One of the common mistakes we make when reading the Bible is we only read the passage we’re focused on in that moment. For instance, if we’re reading the fourth chapter of Philippians, we won’t take the time to read chapter 3 to see how Paul develops his thoughts that lead to the conclusions he gives us in chapter 4. We read as if the Bible started with the passage we’re reading.
We miss a lot because of this habit. For instance, last Sunday morning we focused on Genesis 12—the story of God calling Abram and yes, that’s the chapter where a lot of things begin.
But what happens in chapter 11? The story of the tower of Babel is in chapter 11. Do you remember that story? The people of the earth decided to build a great tower. This was done in direct disobedience to God’s command to spread out and subdue the earth. So, God’s judgement was to destroy the tower and confuse the language of the people. It’s a great story, and I highly recommend you spend some time with the story. Here’s why I’m bringing up the story right now.
Obviously, chapter 12 follows chapter 11. But it didn’t have to. In fact, if you and I were God, it wouldn’t have. Let’s face it. After the failure in the Garden of Eden, the story of Noah, and now the story of Babel in chapter 11, most of us would have given up. We would have. We would have concluded this experiment called “humanity” was a good idea on paper, but it just wasn’t going to work out. We wouldn’t have written chapter 12.
But right after the disaster of Babel, God calls Abram. God starts over. While we would have given up, God didn’t.
He wrote chapter 12.
Here’s why that’s important. Many of us are in chapter 11 (pun intended). Our world has crumbled around us, and we can’t make sense of it all. We think there’s nothing we can do…and we give up. We look at the mess we’ve made and say this is our new reality and all we can do is accept it. But God doesn’t have to accept reality—yours, mine, or anyone else’s.
God defines it.
That means God doesn’t give up. He never does.
So, if you’re in chapter 11…hang on. God is always ready to write a new chapter in your own life. Today might be your chapter 12.