The other day I watched my granddaughter building a tower out of blocks. As the tower grew higher, so did her pride. But the tower would eventually come crashing down, either because her pride would cause her to exceed her limits or her younger brother would maliciously bring the tower crashing to the ground.
In Genesis chapter eleven, the people of earth come together to build a great tower as a monument to their acclaim and accomplishment. This doesn’t sound like such a bad thing, but God doesn’t like it. He confuses their language and causes them to scatter…leaving the tower unfinished.
Was God like my grandson, maliciously waiting to tear down what they had built? Or did God just have something against building towers?
The problem had nothing to do with the tower. The problem was the two big sins driving the people to build the tower.
First was the sin of self-elevation. The people were building the tower as a monument to their greatness. Their pride had caused them to elevate their desires and importance above God.
Second was the sin of self-preservation. Self-preservation sounds like a good thing, but not when it’s in direct opposition to God’s desire. In Genesis 9:1, God had told Noah and his sons to multiply and fill the earth. Now in Genesis 11, mankind was huddled up in one spot to protect their fame and power, rather then doing what God had commanded.
You might not be building a tower, but could God be using disruption and confusion to address sins of self-elevation or self-preservation in your life?
Bret Legg is the Teaching and Counseling Pastor at Warren Baptist Church in Augusta, GA.