Today’s Genesis reading is probably the first passage where you will be tempted to think “so what?” as you read a bunch of unfamiliar names and places. You might have little interest in the historical details and would prefer to read only the stories in Genesis. Today I want to help you see why these names are important. Genesis doesn’t simply tell us history. Though the book does give appropriate historical summary, more significantly Genesis begins telling the story of God’s worldwide salvation. In this list of names, you will see some familiar people and places. For example, you likely know “Egypt”, “Canaan”, “Babylon”, “Assyria”, “Nineveh”, “Cush”, and “Philistines”. If they are not familiar, just know these nations will play major roles in the unfolding Biblical story. They will antagonize one another and also God’s chosen people, Israel. These nations will be characterized by the same sorts of evils that plagued humanity before Noah–murder, theft, sexual immorality, war, and idolatry. As we see these nations rise, the question becomes, “How will God deal with renewed expansion of human evil on the earth?” As the story progresses, God unveils His solution. He still will judge evil (Psalm 5:1-6), yet in His love, God wills for us to have friendship with Him (Psalm 5:7). These nations will form the backdrop as God reveals a salvation much better than the one given to Noah through the ark.