Summary: Man vs. God at the tower of Babel

The Power & The Glory

Gen 11:1-9

INTRO: Our text answer one of the great mysteries of life

1. The mystery of languages, The desire of man for unity, to be

ONE, yet ends up splitting mankind into fragments, schisms & cliques

I. An Undivided People v1-4

A. A United People:

1. Whole earth, everybody of one language & one speech

a. One language & one vocabulary

1. We in US speak English : But we don’t use the same vocabulary as Great Britain or Australia or in some cases of other states here in the USA

2. Totally undivided people, unified

3. Yet chap 10 indicates a movement & migration outward

a. Approx. 300 yrs after the flood, earth’s population is growing

b. People have the desire to go to new lands

1. Like the spokes on a wheel, people fanning out

4. Descendants of Ham, Noah’s son came to the land of Shinar

(Noah’s sons Shem, Ham & Japheth)

5. Shinar is the plain between the Tigris & Euphrates Rivers

a. Recognize the area, Also called Mesopotamia, Modern Iraq

B. An Inventive People v3

1. A early leader of the people is Gen 10:8-10 is Nimrod

a. Hunter, leader, Assertive Aggressive, Ambitious

b. Began to build cities, Kingdoms

2. See their inventiveness is their adaptation to a new area

a. Not the availability of rocks as before in Eastern turkey

Mt Ararat area

b. Learned how to make brick out of mud

1. First sun bake, then in furnaces

2. No lime for Cement for mortar, but found natural bitumen gooey

tar & asphalt,

c. Substitute stone & cement

C. An ambitious People

1. Learn new techniques & find use for new & greater uses

2. Building a city

3. City life: Cities have many advantages

a. Security, Supplies, Economics, Culture, Companionship &

all the other worldly pleasures

b. Also a power base to the most ambitious

1. City supplies the needs & hungers of the flesh & mind of man

4. Let’s build a Tower!

a. But the tower is designed to satisfy the spirit of man

b. Idea of location, Babylon which the ruins have been discovered

& there are some remains of towers later built but not to the great height

c. From the remnants of the later towers called ziggurats

1. Believed this great tower, a giant spiral upward w/ a shrine on top

d. A religious Structure, intended to expose the mysteries of heaven

& God to man

1. It was obviously impressive to them & would be for us to see the

massive structure

5. A unifying force. Hold the community together

a. collective project, a reason to stay

b. the natural drive of man to move, spread, seek freedom

1. But also a need to be of something Big

c. Of course those with power want more power, can’t have

that if people leave

6. But it is also clear they were thinking of it as a means of

communication & contact with God

a. Sounds like they built a city & didn’t want to leave God

out, so they build the tower to honor him, right?

D. A Humanistic People

1. Motto of humanity is “Lets make a name for our self”

2. Basic philosophies of humanism is “glory to man in the

highest, for man is the master of things”

a. Humanism teaches man is at the center of all things

b. We do not a deity, man can save himself

3. The fact that this was a religious tower, & yet built to make

a name for man, reveals the master motive behind religion

a. Man wants to share the glory with God

b. Comprehend religion of the world isn’t about God & His

will but man & his glory

1. Religion in every culture is about man wanting what is rightfully

God alone

4. The Grandiose structure was undoubtedly intended to be a

means by which man would glorify God

a. But no doubt there were monuments, plaques and signs

glorifying the master minds & leaders who lead & guided

to its building

b. So it wasn’t really about glorifying God but man & is

ingenuity & abilities

c. Religion is always about glorifying man’s good

5. No man doesn’t want to eliminate God from the picture

a. He is a good excuse to glorify men & have power over

other’s lives

b. Atheism is too barren, too pessimistic & morally bankrupt

to live for very long

1. The Soviet Union discovered that

c. But we do want to keep God under control. Keep Him in

His place

1. Separation of church from state, keep God & all those who are his

out of power

2. We can’t do what we want, if God has His way

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