Unrestrained man . . . .


Tower of Babel, by Lucas van Valckenborch, 1594

“And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech. So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city,” Genesis 11:6-8.

The news today has been filled with the details of the report into the behaviour of Boris Johnson during the Covid 19 crisis. Unsurprisingly, it indicated that he lied repeatedly to the nation and to Parliament. While it appears that it is acceptable for politicians to lie, and that repeatedly, to their constituents, it is a ‘no, no’ to be caught lying to Parliament.

Consequently, Boris was called a ‘liar’, and he, understanding what was in the pipeline, jumped before he was pushed.

And true to form, he has issued a smoke-cloud of deceits, fabrications and fairy tales!

However, something even more serious was in the news today which highlights another mark of man’s depravity, a much more serious facet of fallen man.

Man was never prepared to remain within the territory assigned him by the Lord. But like a recalcitrant animal, he has stalked up and down the boundary line looking for a means to escape the limitations that the Lord has placed upon him — for his own good and safety — and enter upon territories forbidden of God.

In the text at the head of this article we are reminded of the occasion, just after the flood, when sinful man manifests his failure to learn anything from the display of judgment against sin which wiped out all of humanity, save the eight members of Noah’s family.

The will of God for the family of Noah and their descendants is set forth in God’s command to Noah after the flood waters had completely dissipated from the earth. “And God spake unto Noah, saying, Go forth of the ark, thou, and thy wife, and thy sons, and thy sons’ wives with thee. Bring forth with thee every living thing that is with thee, of all flesh, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth; that they may breed abundantly in the earth, and be fruitful, and multiply upon the earth. And Noah went forth, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons’ wives with him,” Genesis 8:15-18.

The earth was to be replenished with a new race of humans and animals, springing from those borne to safety in the Ark. But, as our text shows, postdiluvian man was as stubbornly opposed to doing God’s will as was antediluvian man!

Rather than spreading across the lands of the new earth they said: “Go to, let us make brick, and burn them throughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter. And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth,” Genesis 11:2-4.

This was not just a defying of God’s command to spread abroad and repopulate the earth, it was also a defying of God in that they were determined to abandon the spiritual and religious commands of God and institute a new, a false and idolatrous system of worship.

The reference to “a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven” was not a building of extreme height but rather a building in which would be provided, in their estimation, a way to reach heaven, an alternative to God’s way of salvation. The response of God is but another act, subsequent to His flooding of the whole earth, to curb and curtail the obstinate rebellion of man who, under the devil’s urgings, as was seen in the case of Eve and Adam, wanted to wrestle free of God’s rule.

The words of the rejectors of Christ, set forth in Christ’s parable, “We will not have this man to reign over us” (Luke 19:14), are but a sinful chant that man has repeated throughout the ages and the Tower of Babel’ was but one of the many locations where it was sung!

What God says of man in our text was true back then and is true still today. “Nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.” Man will stop at nothing in his determination to defy God and go beyond the limits God has set for Him. He will not abide within the terms of God’s Law. He will not abide within the boundaries of moral and social behaviour that God has ordained. But rather men, “professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: and likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet,” Romans 1:22-27.

It is to be noted that religious apostasy is followed by moral depravity and a sinking down into abominable practices, which in turn has brought upon those engaged in such, a “recompence of their error which was meet.” I am thinking of the plague of ‘AIDS’ and the mental problems that have reportedly afflicted those who follow the sodomite lifestyle.

The news item that has prompted these words was reported under the following headline:

First synthetic human embryo raises ethical issues.

The article states: “Scientists have created the first synthetic human embryos – using no eggs or sperm – provoking deep ethical questions, according to reports. The synthetic embryos – only days or weeks old – could help researchers study the earliest stages of human development and explain pregnancy loss.”

It goes on: “The full details have yet to be published and made available for scientific scrutiny, leading many researchers to feel unable to comment on the significance of the reports. But the principle is the synthetic embryos are made from a stem cell rather than a fusion of egg and sperm.”

One scientist, Dr Ildem Akerman, from the University of Birmingham, is reported as saying: ‘Nevertheless, the ability to do something does not justify doing it.’

As the headline states, the development raises ethical issues. Indeed it does more than that. Surely we are seeing man prying and peering into a domain that is forbidden to him and is the domain of God alone. He is the CREATOR of LIFE!

I feel that I have to make the point that the whole purpose of this intrusive research, apart from the money men envisage will come of any ‘successes’, are the efforts that are made to avoid the providential purpose of God in causing some mothers to not conceive children.

I have no doubt that barrenness causes a great deal of anguish of heart and mind to many a couple BUT that godly woman Hannah provides a wonderful example of what a woman should do in such heart-breaking circumstances. It is said that: “Hannah had no children,” 1 Samuel 1:2. As if this was not enough, it is said also: “And her adversary (the other wife of her husband) also provoked her sore, for to make her fret, because the LORD had shut up her womb .  . . . . therefore she wept, and did not eat,” 1 Samuel 1:6-7.

She understood  and accepted that “the LORD had shut up her womb” and she turned not to what doctors there were then available but wisely turned to the Lord, the only One Who could truly help. “And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the LORD, and wept sore. And she vowed a vow, and said, O LORD of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the LORD all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head,” 1 Samuel 1:10-11.

She wished for a child who would serve the Lord. In the vast majority of cases, that is not the motive of the modern woman who hastens to obstetricians, looking for modern science, ungoverned by any fear of God or understanding of His will, for an answer.

Of course this is in step with the actions of all who have needs and distresses. They do not turn to the One Who says: “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest,” Matthew 11:28. No, they run to priests and prelates, dose themselves in holy water and count beads and pray before statues and idols. They will take any course only that ordained of God.

This latest ‘scientific’ announcement is but another example of man defying God, only this time he is very near to that line that God has drawn and beyond which He will not allow man to go.

As God said before the flood, so the time approaches when He will reiterate those words again. “And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them,” Genesis 6:5-7.

The judgment that fell then is going to fall again upon unheeding, rebellious man. “Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: but the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men,” 2 Peter 3:3-7.

Fire, not water, which was the instrument of judgment in the day of Noah, will be the instrument God will employ one day to cleanse the earth. “Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; and to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; when he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day,” 2 Thessalonians 1:6-10.

This latest news report of defiant, arrogant man and his God-defying ways, herald the near approach of that time!

All that remains is for “that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition,” 2 Thessalonians 2:3.

That will be man’s final attempt to put forth his hand to that which is truly beyond his domain!


Rev Ivan Foster (Rtd)

16th June 2023