Summary: The early post-flood world had some ambitious individuals. They stretched their limits and pushed beyond themselves. They looked for more than what they had and began to forget the Lord. They began to envision things they shouldn’t and soon were pursui
May 1, 1994
ASSORTED THOUGHTS ABOUT A DISTORTED WORLD
INTRO: (1) The word Babel is interesting because it is given two different meanings. Gen. 11:9 says: "Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth." In Hebrew the word Babel means confusion. The Babylonians themselves used the word to mean "the gate of God." So the Babylonians said, "We are the gate of God," and the Jews said, "No, you are confusion." Throughout Scripture, right up to the book of Revelation, the concept of Babylon stands crucial, Babylon saying, "We are the gate of God," and the Bible answering, "No, this is the place where the basic confusion of language occurred. You are confusion." Our own word Babylon is simply the word Babel with a Greek ending.
--Francis A Schaeffer (159) #13-1
(2) There was a dear black saint of God who happened to enter a fashionable church. After the service he approached the preacher and told him that he wanted very much to join the church. The pastor knew that his consent to such a request would not meet with the approval of the official board of the church and the congregation. At the same time he did not want to appear cruel and harsh. So he said to this man, "John, go home and pray for two weeks for the Lord to guide you definitely whether He wants you to join this church." Accordingly, humble John took the advice and went home. When he returned two weeks later the preacher asked him about the Lord’s direction. "Sir," John replied, "God told me that He has been trying to get in here for the past fifteen years and He hasn’t succeeded, so I had better give up trying where even God cannot find entrance." (3) 132.83
(3) The early post-flood world had some ambitious individuals. They stretched their limits and pushed beyond themselves. They looked for more than what they had and began to forget the Lord. They began to envision things they shouldn’t and soon were pursuing whatever they imagined. It is easy in such a world not only to forget God, but even to view Him as a barrier never welcome in the day’s plans.
PROP: CONFUSION WILL REIGN IN A WORLD WHERE GOD IS NOT WELCOME.
TRANS: The Tower of Babel account shows us three weaknesses of a deranged world.
I. Communication may lead to conspiracy (Gen. 11:1).
A. The earth’s entire population spoke only one language and dialect. Obviously it never occurred to them that the very gift of communication was just that, a gift. This one thing that everyone had in common was at the heart of their agreement to undertake an improper project. They took their common language for granted, assuming it was theirs completely. Today it is much the same: things in common are easily taken for granted.
B. Unity, as a whole, is a good thing. The Bible does much to cast it in a favorable light. The book of Philippians for example more than once emphasizes being "of one mind." The Psalmist mentioned how good and pleasant it was for brethren to dwell together in unity (Ps 133:1). There is no shortage of the togetherness theme in the "one another " passages. Unity is not a good thing however when it is built around a wrong purpose. Proverbs tells us not to have one purse with sinners (Pr 1:10,14). We are also advised to have nothing to do with an angry man (Pr 22:24-25). Paul left us with instruction as believers not to be unequally yoked together with unbelievers (II Cor 6:14).
C. Our words put us in touch with people. When God is not considered in our communication, the words may lead to a conspiracy to do what is wrong. This develops from confusion about our accountability to Him. Words have many different angles to them. Merely speaking may bring about confusion. We certainly don’t need to add to the problem with too many words or words poorly chosen, casually spoken, or harshly shared.
The dictionary says that "...to be confused is to be perplexed or bewildered, to mistake one thing for another." Even the best and most brilliant human beings can be confused. Here are a couple of illustrations. An announcement came over the loudspeaker at the Washington National Airport: "Attention, please. Will the Piedmont passengers who have not done so, please do so immediately." Then there was a traffic sign at an intersection of superhighways near Chicago: "To make a left turn, make two right turns." Radio and TV announcers have also been confused. A TV baseball game went into extra innings and the sportscaster announced: "The ’Tonight Show’ has been cancelled, the ’Tomorrow Show’ will be seen later tonight, and the ’Today Show’ will be seen tomorrow."