God’s command was to be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth. People stopped moving. Instead they gathered in one spot and decided to just stay. Build a city of permanence and then a tower to make a name for ourselves. We’ve got this now…in fact, in direct contrast to God’s command – let’s do all this because if we don’t “we will be dispersed all over the earth.”
God like a watchful parent sees exactly what’s amiss.
What is it about wanting to stay together and making our own safe place with people we already know and one’s who are like minded? What was God protecting them from by disrupting those plans?
It’s certainly more than God holding to his way for the sake of having it. I don’t believe God is punitive, just making stuff up and forcing our compliance by the strength of his might. God had a reason behind his directions and if as today, He does things for our good and His glory, then that was His same thinking then.
Often we can only speculate as to what would be for His glory. We quickly acquiest on this point most times. But “for our good”…well, we have some definite thoughts on that subject. As did this early human race who thought it a good idea to stay in one place.
The clues we might gather are they were seeking notoriety – in a word – glory. I guess they had spread out just enough to note the playing field was level and this was their chance to stand out. Maybe they thought this glory would untimately bring them power.
Power is a useless commodity apart from having others with no power to laud it over, so obviously this had to be in the thinking. So it seems the tower they were designing was really a stumbling block…it could have as easily been “the apple”.
The temptation to want to be like God goes back to there. Of course it is impossible – to be God – but that simple fact doesn’t keep us from using the full force of our potential to try and overcome the impossible. Humans are stubborn like that.
God is brilliant. He uses the very attraction of “lets stick together in our same little group, with people like us” to move His errant children along. He designs new groups, smaller groups and they – possibly confused and wondering what happened – are proded on their way.
Of course, later, when the time was right to bring Jesus on the scene, part of that preparation will be to create a common language – Greek – but that’s another part of God’s story!
He is willing to share His power and glory with His adopted children, but He will not allow it to be usurpted from Him.
What tower building thoughts or actions of mine need demolition?
About the world?
The trust that fools put in themselves will destroy them.
A wise man will hear and grow in learning.
(Prov 1: 32b, 5)