Summary: The last in a series exploring the early chapters of Genesis, this three-point expository sermon reveals the motive, the materials, and the mess made at the Tower of Babel.
A New Beginning (Part 4)
Scott Bayles, pastor
Blooming Grove Christian Church: 5/4/14
One of my favorite lines from The Wizard of Oz comes after the Scarecrow tells Dorothy, “I haven’t got a brain… just straw.” Dorothy replies, “How can you talk if you haven't got a brain?” So the Scarecrow says, “I don't know... But some people without brains do an awful lot of talking... don't they?” Of course, Dorothy agrees, “Yes, I guess you're right.” Finally, she poses the question, “What would you do with a brain if you had one?” There’ve been a few times I’ve wanted to ask someone that question too.
But my question for you this morning is a little different. My question is: What would you do with a fresh start if you had one? If you could begin again today, if you had a clean slate, what would you do with it?
The last several weeks, we’ve been talking about new beginnings. In Genesis 1, we saw the beginning of everything. And in creation we see the power, planning and product of God. Then, in Genesis 3, we saw the deceptive character of sin, the destructive consequences of sin, and the divine covering for sin. Even though Adam and Eve blew it, God covered them with his grace and gave them a fresh start. But not long after, in Genesis 6-9, we find the story of the flood. Human wickedness had reached a crescendo. Every inclination of their hearts was only evil all the time. But even then God wouldn’t give up on us completely. He kept Noah and his family safe on the arch and then he placed his rainbow in the sky a symbol for God’s patience, promises, and peace. All of humanity had a clean slate—a second chance to get things right.
But what did they do with their clean slate? What would you do with a fresh start if you had one? Let me invite you to Genesis 11; just a turn of the page after God gave Noah and his family a fresh start, we see how the next generation used it.
Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. As people moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there. They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.” But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower the people were building. The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.” So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. That is why it was called Babel—because there the Lord confused the language of the whole world. From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth. (Genesis 11:1-9 NIV)