In this sermon clip, Pastor Sheffer reads from Genesis 13 and discusses one of Ham’s sons, Nimrod. Nimrod, one of the first tyrants, was an emblematic character from the Bible, symbolizing the rise of tyranny and the quest for dominance. His name, meaning “we shall rebel,” aptly captures his role as a defiant empire builder. Nimrod’s legacy is crucial in understanding the dynamics of power and control that have shaped history.
Nimrod, described as a “mighty man before the Lord,” is not commended in this context. Instead, he’s seen as a tyrant, a personification of oppressive rule. His empires, notably Babel and Assyria, are significant in the biblical narrative, particularly in their interactions with Israel. Assyria, known for its brutality in warfare, left a mark of terror in history, often resorting to extreme measures like creating a mountain of heads or dragging captives away with hooks in their noses. Interestingly, the gospel message found a responsive audience among the descendants of these very empires.
Nimrod’s approach to empire-building was in direct opposition to God’s command to “be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.” Instead of dispersing and populating the earth, Nimrod sought to consolidate and centralize power, setting a precedent for future empires and dictators. This centralization of power is a recurring theme in history and remains relevant in modern times.
In contemporary contexts, organizations like the World Health Organization and the United Nations are sometimes viewed with suspicion, perceived as entities that seek to control or govern the masses. This skepticism stems from a longstanding wariness of centralized power, a concern that dates back to figures like Nimrod. The fear is that these organizations, under the guise of benevolence, might impose their will on people who are perfectly capable of self-governance.
Nimrod’s story, therefore, is not just an ancient account but a relevant lesson in the dangers of consolidating power and the importance of vigilance against modern forms of tyranny. It serves as a reminder that the impulse to control and dominate, to rebel against divine ordinances, is an enduring human tendency that must be recognized and guarded against in all ages.