Link to sermon audio: 1/28/18 sermon audio

For Further Study

Read the following Bible passages this week for a journey from “Eden to New Jerusalem”:

1. The Garden of Eden: Genesis 2:1-15
2. The Tower of Babel: Genesis 11:1-9
3. The Cities of the Plain:Genesis 13:1-18
4. The Tabernacle: Exodus 40
5. The Temple: 1 Kings 6-7
6. The New Temple: Ezekiel 40-43
7. The New Jerusalem: Revelation 21-22

The name Eden might have had one of two origins: the Sumerian word eden, which means”steppe” or “open field,” or the identical Semitic word, denoting, “luxury” or “delight.” In Scripture, Eden is not only the name of the garden in which the first humans resided but also a metaphorical representation of the Garden of God (God’s dwelling place: Isaiah 51:3, Ezekiel 28:12-15, 31:8-18). Eden’s precise location is a mystery.

Ancient cities were dominated by a temple complex, including a tower. The typical Mesopotamian temple tower, known as a ziggurat, was square at the base and had sloping, stepped sides that led upward to a small shrine at the top. Ziggurats were dedicated to particular deities. Their design made it convenient for a god to “come down” to his temple, receive worship from his people and bless them. Mesopotamian ziggurats were given names demonstrating that they were intended to serve as staircases from earth to heaven: The House of the Link between Heaven and Earth (at Larsa), The House of the Seven Guides of Heaven and Earth (at Borsippa), The House of the Foundation-Platform of Heaven and Earth (at Babylon) and The House of the Mountain of the Universe (at Asshur). Archaeological Study Bible, Zondervan. p.6, 20

Name for a district of Babylonia mentioned exclusively in the Bible. The “Plain of Shinar” comprised the region approximately from modern Baghdad to the Persian Gulf. In the ancient world this was the region of Sumer (south) and Akkad (north), which later became generally known as Babylonia (Dn 1:2). The etymology of the term has proven difficult since it fails to appear outside the Bible. Any derivation from the name Sumer seems doubtful. This has led some to speculate that Shinar should be found in Syria since there are parallels with the western Semitic Sangar and the Akkadian Sanhar. But the biblical location is consistent and specific. The renowned cities of Erech, Akkad, and Babel (Babylon) all were in Shinar as a part of the kingdom of Nimrod, son of Cush (Gn 10:10). Genesis 11:2 also mentions Shinar in connection with the Tower of Babel. And in Genesis 14:1, 9 we read about Amraphel, “king of Shinar,” who was part of an eastern league in war with Abraham and the residents of Transjordan. The region also appears in Joshua 7:21 as the origin of the mantle which Achan coveted. Shinar’s identification with a district of Babylon becomes clear in Israel’s exile. Shinar is the destination of Nebuchadnezzar’s new subjects (Dn 1:2) and the place of Israel’s later rescue (Is 11:11; cf. Zec 5:11).

Land and people of southern Mesopotamia. Politically, Babylonia refers to the ancient kingdoms that flourished in southern Mesopotamia. The term can be used geographically to designate a whole region (present day Southeast Iraq).
Elwell, W. A., & Beitzel, B. J. (1988). Shinar. Babylon. In Baker encyclopedia of the Bible (Vol. 2, p. 1955). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House.

City creates true belonging.

1. Destiny (Genesis 11:1)
– Revelation 21:2

2. Mastery (Genesis 11:2-5)
– “Come, let us,” “Top in the heavens,” and “Name for ourselves”

3. Mystery (Genesis 11:7-9)
– “Confuse” and “Disperse”


– What does heaven look like for you?

– How do you pursue mastery and develop community in the process?

– What do we do with the problems cities create (crimes, pollution, etc)?

Connect with Us

– After service with our deacons and elders for serving, giving, and discipleship opportunities.
– Member Meeting is on February 11 right after the service. Both members of Center Church and anyone who is interested in becoming a member are welcome to attend for the updates on the mission of Center Church.
– Sprout Midweek Fellowship of parents with young children starts tomorrow. Monday mornings, 9 am – 11 am in the hub.
– Knowing God book study fellowship starts next Sunday after the service. 6- 8 pm. Location TBA.
– Connect with God’s word: “From Eden to New Jerusalem,” a journey through the Bible (see For Further Study)

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