The Tower of Babel is a familiar story. Though it is short in length, it is tremendous in importance. The Tower of Babel is the culmination of the sinfulness of the people, the end of a downward spiral we have been following in this book since the Garden of Eden. Here, a unified humanity decides to use new technology, the brick, to build a civilization for themselves. Remember that in chapter 9, God commanded Noah to “be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth,” now in our text today, that command is seemingly lost and forgotten as seen in the ambition to build a city. Notice the way the ESV records this episode:
1 “Now the whole earth had one language and the same words. 2 And as people migrated from the east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. 3 And they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks, and burn them thoroughly.” And they had brick for stone, and bitumen for mortar. 4 Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.”
It seems that God is completely absent from the people in these events. Notice, the goal is to bring glory to their own name for the things they have done rather than give that praise to God.
Today, consider the heart of these people. They built a city in order not to “be dispersed over the face of the whole earth,” because they desired to have security. They built a tower “with it’s top in the heavens,” because they desired to be praised. Both of these desires, while not entirely evil, are in opposition to God.
How often to we seek our protection outside of God and look for ways to make a name for ourselves rather than praise the God who created us? Try to pause and consider your own heart. Are there things in your life that exist to offer you security outside of God? Are there schemes you’ve created or towers that you have built for your own praise?
Remember to place God first today and trust Him for your security. Give Him the praise and glory that He is due!
By: Alex Boswell