Genesis 11:1-9 gives the account of how God came down and saw the city and the tower that the people were building, and God found that the people were one and had one language, and God said that there would be nothing that could be restrained from men because of their unity, and everything that they imagined, could be done. So God confused the language of the people, so that they could not understand each other, and scattered them upon the face of the earth.
Superficially, this may seem like God was being unfair. Why would God choose to break the unity that man had? What was wrong with just one language? To answer these questions, it is important for us to pay close attention to the testament that God had given of man, that with such oneness in the people, everything that they could imagine could be accomplished (done) without restraint. Now this may not seem overly significant until we put this together with the nature of man, after man sinned. Now before Adam’s sin, man was made upright/perfect (Ecclesiastes 7:29) in the image of God, but after his fall (Genesis 3), sin and its wages which is death came into the world (Romans 5:12), and God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually (Genesis 6:5). This same fallen nature is implicit in the people, now in the plains of Shinar who are trying to build a tower that reached the heavens, with their motivation being – to make a name for themselves and not for God (Genesis 11:4), very much like the iniquity of pride that was found in the heart of the evil one, Lucifer (Ezekiel 28:2).
So if God was to let the people continue in their unity to build a tower that would make man lofty with pride, so much so that he would reach the heavens, this could only lead to the ultimate destruction of mankind, since a continually evil heart with unrestrained power would lead to vices which all beget death in the end. So God was not being unfair, but in a mysterious way was charitable toward man. God’s love (charity) was implicit amidst the confusion that was caused by him, for he did not man to continue down the path that leads to man’s self destruction. In other words, God was conserving mankind mysteriously amidst confusion. Another word for conservation is Salvation.
Points to ponder:
While events that transpire in our life may seem chaotic and confusing, look for the silver lining in what may seem dark and you will find the Sovereign hand of God, painting your life as a masterpiece – for his charity is expressed even amidst confusion. God is not the author of confusion, but of peace (1 Corinthians 14:33), but it takes a heart that is not continually thinking of evil, but one that seeks after God’s own heart to see that. Do you see God’s Sovereign hand of control in your life, which is not to make us feel confused, but because of his great charity (love) toward us – Do you see it? He desires to conserve (save) our souls (SOS).
Genesis 11:1-9 (KJV)
1 And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech.
2 And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there.
3 And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter.
4 And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.
5 And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded.
6 And the Lord said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.
7 Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.
8 So the Lord scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city.
9 Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the Lord did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the Lord scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.