Teaching Series
Simply Complex
Sunday—Complex Faith

Series: Simply Complex
Message: Complex Faith
Preacher: Japhet De Oliveira
Daily Walk: Japhet De Oliveira

Refresh: Open with prayer. Ask God for the understanding through the Holy Spirit.

Read: Genesis 11-12 (ESV). As you read the English Standard Version, note 1–3 insights or questions. 

Reflect: Many children have a favorite toy, not just one they enjoy for a period of time, but one that ends up shaping their entire life. This is the one they hang onto through every stage of growing up, the one that grows up with them. This toy will mean more as it grows older and increasingly worn and even ragged. The child may eventually play with it less even as they talk to it more. Examples might include a favorite stuffed animal or perhaps an “Action Man” figure, which was the UK-version of the popular American “GI Joe.” I didn’t have a single favorite toy, but rather a favorite range of toy: Lego. I started building with Lego at the age of seven, so I missed out on Duplo, but when my kids were small, and I had the chance to buy their first Duplo sets, I rushed out to the store with more joy than they would have realized. Today, of course they have long outgrown Duplo, moving through to Lego stop-motion (making movies), ordering custom-made Lego characters and pieces, and entering into competitions. And I, at the age of 44, am still building Lego Technic cars. I was not able to collect every model from the 1970s through to today, but I love how simple they look and yet how complex they are to put together. 

When we read the Bible, we are supposed to at first read it like it’s Duplo. Large blocks. Big simple ideas. That obvious interconnection. As we grow in our appreciation of the text, live in community through our community collectives, and hear the voice of the Holy Spirit, we soon see begin to see Technic-level connections. Later, we can move beyond Technic to use our imaginations as we start to see the wonder and beauty of God. 

You just read Genesis 11. A Duplo reading would be “tower, birth of languages, long lists of names, Abram and Sarai setting off on adventure and leaving family behind.” All of these are good things. Essential pieces. Foundational, in fact. The more complex level tells us that when technology was introduced (brick and bitumen) society changed. God told Moses, thousands of years ago, to  warn us living today to be prepared for change. God promised to never destroy the earth back in Genesis 8 and 9. People were created to be unified under Him, but spread all over the world and ended up not trusting God. They wanted to be unified under themselves and created a ghetto to live in under their own control. Unity is not one language or one mission or one statement or one culture. Unity is responding the call of God to follow Him and to live under His vision. 

Recalibrate: ​​​For today only—what is God calling you to?

Respond: Pray for a way or a place in which to serve someone else.

Research: Read Genesis 8 and 9 for extra context.

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