In Genesis 11:1-9, a story unfolds that sounds a lot like Genesis 3 when Adam and Eve were in the garden. The parallel is in the fact that both instances center on people elevating themselves as gods. Adam and Eve went to the extreme to disobey God in order to know good and evil. They wanted to be like God. The people building the Tower of Babel wanted to build a tower so high that it would reach to the heavens. They wanted so desperately to make a name for themselves. At first glance it looks like a good thing for the people to work together to accomplish great things. The Lord even said that nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Then in His next statement He is on the way to confuse their language so they will not be able to understand each other and continue construction.
Why was it necessary to confuse them to the point of stopping the construction of the Tower of Babel? The answer lies in the fact of trying to attempt things independently of God. Don’t read into this account that God does not want us to work together. In the Spirit there is unity. But don’t forget that it is also under the Spirit of God. Anytime we try to attempt anything without God as our leader, we attempt things in vain. In the book of Acts, the scattering of the Christians led to the mission of the church to go and multiply. So persecution and scattering can be a good thing in disguise. In Genesis 11, God’s anger did not lead to extreme measures. With a gentle hand He redirected them and stopped the misguided venture.
How arrogant and prideful of people to think they could access heaven, the dwelling place of God. The earth alone is to be inhabited by humanity while we are alive in a physical sense. The motive of the tower builders was the same as that of the garden dwellers in that they desired power — power apart from God. In all reality, it was a tiny tower, conceived by a puny plan and attempted by a pint-sized people. They would not have been as powerful as God, but they thought they would have been. That is enough to feed a self-centered pride. Proverbs 16:18 says, “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” It is a lesson that is repeated over and over. It’s as if we have thick skulls or terrible memories. If this were a vote I would vote for both.
What plans are you attempting on your own? Psalm 127:1 says, “Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain.” Without God playing the role of God, we are in a heap of trouble (Commentary of Pastor Mike).
Examine your plans and your direction in life and ask the Lord to reveal to you any pride in your plans. Replace your pride with a desire to follow Jesus wherever He leads. God cares about every detail of your life. Ignite your life by involving Him before, during, and after.
Didn't the children do a great job this past Sunday? From our Preschool to our Elementary age, we have some talented children. God has blessed us so much with people who love and train up our children in the Lord. As we unleash the Holy Spirit in their lives, we teach them what we all should be learning – we have all we need in Jesus. On Sunday we are learning more about the presence of the “I AM” as we look in John 10. Come with anticipation of knowing Him more.
Joy in Jesus!