In the ever upward climb of man, the quest for trying to outdo God seems to continuously emerge.
The Tower of Babel is a good example of the human lust for power and glory as we will discover in this Bible reading and lesson.
The people of Babel found out quickly what happens when they decided to erect a tower to proclaim their own greatness – Not God’s.
Reaching for the Heavens – The Tower of Babel Story
Now the whole earth used the same language and the same words.
It came about as they journeyed east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there.
They said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks and burn them thoroughly.” And they used brick for stone, and they used tar for mortar.
They said, “Come, let us build for ourselves a city, and a tower whose top will reach into heaven, and let us make for ourselves a name, otherwise we will be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.”
The Lord came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built.
The Lord said, “Behold, they are one people, and they all have the same language. And this is what they began to do, and now nothing which they purpose to do will be impossible for them.
Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, so that they will not understand one another’s speech.”
So the Lord scattered them abroad from there over the face of the whole earth; and they stopped building the city.
Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of the whole earth; and from there the Lord scattered them abroad over the face of the whole earth. – Genesis 11:1-9 NASB
Building a Tall Structure in Babylon
The tower the people were in the process of constructing in these Genesis verses was most likely similar to the pyramids of Egypt. Egyptian style architecture common for structures in Babylon at this time.
Meaning of the Babel Tower (Not to Honor God)
I was a little confused when I first read this passage – contemplating why God would confuse the language to stop construction on this structure.
After all, people have constructed buildings and towers almost as long as they have discovered how to use tools, haven’t they?
Now it’s become clear to me that the people were building the tower to bring honor to themselves — not to honor God.
Ability and Pride
Bluntly, the Tower of Babel meaning shouted to the world:
“Look at what we’ve built and what we have accomplished.”
Doesn’t this statement sound comparable to modern times? We seem hung up on accumulating “stuff” like:
- a new car,
- a fancy house,
- dream vacations,
- the most expensive clothes,
- and so on.
The people of the Bible were no different. They wanted to show off their prized possession too! Namely; An amazing city and the Tower of Babel.
Maybe Idol Worship?
In itself there is nothing wrong with owning nice things. But the people of Babylon were using their tower to replace God with something of themselves.
Then, it becomes an idol to replace God.
Enjoyment Vs. Obsession – What’s Our “Tower of Babel” Story?
Our possessions should not be used to give us a sense of worth or identity.
We should enjoy what we have been blessed with but we should always give the credit to God, and make Him first in our lives.
So, do we honor God with all we have or are we just as guilty as the people of Babylon? In other words, what “Babel towers” have you built lately?
Love in Christ
If you would like to know more about how to receive the love and life-changing experience of Jesus Christ, please take a moment to read John 3:16 and get more information.
This Bible story shows the Tower of Babel in its true light. I hope we can all learn to count our blessings and not belittle the power of God. Amen.