Nimrod: An Abuse of a Gift


8 Cush was the father of Nimrod, who became a mighty warrior on the earth. 9 He was a mighty hunter before the Lord; that is why it is said, “Like Nimrod, a mighty hunter before the Lord.” 10 The first centers of his kingdom were Babylon, Uruk, Akkad and Kalneh, in Shinar. 11 From that land he went to Assyria, where he built Nineveh, Rehoboth Ir, Calah 12 and Resen, which is between Nineveh and Calah—which is the great city.

Genesis 10:8-12 NIV (New International Version)

The tenth chapter of Genesis is a generalized history of life after the Flood.  It mostly consists of men having sons who in turn have sons and so forth.  Then in verse eight, we are introduced briefly to a man named Nimrod, who was the son of Cush, from the line of Ham.  Why do you suppose, of all the names listed in this family history so far, that Nimrod was given importance?

The Scripture states that Nimrod was considered a great warrior and a hunter that was mighty before the Lord.  What made him so mighty was the fact that he was the first king mentioned in the Bible (see verse 10).  To consolidate his power, Nimrod built five cities including household Bible cities like Babylon and Akkad in order to bring people under his sphere of influence.  The region where he established his reign was in the plain of Shinar (which will be mentioned in the next chapter).

Nimrod obviously was a man with great power and had great skill in leading men.  Where do you think he got this power?  He got his skills from the One who knew him before he was ever born.  The Lord God Almighty gives to all men the abilities to do certain things, leadership for example of such talents.  Why does the Lord give people these gifts?  Is it so that they could use them as they see fit, to fulfill their wants?  Of course not.  The reason that God gives such gifts is so that man can use them in a way that would bring glory to the One who gave them.  God is glorified when people use their gifts to meet the needs of God’s people.  The problem comes when people use their God-given talents to fulfill their own selfish needs and desires; such actions are not honorable to the Lord.

Do you think Nimrod honored God with the leadership skills that He gave to him?  I do not believe that he did.  If you read in the text, Nimrod was described as a hunter and a warrior.  These occupations are very violence prone, which suggests that Nimrod gained his power not out of kindness, but out of force and coercion.   Furthermore, to keep his subjects under his control, he established five cities for them to live.  Not because he was cared for the people but in order to keep an eye on them.  Not only was Nimrod the first king in the Bible, but he was also the first tyrant!

What is the lesson that is to be learned from examining the profile of Nimrod?  God has given to you and I specific gifts and talents for the purpose of showing the love of God in the world.  We must be mindful therefore of these gifts lest we decide to be selfish with them and use them to meet our needs instead of the needs of others.  Continual unrepentant abuse of these gifts may result in God taking them away from us.  For example, back to the story of Nimrod, in the next chapter, the people decided to build a tower so that they would make a name for themselves; that tower was in Nimrod’s kingdom.  It could be suspected that the idea to build tower was Nimrod’s idea in order to boost his prestige.  When God saw this, He decided to confuse the language of Nimrod’s subjects and they all scattered to the ends of the earth.  Nimrod’s kingdom, formed from his abuse of the talent which God had given him, was taken away from him.  Therefore, let us be mindful of the One who give good gifts for what He gives, He could also take away.

 

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