Devotional on Genesis

2002 – Boston, MA

Genesis 11: Let’s build ourselves a city and a tower that reaches Heaven.
God’s plan, in this case, is to break up relationships
The Flood purges the earth of a humanity that’s fully committed to evil. Now, through Noah, human beings are given a second chance. He and his family come out of the ark and life springs forth. Children are born, have children of their own, and, within a few hundred years the one family becomes many. The Flood washed away the dominant evil, but it didn’t wash away the stain of sin on their hearts. Hundreds of years pass and Noah’s descendants decide to build a city with a great tower that will reach to Heaven. The idea of having a humble walk with God doesn’t occur to them. Instead, they will, of their own wisdom and strength, climb up to him. Hundreds of years earlier, Adam and Eve were tempted to eat of the forbidden fruit and thus, be like God. Now we see humanity trying a different approach to achieve the same goal. It’s plain that, unless something happens, this is going to be a continuing problem. People need to be dispersed — spread out. Otherwise, they’ll continue to be a bad influence on each other and maybe, as they cooperate in disobedience to God…well, who knows what might happen. The Lord’s solution is both simple and complex. In a moment, he gives different languages to the different people groups. Suddenly, a fellow asks for another brick to use in construction, and his partner can’t understand what he said. Chaos ensues. As people realize they can only understand what their near kin are saying, they group together and move off to get away from the “babble” of their proposed city. Never again will the entire of humanity cooperate in any venture. This doesn’t solve the problem of people having a broken relationship with God, but it does help on the other side of things: it breaks their relationship with one another.
Take away: Sometimes God separates people for their own good.

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