The Tower of Babel :: Reaching God or God Reaching


In the article, “The Tower of Babel :: Conservation amidst Confusion“, we learned about the charity and control of God in conserving (saving) mankind amidst confusion from the path that would lead to their own destruction. In today’s article, we shall see a hidden truth from the facts that are evident in this account recorded in Genesis 11:19

Given below are these facts.
Fact #1: Man’s sinful nature makes him want to make a name for himself (Genesis 11:04)
Fact #2: Man tries to reach God by build a tower that would reach the heavens (Genesis 11:04)
Fact #3: God confuses man and scatters them abroad the face of the earth (Genesis 11: 09)

But the Truth that remains is:  Man by his own efforts cannot reach God. This is not God’s plan, lest any man should boast in his works (abilities and achievements). Instead, God reaches down to man, by becoming the Son of Man, born of a virgin and named Jesus, for he shall save his people from their sins, making it possible for the sons and daughters of me to become the children of God.

Points to ponder:
Our works that aim at saving us would only lead to confusion. Our works wont save us, and we are saved by grace, and grace alone – The grace of God in Jesus Christ, who reached out for man, so that you and I would be able reach God. Are you reaching out for God, to God? and irrespective of your state, you can take heart in the fact, that God is reaching out to you.

Genesis 11:1-9 (KJV)
And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech.
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.
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.
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.
And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded.
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.
Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.
So the Lord scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city.
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.
10 These are the generations of Shem: Shem was an hundred years old, and begat Arphaxad two years after the flood.

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The Tower of Babel :: Conservation amidst Confusion


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.
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.
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.
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.
And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded.
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.
Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.
So the Lord scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city.
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.

The Tower of Babel :: Trinity in the Tower


About a year or two ago, during the Easter timeframe, I heard a knock on my door and when I answered it, I found a young man and a woman, well dressed in semi-formal clothing, standing at my door. They identified themselves by their names and very quickly I came to learn that they were from the cult group, Jehovah’s Witness, as they would not accept the Lordship of Jesus. In an attempt to make them understand the error of their ways, I asked them to complete the sentence “At the name of Jesus, every knee shall bow and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is _______”. They dilly-dallied quite a bit and refrained from answering as ‘Lord’ which is what the Scripture states clearly (Philippians 2:10-11). Instead they tried completing my sentence, focusing solely on the humanity of Jesus, as Mary’s child, Joseph’s son, etc., completely ignoring Jesus’ divinity. Then as they left, they left a publication of theirs, which is known as the WatchTower and an article in it, had the heading, “What is the Holy Spirit?”. First and foremost, this question cannot be answered, for it is blatantly wrong since the Holy Spirit is not inanimate but a living person. The correct question would have been “Who is the Holy Spirit?”. Second, the content of that article, subtly like the devil himself, attempted to paint a picture that the Holy Spirit of God is some kind of an active force of God.

Genesis 11:7 states “Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.” Before we deal with the reason as to why God would confound man’s language lest they understand one another’s speech, it is important for us to focus on the first part of this verse, which is, God said, “Let us”. This the same phrase that God uses when he creates man in his image (Genesis 1:26) and this expression implies a plurality of God. God is singular yet plural, meaning that he is not three gods, but One True God, manifesting himself in three persons as God the Father, Jesus Christ God’s Only begotten Son and Holy Spirit.

May this be a warning to heed for every occult group such as Jehovah’s witness or Jesus Only Movement who deny the three persons of the Trinity. God’s (YHWH or Yahweh or Jehovah’s) essence in three persons and to deny that Jesus is the Son of God is to have the spirit of the anti-Christ working in you (1 John 4:3). Jesus and the Father are One as God (John 10:30) and it is Holy Spirit who is poured out on us, proceeding from God the Father (John 15:26), when we believe in Jesus Christ. To deny one of God’s eternal persons is to deny all of God.

Points to ponder:
God in three persons was involved in the creation of man and now again, we see the Trinity in the Tower – Watch out (a little pun intended). From the beginning of our life and through the course of it, God’s involvement in our lives, is in three persons … to the glory of God the Father, being saved by Jesus Christ his Only begotten Son, and inspired and guided by the Holy Spirit. Do you feel the presence of the Triune-God-in-One, in your life? Watch out.

Genesis 11:7 (KJV)
Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.

The Tower of Babel :: The Power of Oneness


Genesis 11:6 states “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.”  This verse is probably one of the greatest, if not the greatest, testament that anyone can give to the power of unity. Having hailed from the the beautiful country of India, wherein the motif of the entire nation is captured in the phrase, “Unity in Diversity”, I can certainly relate to the power of unity, and, here we have not just any man, but the Lord himself who is making this declaration, that the people are one, and with such oneness there is nothing that is restrained from them, and that they would be able to do anything, that they have imagined. What a great testament this is to the power of oneness.

To get this to hit home, imagine that you want to do something, and then be certain, that with everyone working together, without confusion, toward that thing, it is only a matter of time, before which it becomes a reality. This is what God is saying, man can do, when they are one and can communicate their imaginations clearly without confusion (one language). In subsequent articles, we will learn about the dangers of such oneness, which warranted the LORD God to intervene, and confound the language of man, but today, let’s ponder upon the power of oneness.

Points to ponder:
The greatest commandment is to love God with our all – i.e., to be intimate with him; to be one with him. The second greatest commandment is to love our fellow men and women (neighbors) as ourselves – i.e., be one in fellowship with our neighbors; with God’s disciples. With such oneness, we can do great things for God and bring glory to God our Father.  I believe, this is why Jesus prayed for the oneness of his believers with him – the kind of oneness that he had with God the Father from the very beginning (John17:20-23). And when we are one with God, with us in Christ and God in Christ, we are made perfect and the world would come to know Christ (John 17:23). The Power of Oneness with God cannot be restrained – think about that. Do you want this power? If so, become one with God and his people. Love God with all, love man as yourself!

Prayer: 
Lord, let me become one with you, so much so, that when people look at me, they do not see me, but you! 

Genesis 11:5 (KJV)
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.

John 17:20-23 (KJV)
20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;
21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

The Tower of Babel :: What’s will the LORD see?


Genesis 11:5 states “And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded.What is interesting to note is that the LORD descended from above, to see the city and the tower that was being built by the people who settled in the town of Babel, in the plains of Shinar. This informs us of a few hidden treasures that close scrutiny unearths.  First, the LORD came down implies that the LORD is above us, not just metaphorically, but physically and spiritually. Second, the LORD came down to see what the people were building. This implies that God is interested in the affairs of man.

Points to ponder:
The LORD is interested in the affairs of our life. If God was to come down from above, what is it that he will see you and me building?

Prayer: 
Lord, when you come from above to see what I am doing, may I be building your kingdom and your house and not trying to make myself a name by building lofty and earthly things that may even reach the heavens.

Genesis 11:5 (KJV)
And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded.

The Tower of Babel :: Making a name


Genesis 11:3-4 states “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. 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.

What is interesting to note is that, not only did the people settle down in the plains, in the land of Shinar, which was itself contrary to God’s commandment to replenish the earth (Genesis 1:28; Genesis 9:1), but they also planned with one another to build a city and tower that would reach unto heaven, so that they would not be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth, again doing things that was contrary to what God had commanded. They did this with the hope of making a name for themselves. (Genesis 11:3-4).

Points to ponder:
Are we trying to make a name for ourselves? Let us not build a name for ourselves, but instead, let us build the Name of Jesus, the Name above all names; the Name to which every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that he (Jesus) is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:9-11). Whose name are you and I building … our name or the name of Jesus.

Prayer: 
Lord Jesus, help me to work for you and for your Name, only yours, which is above all names, so that God the Father would be glorified. 

Genesis 11:3-4 (KJV)
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.
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.

Philippians 2:9-11 (KJV)
Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

The Tower of Babel :: What’s your Shinar?


Genesis 11:2 states “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.” Now, while this may seem like it was just the natural thing to do for the people of God, it was indeed extremely contrary to the command that God had given his people. God had commanded his people to be fruitful and multiply, and to replenish the earth (not settle down in one place), and subdue it (Genesis 1:28), but with the fall of Adam, the earth became exceedingly evil and every imagination of man’s mind was wicked (Genesis 6:5), thereby bringing about the judgment of God in the form of a flood, destroying all mankind, except Noah and his family. Now what is interesting to note is that, after the flood, the same command that was given to Adam and Eve, is now given to the Noah and his sons, which is to be fruitful and to multiply and to replenish the earth (Genesis 9:1), again not settle down in one place. So we see that settling down in one place (in the land of Shinar) was a direct contradiction to the command of God.

Points to ponder:
What is it that keeps you from following the command of God? Let us not settle down in our sinful states but let us be fruitful, producing the fruit of the Spirit and let us multiply – replenishing God’s kingdom on earth.  What’s your Shinar? Settle not there!

Prayer: 
Lord, help me to follow your commandments and not seek to settle down in places of my life, where I think it is level ground (a plain). Let my Shinar be in you, Lord, I pray. 

Genesis 11:2 (KJV)
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.

Genesis 9:1  (KJV)
And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.