I’ve made it a goal to sit down about once a week, read one chapter of the Bible, and pull out as much as I can from it, to see what God has taught me and to find out what he’s going to teach me next.
Today, I’m reading chapter 11 of Genesis.
Then they said, “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.” –Genesis 11:4 NIV84
This story, pulled from the tales of the genealogy of Genesis 10, is one similar to that of Adam and Eve in the Garden, though it may not look it on its surface.
This is about man’s unrelenting desire to be like God. The building of this tower was an attempt for man to reach Heaven and also to bring God down to their level.
As Christians, we sometimes have a tendency to look at God as a buddy, a pal, a Dude who does nice things for us, instead of as the Holy, Powerful, Merciful, Loving Creator and Author of the Universe he is! This is why we are commanded not to take the Lord’s name in vain and also why we tend to bow our heads when we pray.
He is always to be honored above all.
The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.” –Genesis 11:6-7 NIV84
Again, as a mirror of the Adam and Eve story, God punished them and then put a preventative measure in place. In Eden, God cast Adam and Eve from the Garden as punishment, and then guarded the Tree of Life as a preventative measure.
Here, God confuses their languages and spreads them out over the earth.
But was God actually afraid that they would build a towel so high that they would reach Heaven? Of course not, because Heaven isn’t in the sky.
The Heavens weren’t trembling in fear of the awesome might of humanity, but instead, God knew that, left unchecked, the nature of humanity could bring about serious consequences.
In Genesis 11, we find that man has a habit of trying to lower God to their level instead of holding him up as the Almighty, we find that God does punish us sometimes but that it’s always in our best interest, and we find that humanity’s sinful nature, if left unchecked, can do awesome and terrible things.