“And they said, “Come, let us build us a city and a tower, and its top in the heavens. And let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered upon the face of the whole earth.” – Genesis 11:4 (MKJV)
As far back as I can remember I had issues with heights. Going up ladders instilled fear within me and when I would take another step up the terror would follow. Eventually I had to do something about it because I work at a place who, when they first interviewed me, specifically asked if I had a problem with heights. I answered the question with a positive “NO” and it wasn’t long before I would find myself in an industrial sized scissor lift that has the ability to go up three stories easy. I remember this time period as being the most fervent that I ever had been in prayer. As time has passed, I have gotten very use to the heights that I go up to…and yes, I still fervently pray on the way up, especially if the wind speeds are high that day. Anyway…
In Genesis 10:8 we are introduced to Nimrod. Despite having a name that future generations will use as a term of ridicule, Nimrod was a decent hunter, and a kingdom ruler, it may have been his idea to fire bake bricks to build a city with a tower. Now, Scripture does NOT come out and say it was his idea to build anything for any reason but I think it may have been him because there have been ruins found in the Middle East named after him. So, there’s that.
And here’s a fun fact…In some Islamic and Jewish traditions, Nimrod is a severe idolater who plays God, gets confronted by a young Abram about it and becomes so angered by it that Nimrod wants Abram dead. Within these traditions, it is said that it is at this moment where God calls Abram outta the land of Chaldeans to a place called Canaan. Hmmm, interesting, isn’t it? However, since those assumptions come from Wikipedia, I’m gonna stick with the Biblical account and leave their assumptions alone.
There is one thing that definitely comes outta the tale of this tower, and it comes from author J.I. Packer and that is Genesis 11:4 is a “mirror of the modern world”. Its implications were so strong that “YHVH said, ‘Behold, the people is one and they have one language. And this they begin to do. And now nothing which they imagined to do will be restrained from them.” (Gen 11:6) Now was this because Nimrod wanted to be the best “est” he could be? Well for any of you who may have read the poem INVICTUS by William Henley knows that this statement could have found its way to a cornerstone, “I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.” Yeah, so with statements like that, it’s time for some divine confusion to come falling down.
“Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, so that they cannot understand one another’s speech.” – Genesis 11:7
Human pride is a tricky thing and it was pride that made Lucifer fall outta the sky like lightening, wasn’t it? Besides, was there anything wrong with building the biggest, baddest, highest tower on the earth? No, but with it being said that the top of the tower had an altar surrounded by the signs of the zodiac meant that this wasn’t made for the God that saves a remnant of His people after just getting done flooding the earth so this kinda wickedness would be dealt with.
Plus, the compulsive drive for power and security leads to the moral degeneration of our souls. Our desperate search for significance has led us to compromise our values as a people and it’s all done in the name of independence, freedom and this need to control destiny. What seems to be a noble way of existence actually turns out to be very sinister at the end of it all, doesn’t it? The Tower of Babel is our Biblical symbol of what the end results of human pride and rebellion bring into a society that turns its back on El Elyon! We may not serve a God of confusion but that doesn’t mean He isn’t too shy on using it against us when we are outta of His will. (Confound the wise? Hmm…)
I have three questions that I would like to cover that come outta all this mess but I’m arriving at my daily word count for today. Until then, please go back and re-read the account and see where Jesus fits in. I’ll give ya a hint, see Mark 8:36-37 and it just might start coming to you too. Amen?
Written by Chris Hughes: Chris is a husband, a father, has an education in Biblical doctrine and is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy. He has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008. You can e-mail him at email@example.com
Think About This: “Religion today is not transforming the people – it is being transformed by the people. It is not raising the moral level of society – it is descending to society’s own level and congratulating itself that it has scored a victory because society is smiling accepting its surrender.” – A.W. Tozer