“The Third Celestial Rebellion: When God had Enough”

It is easy to see celestial intervention in the fall of Adam and Eve. The devil himself, in the form of a snake tempted Eve. It is also easy to see celestial intervention in Genesis 6, after all, fallen angels had sex with the daughters of men. However, it is a little harder and it requires a little more work to see the celestial intervention in the Tower of Babel story. In Genesis 11:1-4 the Bible describes a portion of this story,

Now the whole earth had one language and the same words. And as people migrated from the east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. And they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks, and burn them thoroughly.” And they had brick for stone, and bitumen for mortar. Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.” (ESV)

Obviously, they were going completely against the Lord’s command to fill the earth (Genesis 1:28) and they were engaging in idolatry attempting to build a name for themselves. At first glance it seems solely a human thing; but as we look deeper, we see the hands of celestial evil operating. 

In Deuteronomy 32 Moses spoke his last word to the children of Israel. He left his most important message in the form of a song. We will be looking at portions of this chapter utilizing the English Standard Version.

“The Rock, his work is perfect,
    for all his ways are justice.
A God of faithfulness and without iniquity,
    just and upright is he.
They have dealt corruptly with him;
    they are no longer his children because they are blemished;
    they are a crooked and twisted generation.

It is important to point out that Moses is not speaking about Israel here; he is speaking about the rest of the nations that corrupted themselves by worshipping and following other gods. That will become clearer later. The word corruptly in verse 5 comes from the Hebrew word šāḥaṯ, “A verb meaning to spoil, to ruin, to destroy, to pervert. [1] This is the same word used in Genesis 6:11 to describe what the fallen angels did to God’s creation. The word blemished also gives us insight and a direct reference to the rebellion of Genesis 6, it is the Hebrew word muʾwm, “A masculine noun meaning defect. This word usually describes a physical characteristic that is deemed to be bad.”[2] In Deut. 10:7-8 Moses continued by stating, 

Remember the days of old;
    consider the years of many generations;
ask your father, and he will show you,
    your elders, and they will tell you.
When the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance,
    when he divided mankind,
he fixed the borders of the peoples
    according to the number of the sons of God.

This is making a reference to Genesis 10 when God divided the world into 70 nations that proceeded directly out of the sons of Noah. We see that in verse 8 he speaks about dividing the nations according to the number of the sons of God. Same expression, sons of God that appears to describe the fallen angels in Genesis 6:1-4. In Psalm 82 we read of a divine council taking place; these gods have led the people astray and now the people are worshipping them; the gods are oppressing the people and Asaph the Psalmist is praying. God addresses these gods by stating, “I said, “You are gods, sons of the Most High, all of you; nevertheless, like men you shall die,  and fall like any prince.” Psalm 82:6-7 (ESV) Something went terribly wrong here. 

Back to Deuteronomy 32:9 we confirmed that God is not divorcing the children of Israel, he is divorcing the rest of the world when he states,

But the Lord's portion is his people,
    Jacob his allotted heritage.

Notice that in this verses God is speaking about his people, the Children of Israel. In verse 12 is the clear separation, “the Lord alone guided him, no foreign god was with him.” Referring to Jacob or Israel. From here on down something is clear, God suffered a great betrayal from every side. From the gods he put in charge of the rest of the nations; from the people of those nations who engaged in worshipping those gods and,  sadly, even his own people also betrayal God. Deuteronomy 32:15-18 tells us

“But Jeshurun grew fat, and kicked;
    you grew fat, stout, and sleek;
then he forsook God who made him
    and scoffed at the Rock of his salvation.
16 They stirred him to jealousy with strange gods;
    with abominations they provoked him to anger.
17 They sacrificed to demons that were no gods,
    to gods they had never known,
to new gods that had come recently,
    whom your fathers had never dreaded.
18 You were unmindful of the Rock that bore you,
    and you forgot the God who gave you birth.

Israel ended up engaging in idolatry and the worship of other gods like everybody else. in spite of a warning God gave them early in Deut. 4:19 when he states, “And beware lest you raise your eyes to heaven, and when you see the sun and the moon and the stars, all the host of heaven, you be drawn away and bow down to them and serve them, things that the Lord your God has allotted to all the peoples under the whole heaven. 20 But the Lord has taken you and brought you out of the iron furnace, out of Egypt, to be a people of his own inheritance, as you are this day.” (ESV) Have you notice that in about every culture people are always worshipping the sun, the moon and the stars? Do you think that is a coincidence? 

The gods will find no forgiveness; the people outside of God’s covenant will find no forgiveness either. However, look at how God speaks to Israel. We continue we Deuteronomy 32,

36 For the Lord will vindicate his people
    and have compassion on his servants,
when he sees that their power is gone
    and there is none remaining, bond or free.
37 Then he will say, ‘Where are their gods,
    the rock in which they took refuge,
38 who ate the fat of their sacrifices
    and drank the wine of their drink offering?
Let them rise up and help you;
    let them be your protection!
39 “‘See now that I, even I, am he,
    and there is no god beside me;
I kill and I make alive;
    I wound and I heal;
    and there is none that can deliver out of my hand.
40 For I lift up my hand to heaven
    and swear, As I live forever,
41 if I sharpen my flashing sword
    and my hand takes hold on judgment,
I will take vengeance on my adversaries
    and will repay those who hate me.
42 I will make my arrows drunk with blood,
    and my sword shall devour flesh—
with the blood of the slain and the captives,
    from the long-haired heads of the enemy.’
43 “Rejoice with him, O heavens; 
    bow down to him, all gods, 
for he avenges the blood of his children
    and takes vengeance on his adversaries.
He repays those who hate him
    and cleanses his people's land.” 

God will let his people suffer the consequences of their actions and come to the end of themselves. That is the place where they will realize that without the true God Jehovah, we are all left empty. At that time, God will still show mercy over his people, but will severely judge his celestial enemies for what they have done to his creation. After delivering this song in Deuteronomy 32, the Bible tells us that Moses died that same day. 

These are Moses’ last recorded words, “…Take to heart all the words by which I am warning you today, that you may command them to your children, that they may be careful to do all the words of this law. 47 For it is no empty word for you, but your very life, and by this word you shall live long in the land that you are going over the Jordan to possess.”

In his book, Supernatural: What the Bible has to Say About the Unseen World and Why it Matters Dr. Michael S. Heiser states,

The supernatural worldview that emerged from Babel, with the unbelieving nations under the dominion of evil gods, remain intact. Israel was defeated and scattered, and her Promised Land came under the rule of other gods and their peoples. This is same worldview permeates the New Testament too. Paul uses terms like principalities, authorities, thrones, and powers to describe the forces of darkness…Jesus initially called twelve disciples. The number isn’t accidental. Jesus began the kingdom plan with Israel in view…Jesus didn’t stop with the twelve. In Luke 10 he commissioned seventy more people to heal and cast out demons (Luke 10:1, 9, 17). That number wasn’t not accidental. It’s the number of nations listed in Genesis 10 – the nations cast aside at the Tower of Babel event and placed under the dominion of lesser gods (Deut. 4:19-20; 32:8-9).

The Tower of Babel was a human attempt to build a Tower to channel their gods. It was a slap in the face to our God who created them. Every false religion and secret society have its roots in the Tower of Babel. From that moment on God divorced the rest of the world; he has had enough, but even as Israel betrayed him also, God honor his self-imposed covenants, and, to this day, God has not given up on Israel. Today God has expanded his covenant through the Church. God is not only focusing on one nation; this time He is on a mission to regain the world and redeem his creation.  That is our mission and great commission, to be a part of this reconstructive assignment as God work his way to get us back to Eden.

And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Mark 16:15 (ESV)

To be continued…

[1] Warren Baker and Eugene E. Carpenter, The Complete Word Study Dictionary: Old Testament (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2003), 1124.

[2] Warren Baker and Eugene E. Carpenter, The Complete Word Study Dictionary: Old Testament (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2003), 558–559.

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