And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar, and they dwelt there. (Genesis 11:2)
Jewish commentators believe that this event took place 1996 years after Creation or just 340 years after Flood. That sounds like a long time but, in reality, Noah and his sons would have still been alive. Also Abraham would have been about 48 years old and, most likely, already coming to acknowledge the one true God in spite of his surroundings. The point is, the generation that would join Nimrod in building Babylon had spiritual resources among them but chose to ignore them. How did they ignore them? The Bible says that they “journeyed from the east” and dwelt in “the land of Shinar.”
If they migrated from the east that has to mean they headed west. The Hebrew word for “west” is מערב ma’arav, derived from the root word, ערב arav which means, “mixed, mingled.” They headed toward the setting of the sun (erev) which is to say, metaphorically, toward a mixed and mingled mindset. In other words, “east” would identify with truth, light and holiness; toward the west would identify with mingling clean with unclean, lies with truth. The word shinar is defined as “shaking off” which is interesting considering that, though not mentioned, the mighty hunter Nimrod was instrumental in provoking the people to “shake off” God’s authority.
The inherent danger that comes with being so headstrong in opposition to God is, after a while, He will let you do what you want to do — to a certain extent. In other words, if a person is determined to harden their heart against Him, He will eventually harden it for them. However, this doesn’t turn out well for the person who chooses this path — just ask Pharaoh.
Unfortunately, there are those in this day and time who refuse to acknowledge the lessons the past. Countless millions deliberately “journey from the east” toward philosophies and ideologies that are the epitome of everything that Babylon stood for. This trend will continue and will, eventually, set the stage for the rise of the Antichrist. Paul said this:
The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12)
Put simply, because people would prefer a lie, God will give them one personified in the “lawless one.” As for God’s people, let us reject the lies that this generation pushes and embrace the One and Only Truth. Let us, each day, be guided by the Spirit of Truth and walk in it. As the Psalmist said:
“Show me Your ways, O Lord; teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation.” (Psalm 25:4-5)
Blessings and Shalom,