Monday, February 21, 2011

Genesis 11:1-4

Good morning, all!

Last week we looked at the lines of the three sons of Noah. This week we will see how God narrowed the nations down to the one nation through which He would make Himself known and bless all other nations. But we’re first going to see what happened that led Him to choose one nation. Once again, in chapter 11, we witness the wickedness of man in the story of the Tower of Babel:

Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. As people moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there. They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. 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; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.” (vs. 1-4)

Because these people had a common language, they were unified and able to accomplish much – in rebellion against God! Notice their movement eastward. If you look back at Gen 3:23, you’ll remember that when Adam and Eve left the Garden of Eden, they went east. This eastward movement indicates a moving away from God. They “settled” in the plain of Shinar, Nimrod’s territory.

This passage is all about self-effort and self-promotion. Look at the focus of their conversation: “Come, let’s… Come, let us… ourselves… we…make a name for ourselves…” It was all about them! They were so sure of their own abilities, they thought they could completely ignore God. They even built their tower out of man-made materials rather than stone. Like the third pig, they built their tower of bricks, using tar – (or “slime” in the KJV) for mortar. With hubris, they tried to reach the heavens by their own efforts with a goal of making a name for themselves, not for God. In their rebellion, they wanted to “not be scattered over the face of the whole earth,” in direct defiance of God’s command to Noah and his family in Genesis 9:1.

What a trap for each of us! We all seek to make a name for ourselves. Nothing speaks to this more than our need to put our every thought out there in cyber world through social networking. It can be a terrific way to reconnect with friends, but it can also be self-indulgent. It’s the reason I hesitated so long to blog this study. This cannot be about making a name for me! It has to be to about pointing others to the One whose name is above all others. Please pray with me that I never lose sight of that mission! LORD, may your name, alone, be glorified in all we do and say and think! Amen!

Have a great Presidents’ Day!

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