Summary: There are two ways to try build God's House, there is a right way, the Bethel Model, or the wrong way, the Babel Model.
TWO WAYS OF BUILDING GOD'S HOUSE.
The Babel Model - the wrong way!
Genesis 11:1-9 Now the whole earth had one language and 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 Then they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They had brick for stone, and they had asphalt for mortar.4 And they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.”5 But the LORD came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built.6 And the LORD said, “Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them.7 “Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.”8 So the LORD scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they ceased building the city.9 Therefore its name is called Babel, because there the LORD confused the language of all the earth; and from there the LORD scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth.
In this portion we see the desire of man to reach heaven in his own way and effort, to make a name for himself.
The Bethel Model - the right way!
Genesis 28:10-19 Now Jacob went out from Beersheba and went toward Haran.11 So he came to a certain place and stayed there all night, because the sun had set. And he took one of the stones of that place and put it at his head, and he lay down in that place to sleep.12 Then he dreamed, and behold, a ladder was set up on the earth, and its top reached to heaven; and there the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.13 And behold, the LORD stood above it and said: “I am the LORD God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and your descendants.14 “Also your descendants shall be as the dust of the earth; you shall spread abroad to the west and the east, to the north and the south; and in you and in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed.15 “Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have spoken to you.”16 Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the LORD is in this place, and I did not know it.”17 And he was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven!”18 Then Jacob rose early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put at his head, set it up as a pillar, and poured oil on top of it.19 And he called the name of that place Bethel; but the name of that city had been Luz previously.
We see in this portion of scripture the way God builds His house. Jacob rests on the stone, figurative of Jesus Christ, 1 Peter 2:6, he dreams, one of the languages of God, he sees a ladder, figurative again of Jesus, John 1:21, this ladder opens up heaven where he sees Angels ascending and descending between heaven and earth. When Jacob awakes he pours Oil upon the rock speaking of the Holy Spirit being poured out at Pentecost as the Church has been birthed through the Stone Christ.
1 Peter 2:6 “Behold, I lay in Zion A chief cornerstone, elect, precious, And he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame.”
The foundation of the church was to be laid in Jerusalem. There it was laid and there Christ suffered and died for the sins of the whole world (Matthew 23:37-39; Luke 13:33). There the Holy Spirit fell upon the church and the first Christian revival after the death of Christ took place (Acts 1:8; Acts 2:1-8:1).
Let us compare these two methods of building.
1. Built by men “let us”
2. In Babylon speaking of that which represents the world.
3. It was their imagination.
4. Through self-effort “they made bricks”
5. They tried to reach God in their own way.
6. The result was scattering and confusion.
1. Unless God builds the house we labor in Vain Psalm 127: