Perhaps you have heard the story about the Tower of Babel, but maybe you have not thought much about the many lessons you can learn from that story in the first book of the Bible.
Come, let us build ourselves a city, a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth. (Genesis 11:3-4)
After the flood, the descendants of Noah had one language and a common speech. They were told to “be fruitful, multiply and fill the earth.” They were not to stay together in one place. Now after 130 years they are were still together and headed eastward toward the plains of Shinar to build for themselves a city with a tower to the heavens and to make a name for themselves.
They knew they were disobedient because the ending of the above scripture says, “and NOT be scattered over the whole earth” as God had commanded in Genesis 9:1.
Because of their disobedience, God came down and stopped the building project. God said if they get away with this, no telling what they would be capable of doing. So God confused their speech and scattered them over the face of the earth. That’s why we have the word “babble” which means confused speech. That’s why we have a minimum of 6,700 languages in the world today.
This is a summary of the lessons from the Tower of Babel:
- People can be unified in disobedience as well as in obedience.
- If we don’t do what God has commanded us to do in His grace and mercy, we will eventually do it in His wrath and judgment.
- People who babble are using confused speech.
- God comes down to handle difficult situations.
- God stops projects that do not give Him the glory especially those we undertake “to make a name for ourselves.”
- Many different races and languages are the result of this story.
- Man’s disobedient attempts are fruitless.
- God will have the last word.