The Tower of Babel
1At first everyone spoke the same language, 2but after some of them moved from the east and settled in Babylonia, 3-4they said:
Let's build a city with a tower that reaches to the sky! We'll use hard bricks and tar instead of stone and mortar. We'll become famous, and we won't be scattered all over the world.
5But when the Lord came down to look at the city and the tower, 6he said:
These people are working together because they all speak the same language. This is just the beginning. Soon they will be able to do anything they want. 7Let's go down and confuse them! We'll make them speak different languages, and they won't be able to understand each other.
8-9So the people had to stop building the city, because the Lord confused their language and scattered them all over the earth. That's how the city of Babel got its name.
In theStory up till now, we’ve been following individuals and their relationship to God; Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Lamech, Seth and Noah. Today we consider society at large, a people who wanted to make a name, who fancied themselves as pretty accomplished.
The thing is, however, people really hadn’t changed. These people still wanted to do things their own way apart from God and the story of the Tower of Babel is the chronicle of this rebelliousness. In Genesis 11 they say, “Come let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth.”
Some scholars suggest that Nimrod (chapter 10:8) was the leader behind this; that he wanted to shore up his city’s defenses for the collective security of the people. In reality, it was to contain and control them and with this tower elevate themselves to the level of God in heaven or more likely to the level of gods themselves.
No matter how able we think we are, we cannot reach heaven on our own. We cannot get to God by our hard work, good deeds or accomplishments much less fashion ourselves as gods. In Proverbs it says, “Trust in the LORD and lean not on your own understanding” (3:5). There is only one way to God, only one stairway to heaven and that is Jesus. In John 14:6 Jesus says, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Are there any “towers” you are building in your life by which you are hoping to elevate yourself or are you reliant on Jesus alone for access to the Father?
God, Almighty. I’d heard of you, but now I see you. I confess my attitude of independence and repent asking that you will send your Holy Spirit to mold me into the likeness of your son, Jesus, that I may serve you and bring glory to your name. Amen.