All of us have rebelled against God though we’d rather not think of it that way. Simply not walking in fellowship with God is enough to separate us from Him for all eternity.
It isn’t just that wayward prodigal child that has the heart of rebellion.
Each of us must consider our own heart.
This is a story of a group of people who rebelled against the authority and love of God.
“Nations that once feared God now ignore Him and despise His Word. Children from godly homes are rebelling against the faith of their parents. Not much has changed in the last four thousand years, since Babel.” (Answers in Genesis -The World in Revolt by Mike Matthews on February 4, 2008; last featured June 13, 2010)
This story is a warning against rebellion and a comfort to us to trust God for the outcome of our circumstances.
“And the Whole Earth Was of One Language, and of One Speech” (v. 1)
After the flood, God made it clear to Noah’s descendants to “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.” (Genesis 9:1). They really had no intention of spreading out but instead purposed to stay together and pool their resources rebellion.
God had promised never to cover the earth with a flood again (Genesis 9:11). Instead, He uses other ways to curb sin in the hearts of men.
“And They Found a Plain in the Land of Shinar; and They Dwelt There” (v. 2)
Shinar is thought to be in the fertile land of Mesopotamia.
Rebellion has been the intention in each person’s heart since Adam sinned. God knew that it wouldn’t be long until people started to sin and rebel again.
“Let Us Make Brick, and Burn Them Thoroughly” (v. 3)
City building wasn’t new. Tubal Cain was a city builder before the time of Noah (Genesis 4:17-22).
There were no rocks in this fertile plain and they had to make bricks. This required baking the bricks and using mortar to adhere the bricks to each other.
“Let Us Build Us a City and a Tower, Whose Top May Reach Unto Heaven” (v. 4)
It wasn’t building a tower that was wrong, but their intentions were in total rebellion to God.
“Let Us Make Us a Name, Lest We Be Scattered” (v. 4)
They wanted to have a name for themselves instead of giving God the glory. God directly told them to scatter but they intentionally chose to stay together.
If you notice, not one single person who built the Tower of Babel is known by name. Instead God gave the tower a name which it has been known for during the past four thousand years.
“And the LORD Came Down to See the City and the Tower” (v. 5)
Nothing escapes God.
There isn’t anything that we do that God doesn’t notice.
Often it seems like people prosper although they are living in total opposition to God.
He is a merciful God and wants us to repent more than He wants to judge us for our sin.
God came down and looked at the city and tower that the builders had made.
Then He stepped in and stopped what they were doing.
“Nothing Will be Restrained From Them, Which They Have Imagined to Do” (v. 6)
God has given man many talents, abilities, and gifts; but when they are not used for His glory and things are accomplished in a person’s own strength it is for his own undoing.
God doesn’t judge people with a catastrophic world wide flood anymore but often will stop a person before their rebellion has gone too far.
“Let Us Go Down, and There Confound (confuse) Their Language, That They May Not Understand One Another’s Speech” (v. 7)
What an incredible way of judging the builders of the tower!!
What a merciful God!
God could have used a catastrophic event that would have wiped them all out! Instead He caused them to all speak in different languages.
Language is such a barrier even today.
“So the LORD Scattered Them Abroad” (v. 8)
If you don’t want to obey God and would prefer to rebel, God’s got that covered!!
Jonah is another example where God redirected Jonah back on course and caused him to obey.
They wouldn’t scatter? God scattered them Himself!
“Therefore is the Name of it Called Babel” (v. 9)
God had the last say!
God named the tower and we don’t know the name of one single person who was involved in building the Tower of Babel.
We have a lesson to learn from this account.
God cares so much about our individual affairs that even if we choose to rebel against Him, He takes notice and will often give us time to repent.
I wonder how many of the builders repented when they experienced God’s judgment in confusing their languages? I’d like to think that even just one person did.
Are you allowing God to direct your path or are you living in rebellion? Do you have a child or person you know that you would like me to pray for?
Photo Credit: Pieter Bruegel the Elder – The Tower of Babel – This is a faithful photographic reproduction of a two-dimensional, public domain work of art.