Who is our God? What is He like?
He is a longsuffering God.
As civilization began to develop after the flood, it did not take long for the wickedness in the heart of man to rear its ugly head again. We get just a few verses into chapter ten when we are introduced to a man named Nimrod. He has risen to a great and prominent place among the men of the earth. Having the judgment of the flood fresh on the mind, you would think that it would act as a deterrent to wicked behavior. However, the next thing we read is that this man was actually an affront to God. The scripture states:
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. (Genesis 10:8-9)
Some have mistaken this to mean that Nimrod was somehow blessed with influence by God in the earth. However, a careful study will reveal otherwise. The word “before” translated from the Hebrew “paniym” means “in the face of” or “against.” This man was willfully defiant before God. It is believed to be the case that the reference to him being a “hunter” is actually speaking to the act of gathering or conquering men to align in allegiance with him. This would certainly be a plausible explanation, given the nature of the kingdom of Babel that was soon to arise in the earth. A kingdom, like its king (Nimrod) that was also an affront to God.
So, what does all of this reveal about the nature of God? I think, given the recent judgment of the flood, and the consequent and immediate display of wickedness by the new inhabitants of the earth, it demonstrates once again that our God is “longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9) Man in his depravity is not only a violator of God’s Law, but often an aggressive offender and an affront to Him. God, in His goodness, extends mercy when justice is certainly deserved.
The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. (Psalm 103:8)
Behold our God!