Summary: Two groups of people with more in common than we admit.
I am a big fan of the cartoon script Charlie Brown. I have been since my teenage years. I always seemed to associate myself to poor old Charlie Brown who was forever asking the question “Why me?”
In a Peanuts cartoon, Lucy demands that Linus change TV channels and then threatens him with her fist if he doesn’t.
"What makes you think you can walk right in here and take over?" asks Linus.
"These five fingers," says Lucy. "Individually they are nothing, but when I curl them together like this into a single unit, they form a weapon that is terrible to behold."
"What channel do you want?" asks Linus. Turning away, he looks at his fingers and says, "Why can’t you guys get organized like that?"
Today we are going to study two groups of people who became organized to accomplish a great feat, God’s involvement with both groups, and why He did so.
Turn to Genesis 11:1-8 “At one time all the people of the world spoke the same language and used the same words. As the people migrated to the east, they found a plain in the land of Babylonia and settled there.
They began saying to each other, ‘Let’s make bricks and harden them with fire.’ (In this region bricks were used instead of stone, and tar was used for mortar.) Then they said, ‘Come, let’s build a great city for ourselves with a tower that reaches into the sky. This will make us famous and keep us from being scattered all over the world.’
But the Lord came down to look at the city and the tower the people were building. ‘Look!’ he said. ‘The people are united, and they all speak the same language. After this, nothing they set out to do will be impossible for them! Come, let’s go down and confuse the people with different languages. Then they won’t be able to understand each other.’
In that way, the Lord scattered them all over the world, and they stopped building the city.”
First, the people were unified.
They spoke the same language. They used the same words. They were unified in destinations. They were unified in deciding on a place to settled down. They were unified in building a great city with a tower reaching into the sky. They were unified with staying as one in one place.
There is nothing wrong with unity. The Bible tells us to “be of one mind, united in thought and purpose.” (1 Corinthians 1:10) We are commanded to “Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.”(Ephesians 4:3) God encouraged unity.
Secondly, the people were settled.
They found a place in the plain and settled there. It’s nice to get away from the struggles of the mountains and settle in the plains. Since the day of Noah they have been nomads, wandering from mountain range to mountain range. As a group they may have been traveling for 350 years and have gone no farther than 300 miles from where the ark has landed.
They finally cane out of the mountains and found a beautiful place. It was a flat land with two flowing rivers on each side. It was fertile ground for planting crops. There were materials available to make bricks and build homes. No more wandering around in tents that had to be packed away each time they moved. It was finally a time to rest.
There is nothing wrong with being settled and comfortable. God promised Abraham, Moses, and Joshua a land filled with milk and honey in which they would find comfort. We are commanded to take time of rest.
Thirdly, the people were satisfied.
Everything was great. The fellowship was great. The location was great. Their needs were being met. They had found a place to call home. They were happy.
There is nothing wrong with being satisfied and happy. The word says “So go ahead. Eat your food with joy, and drink your wine with a happy heart, for God approves of this!” (Ecclesiastes 9:7) God’s desire is for us to be content.
However, God looked upon them and said “ They are united due to having the same language. They are settled in the land and content to stay there. Let’s confuse their language and scatter them through out the world.” And that’s what He did. But why, if there is nothing wrong with being united, settles, and satisfied?
Because they were disobedient. Turn to Genesis 9:1. “Then God blessed Noah and his sons and told them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth.’” These people were descendants of Noah and his sons. They were to populate the entire world, not the plain below the mountain. God needed to nudge them to be obedient to his word.