It is acknowledged in Scripture that it rains on the just and on the unjust. Matthew 5:45 Sunrise comes on the horizon every 24 hours, whether you are a believer or an unbeliever. I believe that it is the interplay of darkness that makes light so vivid. It is the pelting of the storms that makes the clear day so welcome. King David, in the Bible, knew the battlefield well. In the Psalm 120 he pours out his heart to God in song. He speaks of growing tired of the tents of war. He grows weary and wishes for peace. He attempts to make a peace treaty, but his enemy rejects his offer and demands war.
War Between the Houses of David and Saul by Gustav Doré
-Helkathhazzurim (Field of Daggers) 2 Samuel 2:8-17
In my distress I cried unto the LORD, and he heard me.
Deliver my soul, O LORD, from lying lips, and from a deceitful tongue.
What shall be given unto you? or what shall be done unto you, you false tongue?
Sharp arrows of the mighty, with coals of juniper.
Woe is me, that I sojourn in Meshech, that I dwell in the tents of Kedar!
My soul has long dwelt with him that hates peace.
I am for peace: but when I speak, they are for war.
David reminds himself that no matter how the evil speaks against him, and no matter how far they attempt to hide from God in their evil ways, the sharp arrows of the Almighty will pursue them and fill them with the terrors of the Lord. Job 6:4 Burning coals of juniper do not flame or crackle, but have an excessive heat, and they are long-burning (some say year round) even when they seem to be gone out. The false tongue will have a place in the lake that burns eternally. Revelation 22:15
This is why it is said that vengeance belongs to God. Romans 12:19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, says the Lord. We don't have to worry when an enemy does us a bad turn. Justice belongs to God and He makes all just. We just have to leave it in His hands like David sang.
Adam and Eve, by Gustav Doré
Genesis 2:21-23 And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.
This is my favorite Gustav Dore print. And the following print would be a close second...
Cain Kills Abel, by Gustav Dore
Genesis 4:6-8 And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him. And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.
What makes them both so beautiful is the candidness of the scenes. You feel as if you are actually an unseen observer, watching each of the events take place. You see the sleep that has overtaken Adam. You see the depravity that has overtaken Cain. You can almost see the Spirit of God hovering over these events, watching them take place. You can see the Spirit in the print. It is drawn from the perspective of God. You have a God's -eye view. (These scripture prints, and many others are available on the Visual Bible software, which is downloadable free online. )
It is the feeling that what took place here happened with or without an observer, that is so striking. The interplay of light and darkness speaks volumes in both works. In the Adam and Eve scene, the light in the background penetrates the darkness surrounding the first man and woman. In the Cain and Abel print, it seems as if the light from the streak of lightening lines Abel's fallen body. And, it is clear that the lightening is the Spirit of God and His attention to the deed, while the light lining Abel's body is the life in his blood crying out to His Maker. We are made in His image afterall. Light calls out to Light amidst the darkness.
This attention of God is present in both works. God attends to the needs of His creation in the first. God hurts with His creation in the second. God felt Adam's and Abel's pain. the Maker responded. He is not a grand puppetmaster, pulling all the strings, while we dance to His controlled, measured tune. He sees and reacts to man. It seems from Gustave Dore's work that the Creator is intimately interested in the life of the created. That is a fact that can not be escaped throughout the whole of Scripture. God cares for you, just as in the day that He created you.
He was a hunter, a bow hunter (like my uncle Ed and his three boys.) He was raised with five older brothers, and as far as anyone could remember, what with the poorly kept small town public records of his day, it was thought that he was younger than his two nephews. The lot of them were considered riff-raff by their little community, and troublemakers, and had been scorned since as far back as when his great-grandparents came over on the ark. He was the grandson of Caanan AKA Ham, Noah's son... the one who hammed it up one time too many, laughing disrespectfully about his father's drinking problem. Granddad probably shouldn't have been so hard on the old man, after all, after such a catastrophic event like a worldwide flood, and finding all the dead bodies washed up when he disembarked, it stands to reason he would lean to a few stiff drinks from his vineyard after his feet landed on solid ground again. But, not this young man...Nimrod. He had plans. He wasn't going to be anybody's servant, no matter what the rest of his family did, or how they continued to accept the "generational curse" laid on them by great granddad in a fit of rage. Nimrod grew up to be not only a mighty hunter...before the Lord no less... but he built four cities while he was still a young man. And, that was just the beginning of his kingdom.
Genesis 10:8-9 And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the LORD: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the LORD.
One of the cities Nimrod founded was Babel, still known today for the industriousness of the people, their memory of God's power, and their determination to wrest such power from God's hands by reaching to heaven... a place high enough to escape a flood if God didn't keep His word. This last was a mistake and was enough to not only separate them from God, but resulted in a separation of the earth's peoples, by language barriers. The babble of languages that first occured there sent tribes scurrying to divide up the earth, so this chapter in Genesis, chapter 10, is known as the Table of Nations, where it is said "the Earth was divided."
Incidentally, there is a medically documented condition known as "Foreign Accent Syndrome" in which individuals have suddenly begun to speak with an accent that is foreign to them, not the language, just the accent. It is rare and usually results from things like severe migraines, dental surgery, and stroke. It is not understood and leaves a lot of questions about how we understand accents are formed in a group of people.
But, God's plan was not to leave us destroyed, nor to leave us separated. God had a plan not only for restoration, but for spreading His kingdom around the world. Pentecost was antithetical (or contrasted) to Babel. The barriers that divide people and nations were removed, as a result of seeking God's will, as opposed to seeking fulfillment of human will. In the same way, the incarnation was antithetical to the Fall. The barriers that divide man from God were removed, as a result of God coming to man to die in Adam's place.
The Bible writers never comment on the curses Hebrew parents sometimes pronounced on the heads of their children. Parenting has never been an easy job, and I haven't really read anywhere that the children actually did "rise up and call (either parent) blessed," as spoken of the Proverbs 31 woman. But, still today I hear people speaking of generational curses. Fortunately, all we have to do is look back at the lives of the children who were "cursed." It reveals that the words had power over the lives of the children only in so much as the children took them to heart. A conscience is a powerful thing. But, the power of generational curses does not appear to be in the words themselves, and certainly were not inspired by God; only a parent's strong emotions. Their power lies in a child's own guilt for their own behavior to the parent, or perhaps their feelings of being resigned to a fate. No, Nimrod was not controlled by Noah's fit of rage. And no, he was certainly not the servant of servants mentioned in Noah's generational curse.Visual Bible (Gustave Doré - KJV)
with many Bible scenes beautifully and graphically illustrated
Available for free download from Christian Freeware's Website: http://www.zeitun-eg.org/freewidx.htm