Genesis 11:10-32 The Faithfulness of God to Hit Straight Licks with Crooked Sticks

The faithfulness of God to hit straight licks with crooked sticks

Genesis 11:10-32

11:10-26 – God is faithfully present in preserving a lineage of faith from Adam to Abram.

Genesis 5 and Genesis 11:10-26 are mirrored genealogies with the purpose of showing the historical lineage of faith from Seth to the first missionary, Abram.

Moses intends to show God’s people the faithfulness of God to preserve them in the promised land like he did from Adam all the way through Egyptian bondage.

  1. Seth to Shem = 10 Generations // Shem to Abram = 10 Generations.
  2. These genealogies show us that God is faithful to preserve the faith. There is no

accidental survival on the world’s landscape as a people of faith in the LORD.

  1. These genealogies show us that God preserves the faith even in the little things such as marriage, having kids, passing on the faith, and simply grinding out life.


  1. God is near and working history out to his great ends.

He scattered the rebellious at Babel and he’s faithful to preserve the faithful.

  1. God has not left the preservation of faith in Jesus up to us.

Our disciple making is not changing the heart and bringing forth belief. Our disciple making is teaching them to observe all Jesus commands.

  • God raises dead hearts to life through the powerful gospel message.
  • We preach (sometimes God himself does the preaching and saving of people for deep and unfathomable purposes until sometime later on…see Melchizedek…how’d he get there? Hebrews 7 is an entire chapter devoted to showing how Melchizedek points us to Jesus.)
  • Jesus resurrects.
  • We catch, equip and release.

The absence of “and he died” (as in Genesis 5) is intended to move us from the devastating consequences of the fall to the hope of life in God’s planto preserve the faith and multiply it through the earth.

  1. Sin has still infected man’s ability to live on physically but hope of eternal life begins

to cancel death’s finality because it’s not mentioned. Hope > death.

  1. Everything from this point forward begins to look forward to God’s establishing his

rule and redeeming humanity.

  1. The conflict between God’s kingdom and Satan’s dark rebellion escalates.


  1. Death is very real, but our hope in life through Jesus overcomes fear of death.
  2. Expect a fight to keep the faith.

1 Thessalonians 3:5 (ESV) For this reason, when I could bear it no longer, I sent to learn about your faith, for fear that somehow the tempter had tempted you and our labor would be in vain.

11:27-32 – God was at work hitting straight licks with crooked sticks (Crawford Loritts).

 Crooked stick…

Abram comes from a poly-theistic religion with all manner of idolatrous teachings.

Joshua 24:2 (ESV) And Joshua said to all the people, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘Long ago, your fathers lived beyond the Euphrates, Terah, the father of Abraham and of Nahor; and they served other gods.

  1. Even their family names are from moon worship:
  2. Terah – “lunar month”
  3. Sarai – equivalent of the Akkadian Sarratu, “queen”
  4. Milcah – name of the goddess Malkatu (a title of Ishtar, the daughter of the

moon god).

God hitting straight licks…

God was at work in Abram long before Abraham fully knew the Lord. God was also at work long before Abram was the decision maker of the family. God was working with Abram through Terah to get Abram where God wanted him.

Genesis 15:7 (ESV) And he said to him, “I am the Lord who brought you out from Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to possess.”

Nehemiah 9:7 (ESV) You are the Lord, the God who chose Abram and brought him out of Ur of the Chaldeans and gave him the name Abraham. (Even thought Terah was making the decisions!)[1]

Acts 7:2-4 (ESV) And Stephen said:

“Brothers and fathers, hear me. The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Haran, 3 and said to him, Go out from your land and from your kindred and go into the land that I will show you.’ 4 Then he went out from the land of the Chaldeans and lived in Haran. And after his father died, God removed him from there into this land in which you are now living.

  1. God was supernaturally working faith in Abram before Abram knew it.
  2. God was hitting straight licks with seriously crooked sticks!

God himself is the hero of this narrative not Abram or anyone else.

God is the NOT SO HIDDEN hero.

  1. Sarai is unable to have children, and God will choose her to be the mother of many

nations because he’s the hero, not Sarai.


  1. No one is un-savable or outside of God’s reach.
  2. Abram did not have to clean himself up for God to take notice, and neither do we.
  3. God is at work bringing representatives from every nation to life even as we speak.
  4. God begins to bring people to life before he saves them, therefore, when doing any evangelistic activity, pay attention to who is open and ready to listen and dialogue. You may have run up on a person being awakened to life.
  5. We are to maintain a position of humility if there is any straight lick coming from the crooked sticks of our lives because it’s the Lord’s work not us.
  6. We are to worship God for his pre-emptive, supernatural, powerful grace to save!


[1]Parenthesis mine.

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