In the last chapter we studied the sad failure of those who lived in the days before the great flood. In this chapter we want to study those people who lived after the great flood. What new truths and what responsibilities did God give to these people? Did these people succeed in doing what God wanted them to do or did they fail?
The dispensation of Human Government extended from the end of the great flood (Genesis chapters 8-9) to the dispersion or scattering of the people at the tower of Babel (Genesis 11). [Although as we learned in Chapter 1, the principles of human government continue into the subsequent dispensations.] Let us go to the Bible and see what we can learn about this very interesting period of human history:
After God judged the world by sending a worldwide flood, how many people were left alive (Genesis 8:15-16,18 and compare 1 Peter 3 :20)? ____________________
What kind of a man was Noah? In Genesis 6:9 we learn that Noah was a J_________ (righteous) man who walked with God. In Genesis 7:1 God Himself says something about this man: for thee (Noah) have I seen __________________________ before me in this generation.
Why was Noah a righteous man? What was Noah's secret? How did this man become RIGHTEOUS? The answer is found in the last part of Hebrews 11:7"and (Noah) became heir of the __________________________ which is by _______________." The righteousness which Noah had, he received BY FAITH. He was a man who BELIEVED GOD and acted upon what God had said. Did Abraham also receive his righteousness BY FAITH (Genesis 15:5-6)? ______
What about you? When God looks at you, does He see you as RIGHTEOUS or UNRIGHTEOUS
(Romans 3:10)? _____________________
There is really only one person who is truly RIGHTEOUS. Who is the RIGHTEOUS ONE (1 John
Jesus died for our sins so that we might receive His righteousness: For He (God the Father) hath made Him (Christ) to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the ______________________________ of God _______ Him (Christ) (2 Corinthians 5:21). When a person believes in Jesus Christ, God then sees this person as perfectly righteous IN CHRIST:
The unsaved person
The saved person who is
|There is none
no, not one!
of God which is _____ _________ of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all that believe (Romans 3:22)
After the great flood, there were only eight people on the face of the earth: righteous Noah, his wife, his three sons and their three wives. Let us go to the Bible and see some of the things which God told these eight people after the flood:
We should also remember that Noah and his family only spoke ONE LANGUAGE (compare Genesis 11:1).
In Genesis 8:17 we read about all of the animals that were kept safe on the ark. Gods plan for these creatures was that they should breed abundantly in the earth, and be ____________________ and ________________________ upon the earth.
God desired the same thing for mankind. God spoke to Noah and his sons and said, Be ________________________ and ________________________, and replenish (FILL) the _____________________" (Genesis 9:1). Does God say the same thing in Genesis 9:7? ______ God wanted mankind to have children, multiply, spread out and re-populate the earth. Compare Genesis 1:28. Later we will see that instead of filling the earth, man tried to stay together in one location (Genesis 11).
Human life is something that God places great value upon. This is why it is such a great crime for a man to take the life of another human being by an act of brutal murder. In Genesis 9:6 God gave a wonderful law which was meant to protect human life: Whoso sheddeth mans blood, _____ ________ shall his blood be shed: for in the __________________ of God made he man.
What does Genesis 9:6 really mean? This verse teaches that THE MURDERER (the person who sheds mans blood) MUST BE PUT TO DEATH BY MAN (by man shall his blood be shed). God has given man the responsibility of putting the murderer to death. Today we call this CAPITAL PUNISHMENT. Human life is very sacred: for in the image of God made He man (Genesis 9:6). Therefore, the person who wickedly destroys human life deserves the greatest kind of punishment.
There are many ways to punish a criminal. Circle what you would consider the greatest punishment of all:
- jail for five years
- a $50,000 fine
- death, by the electric chair
- jail for as long as the person lives (life sentence)
- 39 lashes with a whip
There is nothing that man fears more than death (see Hebrews 2:15--death is the King of Fears). If you were a criminal who was thinking about killing someone, what thought would be the most terrifying to you (circle the most terrifying):
- If I kill this person and get caught, I will spend 20 years in jail.
- If I kill this person and get caught, I will be put to death on the electric chair or be hung or be executed in some other way.
- If I kill this person and get caught, I will be punished for one hour with a whip.
Criminals who know that they will die if caught will think twice before committing the crime!
If God had wished, He could have made Himself responsible to punish the murderer. God could have said, If any one sheds blood (commits an act of murder), I will strike him dead! Is God able to do this if He so desires? _______ God has no problem protecting the lives of people and He has no problem punishing those who do wrong (see Genesis 4:15). But after the flood God gave MAN this responsibility. It is mans responsibility to punish criminals. God has given HUMAN GOVERNMENT the right and the responsibility to punish criminals and to even use the greatest punishment of all--the DEATH PENALTY! This is a blessing to mankind because it does three things:
- It punishes evildoers.
- It prevents and deters crime (because criminals are afraid to do something that will cost them their life).
- It protects the innocent.
Was CAPITAL PUNISHMENT something that was carried out in the days of Moses
(Exodus 21:12,15,16,17)? ______ What were some of the crimes that demanded the
death penalty (see the same verses)?
Even today it is the responsibility of the governments of the world to exercise capital punishment. We learn this in Romans 13:1-4. In Romans 13:3 we learn that human governments generally reward the good and punish the evil. If a person is a law-abiding citizen then he has nothing to fear. But if a person is a law-breaker, then he is in trouble! If a person does what is evil, then he should "be _________________" (Romans 13:4). Romans 13:4 teaches us that the governmental ruler is the "MINISTER of ________." God does not directly punish criminals today. He will certainly do this in the next life. But today God has His “ministers” who do His work for Him. God has police officers and judges and governmental rulers to punish criminals. This is the responsibility of human government. And sometimes it is even necessary for the government to use “the sword” (Romans 13:4–the sword was used as an instrument of capital punishment). Today we might use other instruments for executing criminals such as an electric chair or lethal injection, etc. In different historical periods other methods were used such as hanging, the guillotine, or even death by crucifixion.
Did the Apostle Paul believe that people should be put to death if they have done something to deserve it (Acts 25:11)? _______ Did one of the criminals who died next to Christ realize that he was getting just what he deserved (Luke 23:40-41)? ______ Did the barbarians realize that murderers deserve to die (Acts 28:4 and see Chapter 4 of these notes)? ____________
Actually the Bible teaches that all men are criminals and that all men are guilty lawbreakers! We all deserve the death penalty (Romans 6:23). Consider the list of sins found in Romans 1:29-31. Are you guilty of any of these crimes? ________ According to Romans 1:32, those who do such things are worthy of _______________ .
The good news of the gospel is that Jesus Christ came into the world to die for guilty lawbreakers (1 Timothy 1:15). Jesus was executed by the Romans even though He was innocent and perfectly sinless. But Jesus paid the death penalty and died the death that we deserved (Romans 6:23; Romans 5:8; and 1 Peter 3:18). The penalty must be paid, and CHRIST PAID IT! Do you believe He did this for you? Instead of God striking YOU dead, He struck His own Son dead: Christ died for _______ sins (1 Corinthians 15:3). He died so that we might live!
For more information see our study entitled,
There were eight people who survived the great flood in the days of Noah. These people carried something with them on the ark (besides the animals). It was like a terrible disease (Jeremiah 17:9--heart disease!), namely SIN! They each possessed a sinful nature which was inherited or passed down from Adam. How does Genesis 9:20-21 show the problem of sin even in the heart of righteous Noah? ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________
Noahs family began to multiply. Noahs sons had children. Did these children have sinful hearts just like their parents? __________ Noah had many grandchildren, and then many, many great grandchildren. As years went by, the number of the original eight survivors had multiplied into thousands of people. These people stayed together and journeyed from A__________________ (Genesis 8:4) where the ark had rested to the land of S________________ (Genesis 11:2) which was located on a broad plain between two great rivers (the Tigris and Euphrates), one of the most fertile regions in the whole world. They dwelt here and made this place their home.
How many different languages were spoken by these people (Genesis 11:1)? ______________ One language tends to unite people; many languages tend to divide people. Suppose there were 100 people invited to a party. Some of the people speak only English, some only French, some only Spanish, some only German and some only Russian. Soon after the party begins, how many groups of people would you probably have? ________________
These people who lived in Shinar decided to begin a massive building project (Genesis 11:3). There were no great stones in this area of the world, so they could not make their city out of stone. The great pyramids of Egypt and the great temples of Greece were made out of stone, but not the Tower of Babel. Even though they were without stone, these people in Shinar did have large quantities of clay from which they could make bricks and also asphalt (bitumen) which could be used as mortar or cement. Ordinarily bricks were dried in the sun, but in this case they were burned thoroughly so as to make them much harder, like stone (Genesis 11:3).
There is nothing sinful in building a building. King Solomon built a magnificent temple
for his magnificent God (1 Kings 6). But these people were not building their tower for
God or for Gods glory. They were building a city and a tower FOR MAN, in opposition
to God. They wanted to be INDEPENDENT OF GOD. They did not want to be under GODS
GOOD GOVERNMENT. In Genesis 11:4 we learn that they wanted a city and a high tower FOR
THEMSELVES and they wanted a NAME FOR THEMSELVES. What was one thing they did
not want (Genesis11:4)? ______________________________________________________________ They did
not want to do the very thing
God had told them to do (Genesis 9:1,7). Their desire was to UNITE together and build
their great city so they would not be scattered throughout the earth.
The LORD knew all about these people and their city and their tower and their evil plans. The LORD said, Behold the P____________ is O_______, and they all have __________ language (Genesis 11:6). The LORD knew that when sinful men get together and become one (unified), there is no limit to the evil they might do! The building project was just the beginning. Unless God slows them down and RESTRAINS THEM (holds them back from doing evil), they would sin more and more and fall deeper and deeper into sin and go lower and lower into the depths of wickedness (Genesis 11:6).
What sinful things would you possibly do if there were no parents or policemen or teachers or laws or conscience to SLOW YOU DOWN? If you could get away with it and if no one would ever see you and if you were never punished, what things might you possibly do? God has given us RESTRAINTS to slow us down and keep us from doing what we otherwise might do. Think of a dangerous dog on a leash. The leash is a RESTRAINT because it HOLDS BACK. Without the leash the dog would be free to harm someone or get into trouble. Today God uses HUMAN GOVERNMENT (policemen, judges, laws, etc.) in order to RESTRAIN sinful men.
In judging the people of Babel, God performed a mighty miracle. He confounded or confused their language so that they could not __________________ one another (Genesis 11:7). Suddenly there was not one but many languages on the earth (today there are about 3,000 languages). As a result the building project ceased and came to an abrupt halt and the name of the city was called ______________________ which means CONFUSION (Genesis 11:8-9). It is extremely difficult to work together if you are not able to communicate together. Thus the people had to go their separate ways, and they were forced to scatter and fill the earth. This is the beginning of NATIONS (see Genesis 10, especially verses 5,20,31,32). [Please note that Genesis 10 actually follows Genesis 11 chronologically.]
With many nations there is safety, because there is a balance of power and no one nation can become all powerful. When all nations unite together, then there is a great danger because all the power will fall into the hands of one wicked world leader and dictator. The Bible predicts that toward the end of the age the world will be united under one man and one government, and those who do not join this wicked system will be in danger of being put to death (see Revelation 13).
Can you think of anything in our world today that reminds us of Gods judgment on Babel resulting in languages and nations? Which of these classes in school would remind you of Babel (please circle):
Explain how the following would remind you of Gods judgment on Babel:
missionaries (Matthew 28:19)
the King James translation of the Bible
the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-11)
the United Nations
a world atlas
coins and currency from all over the world
races (red and yellow, black and white)
different customs in different lands
National Geographic, etc.
Can you think of anything taking place in our world today which is bringing us closer to a one world government as predicted in the book of Revelation? In the field of communication, what are some things which have served to make our world smaller and more unified? How has the computer and the internet helped to do this? What about in the field of transportation?
Is there anything wrong with world government if the right man is in power (Isaiah 2:1-5; 9:6-7; 33:22; Jeremiah 23:5-6)? _______. Is He the King and Ruler of your life? Have you put yourself under Gods good government or are you trying to live your life INDEPENDENT OF GOD?
Today we live not only under Gods government but also under mans government. We are under the government of the United States of America. How does God expect us to live under this government?
The Bible tells Christians to be very careful to pray for kings (or Presidents) and for _______ that are in authority (1 Timothy 2:1-2). Do you pray for the leaders of your country? For your governor and state leaders? For policemen and firemen and judges and school teachers? Do you pray for them that they will do their job in the right way? Do you pray that they will stand for the right and stand against the wrong? Do you pray for their salvation?
As a Christian you are a CITIZEN OF HEAVEN (Philippians 3:20, where the word "conversation means citizenship), but you are also a CITIZEN OF THE UNITED STATES. God wants you to be a good, law-abiding citizen, submitting yourself to the rulers who are over you (Romans 13:1). Good citizens usually do not need to fear being punished by those in authority (see Romans 13:3).
Is it ever right to disobey the government or to disobey mans laws? The answer is
found in Acts 5:29. Peter said to the Jewish leaders of his day, We ought to obey
_______ rather than _______." This means that we must obey God first. A
Christian must never disobey God. If those in authority over us tell us to disobey God we
must never do it. If the laws of man tell us to break the laws of God (found in the
Bible), then we must never do it. Obedience to God must come first.
Here are two examples of the right kind of disobedience:
Most of the time Christians must obey the government, but if there is ever a choice between obeying man or obeying God, the Christian must choose to obey God.
If a person breaks the laws of the land and does what is evil, then this person should "be _______________________" (Romans 13:4). God has established human government for the purpose of punishing those that do evil. If you decide to break the laws of the land and be a criminal, you will probably get yourself into much trouble. You will reap what you have sown! Read 1 Peter 4:15. If you suffer for these things (murder, stealing, etc.) then you are getting just what you deserve!
Sometimes the government of a country does not carry out its responsibilities as it should. Some nations (including the United States) rarely put criminals to death even though many of them have done crimes worthy of death. Often criminals are not punished as they should be. Sometimes murderers or other criminals are even allowed to go free. Sometimes criminals are never caught. Man may fail to do the job God has given him, but we can be sure that God will never fail. Criminals may think that they have escaped punishment, but someday they must stand before the true JUDGE! No one can really get away with crime. A criminal may escape punishment in this life but can he escape in the next life (Romans 2:3)? __________ Men and rulers may fail, but God will never fail.
Sometimes God’s people suffer, not because they have done wrong or broken laws, but simply because they are living for God (see 1 Peter 4:14,16; 1 Peter 3:17). Even the Apostle Paul was put to death by the Roman government. What was his crime? Did he murder someone? Did he steal? No, Paul’s only crime was that he preached the gospel and did just what Christ told him to do. If believers find it necessary to suffer for doing what is RIGHT, should they complain and cry about it (Matthew 5:10-12)? __________ Can you think of other men in the Bible who suffered and were punished because they obeyed God and did what was right? God will help His children when it is necessary for them to suffer for righteousness sake. We need to make sure that if we suffer we are suffering for WELL DOING and not for __________ _______________ (1 Peter 3:17). Suppose a Christian is caught robbing a bank. Should he be given less of a punishment just because he is a Christian? ________
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Are you thankful for your government? Remember, the government is something that God has set up and established for mans good and for mans protection. Are you thankful for the country you live in? Why? Are you a part of Gods kingdom (Colossians 1:13)? Are you obedient and submissive to your King? Are you a part of the United States of America? Are you obedient and submissive to the laws of the land? Are you thankful for the laws that we have? Are you thankful for policemen? Do you respect them and honor them? Are you thankful for soldiers?
Do you remember to pray for your country? Do you pray for your leaders? Do you pray that God will help you to live a godly and honest life (1 Timothy 2:2)? What are some of the freedoms you enjoy in your country that many countries do not enjoy? (Note: Perhaps the class could end by having a time of prayer, remembering some of these things just mentioned.)