The Tower of Babel is certainly another story in the Bible that deserves attention. This is about God not being pleased with the people who wanted to build a giant tower into the sky; a tower which is now infamously known as the Tower of Babel. A tower built to challenge God’s authority.
According to biblical literature, the Tower of Babel was constructed in the country of after the Great Flood. The account of its creation found in Genesis 11:1–9 provides a rationale for the existence of the many thousands of human languages we know today.
Nimrod, a descendant of Noah, although not directly mentioned in Genesis 11, was, according to early Jewish and Christian legends, the leader of the people who constructed the Tower of Babel.
The Babylonians aspired to establish their standing and reputation by constructing a powerful city and a tower that would kiss the skies, “let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven;” (Genesis 11:4)
This desire for ‘immortality’ once again thwarted God’s plans for his creation. However, after the Great Flood, he had promised never to destroy the earth again (Genesis 9:15).
Because of this, God halted the work by making the workers’ languages so complex that they could no longer communicate with one another.
Subsequently, the people of Babylonia were scattered across the world, leaving the city and the tower unfinished.
God was dissatisfied that the people hadn’t even consulted him about it; it appeared as though they had lost sight of God and, instead, were beginning to think of themselves as gods.
The people started to enjoy comfortable lives without cares or worries for the future. They therefore believed that they could handle everything without the help of God. They aspired to touch the skies to demonstrate that they could cross God’s limits since they were so full of vanity and arrogance.
These people gave God the impression that they did not need him. Furthermore, they somehow felt they could be gods themselves.
This story is significant because it teaches us that God will thwart the evil ones’ intentions. In his great wisdom, he understood their goals and saw that this gateway to heaven would only serve to draw people away from him.
The goal of the people was not to praise and adore God, but to build up their own reputations. God then caused the citizens of the city to flee to the corners of the globe since they were unable to converse with one another.
Somehow these ambitious people already knew what would happen to them if they couldn’t build the sky-high tower. So, that’s what happened after the Lord’s intervention. They were scattered across the face of the earth.
Therefore, all the varied languages in the world can be traced back to the results of this story.
No one knows the exact location of the Tower of Babel for sure. However, some experts say that it is located at the very center of Babylon which is now Iraq.
Also, according to Hebrew, the Tower of Babel was reportedly constructed on the Shinar plain. Shinar is the name for the southern region of Mesopotamia used by the Hebrew Bible.
In Genesis 10, it is the first place where the location of Shinar is mentioned in connection to Nimrod and the establishment of his dynasty.
At first, the meaning of Babel was “the Gateway to Heaven”. But God noticed the strong force of the people’s unity, and so God made a way to stop the construction of the tower. Thus, the meaning of Babel was changed, and it now means “to confuse”.
To prevent the people from communicating, God jumbled their language, leading them to speak a variety of tongues. This is, according to the Bible, how the different languages of the world started.
Before this time, people all spoke the same tongue.
This story demonstrates why we must continue to live apart from worldly desires and, instead, connected to God. At present, we can be easily distracted by the material things around us.
In social media, we feel the desire to be acknowledged and accepted by many people. And if we don’t receive many responses like “Like”, “Love”, or “Care” on Facebook, it can often make us feel down.
Additionally, we strive to have a large number of followers and friends, despite the fact that most of them are total strangers. As a result, our desire for social media status becomes a contributing factor to anxiety and sadness.
This is the modern-day Tower of Babel.
We keep building the tower in our hearts, removing God from our lives. We have replaced him with a momentary source of joy.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with utilizing social media or participating in any other virtual platforms, but it must be kept in balance and we must still have a relationship with God since we can only be saved through him.
Let’s try to avoid being worldly even if we feel the pressure to fit in the norm. The real gateway to heaven is through the peace of God.
We learn humility as the first lesson from the Tower of Babel. We must be humble and recognize that God alone is the giver of our talents.
In this narrative, King Nimrod displays boastfulness and arrogance. This is the reason he wanted to build the tower; he wanted to be famous all over the world.
We must live in God’s moral, intellectual, and spiritual nature for we were created in his likeness. However, the desire to become like God, is something that will unquestionably enrage the Lord.
God is watching us.
In everything we do, God sees us. Whether we do good or bad, God is omnipresent. So, we must be mindful of the things that would cause us to sin or disobey his commandments.
In Genesis 11:5-7, God was watching and listening to the people when they were building the Tower of Babel. He then came down from heaven to stop them and confused them with different languages.
Submit ourselves to God.
When Nimrod called his people to build the tower, his only intention was to make a name across the world. He didn’t think about God nor consult God about it. For this reason, God didn’t like it as his motive was only for self-gratification.
We are given free will, but if we exercise it without considering God’s commandments, we may all be tempted and may fall into sin. Hence, it will disgruntle our relationship with God.
Whenever we make any decisions in life, we can turn to God and ask for his guidance. This will help us follow our own desires in accordance with God.
Compared to other biblical stories, this one is particularly short, but it contains a wealth of lessons. Its concise richness is one of the reasons why it is one of the most famous Old Testament stories.
Let’s all make the best effort to maintain a spiritual connection with God even though we can’t physically see him.
We can find strength and maintain our concentration on achieving our life goals by praying to the Lord. To be close to him, we don’t even need to touch or ascend to the heavens.
He waits for us to talk to him because he is constantly present. He is just a prayer away. God bless each of us.
What are your thoughts on the Tower of Babel? We’d love to hear your comments below.
Please visit www.wisdombegun.com/genesis for more thought-provoking discussions on the Book of Genesis plus free downloads and presentations about the Genesis story - ideal for use at Bible Study groups or Sunday school lessons..
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