Scripture Text for Today: Genesis 11:1-11:9
Full Text Online | Listen Online
Genesis 11:1-9 is the account of the Tower of Babel. God speaks to people in many different ways through this story and I would like to share one important lesson I gleaned from it. When first reading this passage it wouldn’t appear that those that built the tower did anything wrong. We might ask what is so wrong with building a tower so they could be in community. We however know that God was disappointed with their actions. Therefore more in depth study of this scripture is required to understand what these people did wrong and how we might apply it to our lives.
The first mistake the people of Shinar made is evident in the first couple of verses of Genesis 11. Verses 1-2 say, "Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. As men moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there." To understand what the first sin in the account of the Tower of Babel was we have to go back to Genesis 9:1, which says "Then God blessed Noah and his sons, saying to them, Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth." Because of their arrogance, pride and technological improvements (bricks and tar) the people of Shinar defied God’s command to fill the earth. Instead of obeying God’s command they attempted to build a great tower where everyone could live together instead of spreading across the earth.
As Christians we need to understand that God wants to fellowship and communicate with us and therefore we need to learn how to hear His voice so we can obey His commands. In John 10:27 Jesus says, "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me." In addition, the people of Shinar let their arrogance and pride distract them from obeying the commands of God. They thought that by building a great tower they would leave a name for themselves. How often in our lives do we attempt to make a name for ourselves through hard work, material possessions, and even relationships and ignore the voice of God and his plan for our lives? We are to live our life with God’s purpose as our purpose. In Psalm 127:1-2 it says, "Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain. In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat for he grants sleep to those he loves."
Devotion Provided by Steve Johnson