Summary: Mankind is still living in rebellion against God and trying to make a name for himself without God’s intervention.
THE TOWER OF BABEL
Genesis 11:1-9, "And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there. And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them throughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter. And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth. And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech. So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city. Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth."
People who love the Bible can’t help but love the parables and stories that the Bible contains. We began hearing these stories when we were very young if we were raised in the church. Even those who weren’t raised in church as a child can remember hearing some of the stories from the Bible. At first we just thought that they were good stories. As we grew older they became stories that moved us mentally, spiritually and emotionally. The more mature we grow in our thinking we realized that there was much more to the parables of the Bible than we had thought. Those parables became stories that revealed the truth of God concerning God, concerning us, concerning our world.
Whether they are just stories that Jesus told, born of His imagination, or stories of real events is a matter of question for some people. I am certain that in the mind of God, every one of Jesus’ parables could easily be based upon real events. After all He is eternal God and He is omniscient, living in the past, present and future all at the same time. No matter whether you belief that the parables are based on real events or not, no one can deny that the parables Jesus told have a way of reaching down into the very heart of the matter and teaching us some valuable lessons.
There are a lot of people, some much more educated than I, who claim that most of the first 10 or 11 chapters of Genesis is nothing more than a string of parables. I don’t think that any of us should subscribe to this school of thought. Here’s why.
If we say that the events of the Creation, and Noah’s flood, and the first murder where Cain killed Abel and become the first murderer in History, are nothing more than stories, where does that leave us? Where do we stop saying it’s a parable, “a made up story”, and where then does the real truth begin? I am fully persuaded that every word in the Bible is absolutely true. I don’t believe that Jesus ever “made up” a story to make a point. I believe that He used real events, taken from the lives of real people, existing before, during or after His earthly ministry, and used those real events to make His point.
One of the stories found in Genesis Chapter 11 is the story of the Tower of Babel. Some people believe that it is only a myth, a legend, or a cute story; God’s way of explaining the differences in nations, peoples and languages. Others believe that the Tower of Babel really existed and that every event described happened exactly that the Bible says. Of course we are a part of the second group who believe it to be the truth.
The story of the Tower of Babel begins with man’s pride rising in his own heart as he begins to say to himself, "Let us make a name for ourselves! Let us build a city, and a tower, and let’s make it a tower so tall that everyone will be able to see it. As our city becomes famous on account of our tower, our name will be known everywhere. Let’s make a name for ourselves!"
What’s wrong with building a tower? Is there something wrong with man’s power of creativity? Of course there is nothing wrong with creativity. God is the great Creator of all things. Since we are made in the image God and we have been given His likeness, then it is only natural that we should have an urge to create, to build and change our environment.