“Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.” – Genesis 11:4
After the flood, it did not take long for Noah’s descendants to begin turning away from the Lord. At this time in history, everyone on earth spoke the same language and lived in the same location. This was contrary to what God had commanded.
God said to Noah and his sons, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth” (Gen. 9:1). It appeared, however, that Nimrod (Noah’s great-grandson) wanted to keep everyone together. Nimrod became great among the people and established his kingdom, which included Babel and Nineveh. Rather than scatter among the earth and multiply, they all moved to one location. The entire society had the same language and heart, and they were now in direct rebellion to the command of God.
The Bible tells us they were skilled, creative, and innovative. They put these God-given skills to use to build themselves a tower, a “Ziggurat.” Babel means “the gate of the gods,” and the hope was that the gods and goddesses they worshiped would meet with the people at the top.
The people were prideful because they wanted to make a name for themselves. They were in defiance because they were not doing what God had told them to do. And, they were trying to reach heaven by their own works rather than accepting what God had given to them. At the end of it all, God scattered them as He had intended for them to do.
So much of this can translate to our society today, even with us as Christ followers. In our hearts, we know what God has called us to do, yet we often choose our own path. We use our skills and talents that He gave us to build our own careers, live where we want, and try to earn our way to popularity and heaven.
If we find ourselves holding tightly to what we have built, God may take it away. It’s better to give it up willingly, allowing the Lord to lead.
“There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” – Proverbs 14:12