Weekend Message Takeaway: “Building Altars, Not Towers”

What’s your tribe? Several years ago this would have seemed like a strange question, but today people are longing for identity. The individualism of the 60s, 70s, and 80s has given way to a desire for connection to something bigger than ourselves. Nowadays, people want to know where they come from, their heritage, their people. It’s the reason sites like Ancestry.com have become so popular.

This past weekend, we concluded this amazing journey through the first part of Genesis with a powerful message through Genesis 10–11. In this study, Pastor Doug shared where we all come from as we explored the Table of Nations, the Tower of Babel, how we’ve all descended from one of Noah’s sons, and how humanity spread throughout the world.

Watch the video below to see a few highlights from the teaching and share it with your friends via social media. To watch the message in its entirety, click here.



For the Note Takers

Let’s recap some of the key talking points from Pastor Doug's message this weekend:

A Word on the Table of Nations
"It stands absolutely alone in ancient literature, without a remote parallel, even among the Greeks, where we find the closest approach to the distribution of peoples in genealogical framework . . . The Table of Nations remains an astonishingly accurate document."—Dr. William Albright (Non-Christian Near East archeology expert)

We All Share the Same Bloodline: The Book of Genesis is a history book, not a science book. However, the book makes some grand claims about the past that should become evident as we explore the world through science. One of the claims made is that after the Flood, Noah’s three sons and their wives repopulated the earth. If that’s true, then there should be evidence of this . . . and there is!

According to a recent Washington Post article, "Among Many Peoples, Little Genomic Variety," Brown reports, “A new genetic study of 53 human populations shows that each falls into one of three genetic groups—yet that the three groups aren’t as different as was thought. Generally speaking, all people groups seem to fall into just three categories."

Evolutionists have now come to explain this through the “Out of Africa” theory, having adjusted their earlier model to fit recent findings. The Bible; however, had outlined this scientific fact thousands of years ago in Genesis 9–10. Science is now just catching up to the Bible and validating the claims made in the Word.

Both the biblical model and modern science (“Out of Africa” theory) agree on one thing . . . during a certain point in history, humanity experienced a genetic bottleneck, going from a large number of people (believed to be in the millions) down to a very small number.

After this bottlenecking period, several thousands of years ago, humanity, with a population around 10,000 people at the time, spread out throughout the earth. Here we see the legacy of Shem, Ham, and Japheth (Noah’s three sons). The sons of Japheth spread into regions of Europe and Eurasia, the sons of Ham spread into Africa, Asia, the Pacific Islands and over to the Americas, and the sons of Shem populated the Arabian Peninsula, evently becoming the Semitic people (Jews and Arabs, the children of Abraham).

You Can Be Part of a Tribe Without Being Tribal: Did you know that there have only been 150 generations since we were a single family? Only 150! Earlier we discussed how today everyone wants to know their tribe . . .  but the danger of tribes is that you can become tribal. Tribal mentality says, “That tribe is different than us. They look different. They speak different. They believe differently. They’re from a different place. We are better. They are a threat. God is for us more than He is for them. They’re not His people.” Often, the need to belong to a tribe, to be part of something, also leads many to re-segregate into tribes around gender, ethnicity, race, politics, social status, religion, and various alt groups. We’re creating distance between one another where there should not be distance. We are sowing seeds of distrust and bigotry.

Did you know that, genetically, we are all over 99 percent similar? There is a fraction, less than 1% difference in the genetics of humanity. Lluis Quitnana Murci wrote, “The genes that explain the phenotypic differences (the genes that explain the way we look) between populations only represent a tiny part of our genome, confirming once again that the concept of ‘race’ from a genetic standpoint has been abolished.”

Racism has no place in the world! We all came from Adam and Eve, we all came from Noah’s family only 150 generations ago. Modern genetics proves this point that racism has no place in the world. We’re all cousins, children of Noah. And the family of God is a beautiful representation of that. Every tribe, tongue, and nation, every gender, skin tone, eye color . . . every genetic variation under the sun is represented in the Church. You see, the gospel is bigger than your group. The gospel is about unity not uniformity.

At Babel, tribes were formed, language was divided, and people became segregated. At the cross, God made a way for us to all be brought together under Christ Jesus! He has adopted all who believe as sons and daughters, and He wants all people around the world to receive His free gift of salvation. One people, one tribe.

Don’t Waste Your Life Trying to Make a Name for Yourself: Here’s a name you may or may not know . . . Nimrod. Who is Nimrod? He was the great-grandson of Noah, the son of Cush, grandson of Ham, and nephew of Canaan. If you recall, Canaan was cursed by Noah. The Bible calls him a great and mighty hunter before the Lord, but not a hunter for animals . . . Instead, he hunted men’s souls. And they weren’t souls for the Lord. He hunted for power, adoration, fame, and his own glory. He wanted to be remembered forever, and so Nimrod began the very first organized rebellion against God.

Nimrod was also the very first world ruler and the first type of an anti-Christ. It is believed that the anti-Christ will be just like him. He won men’s souls to be used against the Lord, starting human slavery, idolatry, war, human sacrifice, sexual worship, and all manner of wickedness.

Nimrod established great cities, including Babylon from which he ruled. In Babylon, he endeavored to build a mighty tower that reached into the heavens. It was to be his greatest accomplishment, establishing his name forever, for all humanity to remember. That plan backfired . . .

How many people today do you think know the name Nimrod? Not many. Funny enough, today his name is actually slang for an “Idiot; moron; jerk; an ignorant or clueless person.” This is what happens when you try to make a name for yourself instead of living to glorify the name of Jesus and walking in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Jesus said, “Those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted” (Matthew 23:12 NLT).

Do you know what name people do remember? Abraham. He is revered across the world as the father of faith by Christians, Jews, and Muslims alike. He never tried to make his own name great; he never built a great city or monumental tower . . . Instead, he lived in tents and built altars for God everywhere he went. Like his ancestor Noah, whose first act upon exiting the ark was to build an altar for the Lord, Abraham was all about exalting the name of the Lord. His faith in the Lord is why he was called “friend of God.” It’s why the Lord chose him; it’s why God used him to make a great nation; it’s why the Lord used his lineage to bring the Messiah into the world.

If You Know Who You Are, You’ll Know What to Do: We want to be a people that builds altars of worship unto the Lord, not towers unto ourselves. We want to make His name known, we want to point people to Jesus. We want to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world so that people would come to know the love of God and become disciples of Jesus Christ.

Quote to Remember: The gospel is about unity not sameness.Pastor Doug Sauder

How Does Science Support the Genetic Lineage of Noah?

Both Mitochondrial DNA and the Y-chromosome help us create a family tree. The Y-chromosome allows us to create a family tree of all the men in the world, as the Y-chromosome is passed down from father to son. But the mitochondria, according the scientific research and a lot of experimental evidence, is only passed down from the mother to the child. Men do not pass on their mitochondrial DNA.

How many Y-chromosomes were on the ark? There was only one! Noah gave the same Y-chromosome to all three of his sons.

How many Mitochondrial DNA were on the ark? Four. But only three passed on in the genetic pool.

How many X-chromosomes were on the ark? More than likely eight. Noah’s wife had two X-chromosomes, but it’s possible she gave the same X to all three of her sons, meaning one would be lost, leaving us with seven (six from the wives of Noah’s sons and one that was passed to Noah’s sons). If one of more of the sons inherited her second X-chromosome, then eight.

Conclusion: If the biblical model is true, then we should be able to harbor a lot of genetic diversity amongst X-chromosomes, a little genetic diversity amongst mitochondrial DNA, and NO genetic diversity amongst Y-chromosomes.

Does this fit the evidence today? Yes! Y-chromosomes around the world are incredibly similar, even after thousands of years of potential genetic mutation . . . surprisingly similar! Based on the similarity of male Y-chromosomes, we must have a common ancestor (Noah and his sons, who all shared the same Y-chromosome) within only a few thousand years, not millions of years as evolutionists posit—that would be genetically impossible. In addition to this, there are three main mitochondrial lineages, the three groups alluded to in the Washington Post article, that are found around the world on every continent! These mitochondrial groups are referred to as M, N, and R (theory: the close proximity between M and N mean they could have been sisters or close relatives who each married one of Noah’s sons).

Begins August 22 | Times and Locations Vary by Campus
This August and September, take a class that will empower you in one of the following key areas—personal growth, family, and finances. For a class schedule, stop by the Connection Point. For detailed descriptions of each class offering by campus, and to sign up, click here.


This Wednesday we’ll close out our “Origins: The Beginning” summer topical series with a powerful discussion on race based on the Table of Nations and the Tower of Babel. Come hear special guest speaker Doug Logan, Director of Diversity at Acts29. This is one you won’t want to miss!

Have you ever wondered how God desires to be worshipped, orr maybe why we sing when we gather together as a church? Find out the purpose of and the heart behind biblical, Spirit-led worship this weekend as Worship Pastor Andrew Wooddell shares a powerful message on the topic.

About the Author

Danny Saavedra

Danny Saavedra is a licensed minister who has served on staff at Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.