Genesis 10-12: Tower of Babel, Abram and Sarai

ABOUT READING: Chapter ten of Genesis, entitled “Table of Nations,” covers the list of descendants from Noah’s sons to the sons of Joktan. These clans were responsible for repopulating the earth. Then the next chapter begins with the story of the “Tower of Babel,” and concludes with a list of “Descendants from Shem to Abraham.”  Today’s final chapter, marks the beginning of the story of Abram (Abraham) and his wife Sarai (Sara). First God made Abraham a promise:

Go forth from your land, your relatives, and from your father’s house to a land that I will show you. I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless; I will make your name great, so that you will be a blessing.
Genesis 12:1-2

So Abram did as the Lord instructed, but when famine struck Abram and Sarai went into the city of Egypt. Because Sarai was so beautiful Abram told her that if anyone asked, she was to be called his sister so that Abram would not be killed by other men. When the news of her beauty spread, Sarai was taken to Pharaoh and Pharaoh took her as his wife. However, because Sarai was already married to Abram, plagues struck the house of Pharaoh until the he realized the truth and confronted Abram.

MY REACTION: I have always preferred reading the New Testament to the Old Testament, and today’s reading is a perfect example as to why I feel this way. With stories like “The Flood” and the “Tower of Babel,” God gets labeled as an angry and powerful being in the Old Testament, which seems to contradict the loving and merciful figure described in the New Testament. Why is that? If He is the same God in both Testaments, then why does He seem to behave like two totally different beings?

One explanation is that the mankind’s relationship with and understanding of God has evolved over time. To me, this line of reasoning makes the most sense. For example, God initially gave us a set of laws to abide by in the Old Testament. Then, when the time was right, Jesus was born to bring us God’s new law and to save us from our original sin.

The one thing that is ours and ours alone is our free will. God can love us all He wants, but we have the ability to choose whether or not we want to love Him in return. So in conclusion, it makes sense that the Old Testament is racier than the New Testament because our relationship with God as a whole was just beginning to blossom.

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