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the Tower of Babel (October 31st, 2011)

posted Nov 6, 2011, 3:18 PM by Kelvin Leu   [ updated Nov 6, 2011, 3:18 PM by hbchurch org ]
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The story of the tower of Babel is one of the most well known childhood stories. But its significance is far greater than often supposed. Let’s start with some of the points of interest about the story.

First, we see that the whole earth had one language and the same words (indicating that not only was the language the same but no dialects had developed). Having one language created a unifying effect and a desire to be dominant in the world. Notice they believed that building the tower would give them a reputation in the earth and would be a rallying point so that they would not be scattered away from each other. It has often been taught in Sunday school classes that the people wanted to create a tower so that they could reach up to heaven and see God. But “heaven” in this context is simply referring to the sky or our immediate atmosphere. These people are not so foolish to think that the heaven where God resides is materially so close that they could reach it. Reaching God is not the point. In fact, the point is quite the opposite. They are not interested in God, they are interested in exalting themselves and getting others to be impressed with them. This is exactly the reason God was displeased with them. Instead of God being their focus and rallying point, they created themselves as their own god and desired the world to worship and honor them. The fact that “nothing they propose to do would be impossible for them” indicates the carnal and worldly direction they were headed.

How simply we read that God confused their language so that they could not understand one another’s speech. In other words, God created a number of other languages and immediately and miraculously infused these new speeches into the minds and tongues of a variety of groups of people resulting in dispersing them across the face of the earth. The result was the origin of the name “Babel” (similar to the Hebrew sound, which means “confused”). Therefore, instead of man “evolving” from apes and cavemen who made grunting sounds until they gradually were able to form words and eventually a language, God made His imprint on the whole world through the creation of the original language and then at Babel the creation of numerous languages. From these languages came a variety of nationalities and races of people as they married within their own language base.

To this day mankind still has the desire to make much of themselves instead of honoring God. And just as in the story of Babel, man without God as His focal point, defeats himself and his own purposes.

by Berry Kercheville
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