Summary: The people had their own plans about building the tower of Babel, but God is the one that determined their outcome.
Genesis 11:1-9 August 22, 1999
Man makes plans, but God directs the paths.
Man makes plans . . .
1. The people were unified – unity is a good thing. Unity comes as people speak the same language and the same speech (i.e. it’s like a lot of preachers getting together. They not only all speak English, but they also speak “church”. Husbands and wives actually begin to speak so much alike that they actually understand what the other is talking about when they refer to the “whatchamacallit”.)
2. The people were settled (comfortable). They “dwelt” on the plain. It’s a lot easier to get settled on a plain than it is to get settled on a hill. From the time that Noah and his family landed on the mountain tops up until this point, mankind had been existing as nomads. They would camp in one spot for a while, and then move on from there. Assuming that Noah was not alive by the time this event happened, the people of the earth had been wandering from place to place for over 350 years. In all that time, they had only traveled around 300 miles from the place that the ark had landed. They had been doing what God commanded as far as traveling to distant parts of the earth (even if they were doing it a very slow pace), but they were doing it all together. Finally, they got tired of moving from place to place. After all; it was tough providing for the whole human race without putting down some roots somewhere. They had tried God’s way long enough. They were tired. They were going to try their own way now.
Right at that time of their existence, they came upon a beautiful place. It was a place of flat land with the Euphrates river on one side and the Tigris river on the other side. No more struggles. No more packing up and moving every few weeks. No more mountains. They had flatland!! They could finally set down some roots, grow some crops, and rest.
Resting is not a bad thing. God rested on the 7th day. Jesus offered rest to all those who joined Him in His work. Resting is a good thing . . . unless of course God has already told you to keep moving.
Tammy and I just took a rest (talk about our vacation). When are we allowed to take a rest as parents? Only in that time period between when they leave home and when we become grandparents. That’s going to be a very short rest I’m afraid. When are we as Christians allowed to rest? When we become perfect or when we get to heaven. When are we as a church allowed to rest? When the whole world gets saved or when we get to heaven whichever comes first. The temptation as a Christian and as a church is to say, ”I’m tired. I want to just stop for a while. I’ve been working hard. I’ve accomplished a lot. I’m going to take my armor off, sit back and relax for a while.” Dangers: leaves you open to attack – got to always be on your guard; makes it awfully hard to get moving again. “Just a little sleep, a little folding of the hands . . .” Jesus has given us our marching orders, and we have to be constantly be on the move. We can never allow ourselves to get comfortable, to get settled.