Summary: Pride confounds.
Babbling Builders, Genesis 11:1-9
“Look over these lands,” said the farmer, “They are all mine.” He took him to the pasture and showed the agent the choice stock, the fine horses he had, and then pointed to a little town, and then to a large hall where he lived; he drew himself up, and his face lit up with pride as he said, “They are all mine. I came here when a poor boy and I have earned all that you see.” When he got through, my friend asked 'him, “Well, what have you got up yonder?” “Where?” replied the farmer, who evidently knew where my friend meant. “What have you got in heaven?” “Well,” said the farmer, “I haven't anything there.” “What!” replied my friend, “You, a man of your discretion, wisdom, business ability, have made no provision for your future?” He hadn't, and in a few weeks he died – a rich [Prideful] man here and a beggar in eternity. A man may be wise in the eyes of the world to pursue this course, but he is a fool in the sight of God. Wealth [Pride] to most men proves nothing more or less than a great rock upon which their eternity is wrecked.”
Man’s pride has always led to his continuous pursuit of self sustained security and his own praise. Indeed, from the very beginning, it has been pride which has been humanity’s collective ruin. Surely the same may well be stated of each one of us individually as well.
In the eleventh chapter of the book of Genesis we see this illustrated with the historical account of the manner in which human language grew from one to many. This original language was likely either Hebrew or an earlier Semitic tongue from which Hebrew, Aramaic, and eventually all other tongues sprung.
Allow to me to be clear from the very outset. My interpretive method with regard to Genesis, and the whole of Scripture, is to allow the Bible to speak plainly as the literal historical account of God’s dealing with mankind.
My focus this morning will be twofold: (1) to emphasize the historicity of the account and thus, highlight the historical nature of the Bible. (2) To highlight the reason for God’s judgment on the work of the builders of the Tower of Babel (pride) in order that we might see parallels and application for our time.
The Bible is chalked full of internal evidence to support its historicity. There has never been an archeological discovery which has disproven any historical account in the Scriptures. This is not to say that every historical narrative in the Scripture has been verified by archeology.
Nor is it to say that believers need it to be verified by archeology. The Bible says that “without faith it is impossible to please him” not that without perfect knowledge. (Hebrews 11:6 ESV)
Time and again archeological discoveries confirm the contents, message, and reliability of the Bible. The Dead Sea Scrolls which were discovered on accident in 1947 by Bedouin shepherds provided ancient Hebrew Bible manuscripts which predated the most ancient manuscripts discovered up to then by a thousand years. Amazingly, every book of the Hebrew text (OT) was found in the caves of Qumran except for Esther.
This is especially interesting because the Dead Sea Scrolls are thought by many to have been penned by a group known as the Essenes who literally abandoned the world for an ascetic life in on the shores of the Dead Sea near the caves of Qumran. The book of Esther does not contain the name of God.
Because of this many ancient Jewish scholars, and perhaps the Essenes, questioned its canonicity. (Whether it belonged in the Bible [Tanakh] or not)
There are near countless examples where science and archeology have confirmed the record of Scripture. Among the more important finds of the recent era is the House of David Inscription found at Tel Dan in Northern Israel.
This is a place I visited while in Israel last year. There in the ruins of an ancient city archeologists discovered an ancient stone inscription tablet telling of the life of King David of the Bible.
The Galilee Boat or “Jesus Boat” which is a fishing boat from the time of Christ which was discovered in the 1980’s during a period of extreme draught. I have visited it on display in a museum on the Sea of Galilee.
Specific to our discussion here, the ruins of numerous ancient ziggurats have been discovered in the region of ancient Babylon. It is most likely that it was the ancient Ziggurat which they built. The biblical record doesn’t say that God destroyed it, only that He scattered the people by confounding their language. Many scholars point to the ruins of the great temple-tower to the god Marduk which is “found in the center of ancient Babylon.”