What is made obvious in the Bible in countless ways is that the story of our lives is a story that God himself has written. We are meant to consider this every time we read the genealogies and records of historical events preserved in the Bible. Just like all of history, our lives follow a plot written by God. He has ordered our lives in such a way that we are connected with what has come before and with what follows after. We live in light of the past and we ourselves participate in the outcome of future events but only in those ways God has determined, which is a doctrine taught throughout the Scriptures. In Psalm 139 we read:
In your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them. (vs. 16)
Chapter 11 of Genesis represents the transition from the world’s primeval history (Adam – Noah) to the age of the patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob). As we have already seen in Genesis, the number seven and its multiples are important in this passage to represent the perfect outcome of God’s sovereign purpose. Here we see a major sign post in God’s story of redemption: The birth of Abraham from the righteous line of Shem. Through Abraham, the man of faith, God will ultimately bring about the Savior.
Since Genesis chapter three the story of humanity has been one laden with sin and its disastrous consequences. Man has sought to transcend the boundaries God placed upon him. Violence, immorality, and false religion spread like spiritual viruses among the human population both before and after the flood. And yet, where sin abounded, God’s grace abounded all the more (Romans 5:20). God’s promise cannot fail. His gracious providence cannot be overturned by the most determined of sinners. God’s purpose to save his people from their sins cannot be stopped.