When did things first go wrong with the world, and how have things played themselves out in history since then?
According to the Bible, it was Adam and Eve’s disobedience through which evil and death first entered the world. After this first human sin, it did not take long for envy, deceit, lies, hatred, and evil thoughts to give rise to the first murder, when Adam and Eve’s son, Cain, killed their other son, Abel (see Gen. 4). In the days that followed, rebellion against God continued to escalate in the world to the point that God eventually felt so pained and angry that he came to regret having made humankind and decided to destroy the world with a flood. In the days before the Flood there was one man, however, who obeyed and remained loyal to God, named Noah. He and his family were the only human beings to escape God’s judgment in the Flood.
One might think that God’s judgment through the Flood would be sufficient incentive for humanity to forsake its rebellious ways and turn back to God in repentance. However, in the days after the Flood, human beings came together and once again acted in open defiance of God. Nimrod, the founder of the city of Babylon, became “the first powerful man on earth” (Gen. 10:8, HCSB), that is, “the world’s first great conqueror” (Gen. 10:8, TEV). His reputation as a “hunter” was such that it “became proverbial” (Gen. 10:9, NLT), while the people of the city he founded became obsessed with their own fame and reputation and were intent on accessing the divine realm on their own terms. Since the time of Nimrod and the building of the tower of Babel, the peoples of the earth have felt the oppression of many Nimrod-like rulers and Babylon-like kingdoms. The post-Fall world has been ravaged time and again by human and demonic lust for power, control, and domination, and by a refusal on the part of both mankind and dark spiritual powers to heed God’s warnings and commands.