How the history of the Tower of Babel relates to our time.
After the third week of homeschooling my daughter in Old Testament history, I won’t survey the account of the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11: 1-9) the same again. The significance of that testament in the Bible is more palpable and illuminates much, for such a time as today.
The people who built the Tower of Babel did so with pride, not with the purpose of giving God the glory. If they had God in mind, the outcome would surely have been different. “And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad.”
Let us make us a name.
Sounds eerily familiar, doesn’t it? Let us make us a name. A brand. A platform. A reach. An influence.
The builders—in their pride—built a great tower so that everyone would know about them and who they were. But God in His infinite wisdom would not let this one go unchecked. Babel it was called, meaning “confusion of noise made by multiple voices” or “noisy confusion.”
“A man’s pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit.” Proverbs 29:23
My daughter (who’s 5 years old) understands this account when she retells the verdict of the builders’ pride and said when asked what we have learned about this:
If you build a tower for yourself and not for God, he’ll put you in confusion.
It is very simple, isn’t it, to understand this brief account of history. Eleven verses of history warn us about our present-day quests for building our own towers, monuments that will reach high above.
I reread these verses and would be blind to not see how the Tower of Babel is the modern-day platform we’re building.
So be in no rush, friends, to build and erect monuments of grandeur for self. There’s no glory in God when we’re edifying ourselves to the point of confusion. There are loud voices today clamoring for your attention and the undiscerning among us will not distinguish the truth from the confusion of multiple voices.
I’ve learned recently to not listen to some voices. Some influencers who have built their towers out of brick, burnt thoroughly. Brick for stone and slime for mortar. These towers don’t edify God for one, they glorify self, and secondly, they don’t speak the truth.
A long time ago my mother worked at a bank before she retired. She said she was trained to feel the money and by touch, would be able to identify a counterfeit. You have to know the real thing, she said, so you can tell when a fake arrives into your hands.
Good advice we all should bear when it comes to discerning the multiple voices that arrive at our ears every day, for we were of one speech at a time, and now we are not.
Good reminder. We don’t want to be building a platform or influence for our self. Our motive is the key.
Very enlightening, especially for today’s world. Didn’t make the connection, but it truly has become our reality. Great post
This idea was totally in my mind recently as I thought about our desire to promote our blogs, get followers, increase our pageviews, etc. After worrying for years that no one was reading my blog, I have come to be content about it – knowing that I am not writing for other people, but for God. That if He sees it, it’s good enough. I don’t have to “succeed” at writing … I just have to be faithful to write. Changing my perspective from “I must build a big, great blog” to “I just have to build for the Lord, no matter how big or small” really helps make me feel better when I start to fear that I’m failing. I’ve found many reasons to be thankful that God has blocked my attempts to have a “big, popular blog.” And congrats on homeschooling. We homeschool, too.
Thank you, Heather, what a refreshing and honest response! I am glad to read your like-minded comment to the post. There’s a lot of pressure to pursue the world’s standards of success and influence, but one heart at a time is what carries with it eternal value. Honestly, when we think about all the events and people that impact our lives, it hardly ever reverts back to an influencer, or an entity that is in the ether. What we do with our time and whom we disciple is where the harvest truly is at! Thank you for stopping by!
Your daughter preached a whole sermon in that one sentence!
Wow. This is a powerful post. Thanks for sharing.
I loved this article! So much truth, especially in a highly politicized country. We must always be careful to listen to the Holy Spirit and not to what our sinful selves want. Thank you so much, and God bless your wise daughter (good job, mom!).
Thank you Gina, for your discerning spirit. I appreciate your comment.
Great example with the money. Yes, we must be careful not to build a platform for us. Thank for sharing with Grace & Truth Christian Link-Up.
“If you build a tower for yourself and not for God, he’ll put you in confusion.” Powerful statement. Thanks for sharing.
Yes, a simple one, yet convicting. Out of the mouths of babes!
I like your example of your mom and the bank. I have heard that example as well, and have used it too when teaching my daughters. We can only discern the fake when we truly know the truth, and are able to make that distinction. I really enjoyed your post; thanks for sharing your insight on Five Minute Friday this week.
Thank you Joan for stopping by here to share your reaction. I am thankful for the truth of God’s word and how it truly guides us to discern the many voices we may find out there that may seem true at first glance. We must listen with caution and test the spirits to see if they are of God.
Great reflections! I love how you relate that story from so long ago to today and show its relevance. Yes, may we not focus on building a name for ourselves but on glorifying God. Visiting from FMF #31
Yes, and thank you for stopping by here to comment!