In the epic film, “The Ten Commandments”, there’s a particular segment when Moses goes up the mountain to meet with God. He returns with the commandments, written on stone tablets by the very finger of God. Can you imagine a man or a woman taking those tablets and attempting to change what God had written?
In the Garden of Eden, our first parents were not given tablets of stone but very precise commands. God had clearly defined their relationship: “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” Their freedom was virtually limitless, except for one strategic boundary. They were not to eat the fruit from the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” The consequence of crossing this boundary was: “In the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” (Genesis 2:17) Corruption had begun; the “knowing of evil” was the beginning of death.
Our ancestors faced the same dilemma we face today: sin. It got so bad at one point that God “was sorry that he had made man on the earth, and he was grieved in his heart.” (Genesis 6:6) The tragedy of the Fall had grown to epic proportions – humankind was interpreting life as they saw fit. You know what comes next – the Flood. Along with pairs of animals, God chose four married couples to establish his new kingdom, along with the promise that he would never flood the earth again. (Be thankful when you see a rainbow.) But several hundred years later, another adjustment from heaven was needed. This time the problem wasn’t a tree, but a tower.
Babel was another of man’s attempts to self-govern. “Let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.” (Genesis 11:4) The Lord came down to check out the situation (11:5-7) and it was decided that more boundaries were needed and thus the different languages were born. Confusion ensued, the building was stopped and the people were scattered over the face of the earth.
Babylon is with us still and will grow in its evil reach. (Revelation 18) Nations will drink of her passion and power, in a brazen resistance to God’s law. His judgment has been released in seasons past, as in the Garden and the Flood, and will be fully released in days to come.
There are those who have adopted the rainbow as a sign of diversity – being inclusive of many viewpoints. Perhaps it might be wiser, when considering the rainbow, to remember that only four couples (comprised of one man and one woman) survived God’s cleansing of the earth. It might be safer to relate the colorful sign in the sky to the events that preceded it – and to ask the question: “Whose side do you want to be on when the flood waters rise?”
God’s limits and boundaries are for our protection and well-being. What he has written by his own hand and clearly stated in his Word, is set in stone.