Sunday, May 26, 2013

Leave Behind

Leave Behind
May 27, 2013
Genesis 10:8  "Cush was the father of Nimrod, who became a mighty warrior on the earth . . ."

When reading through the boring genealogies of the Old Testament, it is easy to fall asleep as it rambles on about so-and-so begetting so-and-so who was the father of what's-his-face who had a son named something-or-other.  Other than historical importance for tracing family lines, there isn't much meat in reading the genealogies, unless of course there is a random two sentence story peppered in between the list of names.  Occasionally you'll read one or two lines that seem to have either great importance or little value, but it's hard to tell the difference.  One such two line story is about Nimrod.  It reads, "Cush was the father of Nimrod, who became a mighty warrior on the earth.  He was a mighty hunter before the Lord; that is why it is said, 'Like Nimrod, a mighty hunter before the Lord.'"

The story of Nimrod seems extremely random in the midst of reading the genealogies of who had which son.  But it was important enough to place right in the middle of the family tree.  Why?  Family trees and genealogies are all about the legacy that is left behind.  Nimrod actually came from a poor legacy.  His grandfather was Ham, the rotten son of the famous Noah (remember Noah took this three sons with him in the Ark).  Nimrod overcame his embarrassing predecessor and became a mighty man before the Lord, something that is hard to do in any generation.  Nimrod rose to become important enough to get written about in the Bible.  He was a godly man who was blessed with great skill.  What an amazing story line!  Or is it?

If you keep reading, though, about Nimrod, there is one more half sentence that is important.  The Bibles says that Nimrod built cities, "The first centers of his kingdom were Babylon...."  The godly man had Babylon as the epicenter of his own legacy.  Recall that Babylon became the root of all evil in Biblical times.  In fact, if you keep reading about Nimrod's cities and children, He was the father of the Canaanites, Hitites, Amalekites, and Philistines.  Nimrod built Nineveh and his son built Sodom and Gomorrah.  His cities became the nations of Iraq and Iran and he was the father of the modern day Palestinians--all hostile toward the Lord to this day.  What a legacy, all left behind by a supposedly godly man.  Nimrod left nothing but evil after him.

The point is simple but magnanimous.  It is extremely important to do great things for the Lord during your lifetime.  But it is equally important that you leave behind a valuable legacy, one that will not embarrass you or undue all the good things your life represented.  Nimrod actually represents great failure, despite being a mighty and godly man.  While Nimrod did great things in the name of the Lord, he failed to leave a godly legacy by teaching those who would follow in his footsteps.  He failed to set goodness in motion by leaving values in place with those who would remain after him.  Nimrod, though a great man during his life, became a failure in his death.  What legacy are you leaving behind?  What goodness are you setting in motion so those that follow you will serve the Lord, too?  Don't be a Nimrod.

Don't take my word for it; look it up:
  Genesis 10

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