Towering arrogance - Hope 103.2

Towering arrogance

By David ReayTuesday 12 May 2015LifeWords DevotionalsFaithReading Time: 0 minutes


Read Genesis 11:1-7

1-2 At one time,the whole Earth spoke the same language. It so happened that as they moved out of the east,they came upon a plain in the land of Shinar and settled down.

3 They said to one another,”Come,let’s make bricks and fire them well.” They used brick for stone and tar for mortar.

4 Then they said,”Come,let’s build ourselves a city and a tower that reaches Heaven. Let’s make ourselves famous so we won’t be scattered here and there across the Earth.”

5 God came down to look over the city and the tower those people had built.

6-9 God took one look and said,”One people,one language; why,this is only a first step. No telling what they’ll come up with next-they’ll stop at nothing! Come,we’ll go down and garble their speech so they won’t understand each other.” Then God scattered them from there all over the world. And they had to quit building the city. That’s how it came to be called Babel,because there God turned their language into “babble.” From there God scattered them all over the world. (THE MESSAGE)

This is a story of how God thwarted human arrogance. Throughout human history,humankind has sought to be independent of God,to flex their muscles and push God aside in the belief that they are the ones to run the show. And yet entwined in this arrogance is the fear that God is still around and might yet wreck their plans for self-sufficiency and independence. Hence this story of the tower which expresses both their own power and their desire to somehow guard themselves against God.

It doesn’t work. God renders them less powerful by messing up their common language. Ever since we have been frustrated with our inability to easily communicate. This has led to even more problems between individuals and nations. And it all can be traced back to our desire to challenge God and tell him to mind his own business.

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And of course this is just what God is doing. He is minding his own business: he is overseeing his world. We may seem free to do as we please but this freedom is illusory.

True,we can build our towers,proclaim our independence,defy God. But in the end he will have the last word. Human arrogance will meet divine authority. Guess who wins!

David Reay