5 But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built. 6 And the Lord said, “Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them. 7 Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.” 8 So the Lord scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they ceased building the city. 9 Therefore its name is called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of all the earth; and from there the Lord scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth.
Genesis 11:5-9, NKJV
The Tower of Babel
The Lord graciously accommodates us by using the language He does in verse 5 of Genesis 11. "But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built." Did God actually have to come down to see what man was doing? No! But, in using this expression, we get the sense that God was doing more than just looking to see what the men were doing. For, God not only saw the activity of the building of the Tower of Babel, but He also saw the thoughts and intents of the hearts of the people.
What commandment had God given to Noah and to his sons when they left the ark?
“Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth." Genesis 9:1
The earth needed to be populated by the people. Instead, the people had all congregated in one place in the land of Shinar. It was not long before they began to plan the building of the Tower of Babel. What was the purpose of the tower? They were hoping to reach up into the heaven of heavens and build themselves right into God's throne-room.
Surely God laughs at the foolishness of men. First of all, what they were proposing to do was impossible. Second, and more important, God saw that the purposes driving them to build this tower were only evil. Not being content as mere men, they were going to build themselves right into a status equal to God, Himself.
The solution God used was certainly effective, was it not? God came down to the men who were building the tower and confused their language. Suddenly, the person that was standing next to them began to speak what sounded like gibberish to them. In their confusion, can you not picture the people trying to find others whom they could understand?
As different groups began to congregate based upon a commonality of language, they began to disperse throughout the entire earth.
How effective was this method that God used? Extremely effective! Even to this day, we find man separated by the differing languages. Even those who are gifted in learning various languages are not able to speak every single language that exists on this earth. Man has come a long way in learning to work with those of other languages, but has that been a good thing?
What do we see in our world today? Television has been instrumental in bringing a combining of cultures. Has the world come closer to God through the efforts of mankind's working together? Unfortunately, like as in the Tower of Babel, it seems that man seems to grow farther and farther away from God.
Left to ourselves, we find that our hearts are only evil continually. It is only through Christ that we gain a desire to live a life that is pleasing and obedient to God. Because the world seems to run as far away from God as possible, we see a society of people that are more and more resembling the pre-flood society which God destroyed.
Let us, as children of God, reach out to our friends and neighbors. Let us pray for their salvation and take the opportunities we have to share Christ with them. That is why we are here!
Let us not be fooled by the "nice" and "polite" world in which we live. Let us understand that, apart from Christ, man is only evil!
What an amazing God we serve!
God Bless You,