!

Godless culture is conceived and crafted primarily in cities. Cities become fertile fields for the planting of the seeds of satanic lust patterns; unleashed and, for the most part, unrestrained. Every evil vice known to man shines in the city lights. Modern western cities are where we find “the cultural elites.” They are the remarkably rich, exceedingly educated class of those who eventually determine culture for the masses. These are the people who write the words that we read, make the movies that we watch, and become the strength of the media that determines the news that we listen to. For these reasons, they are very powerful. Large metropolitan cities become the designers and distributors of a fallen culture. What happens in cities eventually reaches the rest of us. Rural county seats do not influence cities with their conservative morality, but rather the cities influence the rural areas with their liberal immorality.

The wolf spider also became the first NASA astronaut because he was the first to “reach for the stars.” He told the people to join him in building a tower (Babel) whose top will reach into heaven, lest we become scattered abroad” (Gen. 11:4). The people followed his leadership by growing to love the world and the things in the world; expressing their Adamic lusts to worship God’s creation – the animals, the trees, the flowers, the mountains, the rivers; oh, the seductive beauty of it all; and they were happy to join him in his star trek adventure to become closely acquainted with the sun, the moon, and the stars – beginning to love God’s creation rather than the Creator (Rom. 1:24-25). The wolf spider built the mighty city of Babylon and the gigantic tower in the center marked it well. He soon built other cities which became known as – the Babylonian empire in Shinar (Gen. 10:10-12). Blessings!