Listen:  139.2

The account of the building of the Tower of Babel is fascinating and instructive to us.  We begin by learning in Genesis 11:1, “And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech.” 

Three times in this portion, we read the expression, “let us”.  Not one time do we read, “What wilt thou have me to do, Lord?”  These were a people who were operating independently of and in opposition to the will of God.

Genesis 11:3says, “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.”  Relying on their own abilities, these people did not ask the Lord for His direction; they did not ask Him for the strength to build these bricks.  No, they acted according to their own will and depended upon their own strength and knowledge.

In Genesis 11:4we read, “And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven…”  This was their own idea.  They obviously reasoned among themselves and determined to make themselves a city and a tower to reach Heaven.  Their desire was to stay in one place together.  May we be cautioned about making plans without seeking the Lord’s direction.  Proverbs 16:25tells us, “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” 

They wanted to build a tower that would reach all the way to Heaven.  My dear friend, doesn’t this speak to your heart about the evil of trying to develop a way to gain access to Heaven by your own works?  Today, so many people try to reach God by doing good works, by giving money, by joining a church group, or by any other system that puts man in the forefront and leaves God out.  Titus 3:5makes it very clear to us, “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.”  We cannot work our way to Heaven; to try to do so is an insult to the One who provided access to Heaven through the death of His only begotten Son.

Genesis 11:4goes on to say, “…let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.”  It was pride that caused them to want to make a name for themselves.  It was pure defiance that caused them to try to avoid being scattered.  It is always in the heart of sinful man to elevate himself.  Man wants to be in control; man wants to be recognized; man wants to establish a name for himself above all others.  However, we read in Philippians 2:9-11, “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” 

All their efforts were in opposition to God’s will, so He put a stop to it.  We read in Genesis 11:6-9, “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.” 

While the Lord may be long-suffering today and is allowing man to exalt himself in many great and grand accomplishments, even going deep into space, he has left us this lesson from the Tower of Babel.  Man may attempt to rely on his own talents and abilities; he may purposefully live his life trusting in his own understanding; he may exalt himself.  However, the Lord will one day bring them down.  Matthew 23:12tells us that, “…whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.”  If you have never done so, won’t you humble yourself today, bow your knee to the Lord Jesus Christ as your Lord and savior, and put your faith in Him.  (139.2)