Fruit of the Spirit

For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth...Eph 5:9

Summer 2007                                                            Volume 8,  Issue 3

The Tower of Babel

Lessons in Old Testament Scripture...Romans 15:4

By David Garner

After the floodwaters receded, Noah sacrificed to Jehovah and it pleased Him; and the Lord made a promise that He would never destroy the earth again in such a fashion as He had done with the flood (Gen. 8:21-22). At the beginning of chapter nine, God tells Noah and his sons to “be fruitful and multiply; bring forth abundantly in the earth and multiply and fill it” (Gen. 9:1, 7). Genesis chapter ten confirms that Noah’s sons began fulfilling God’s command. The earth was beginning to be populated again—things seemed to be going well—until this enlightening story in Chapter 11:1-9 draws our attention.

All humanity spoke only one language at this time (vs. 1); but the people were not mindful of what God told them to do (i.e. fill the earth), so they decided to settle down in the land of Shinar. They wanted to be remembered in history, so they began building a huge tower and a city to live in (vs. 4). They displayed their rebellion to God’s instructions by saying they did not want to be “scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.” So God, being aware of what was going on, decided to “stir the pot” in order to get them to do what He had instructed them to do in the first place. Jehovah divided their languages and made them speak with tongues that were foreign to each other. Thus, the work on the tower came to a halt and the people spread out across all the face of the earth (vs. 9). This story is pregnant with lessons. Please notice that:

1. Good communication is the key to working together toward a goal. Oh, how we need this lesson! This is true in every meaningful relationship we have. In the marriage relationship, each spouse has to communicate with the other so that things will work out. In the family relationship, parents must communicate with their children and vice versa; and last, but certainly not least, in dealing with our Christian brethren, we must learn how to communicate with them if we are to effectively work toward the goal of heaven (Mt. 18:15; Pro. 25:8-9).

2. Much of what man does while here on earth is a monument to his insecurity (Deffinbaugh). These men of Babel stated plainly why they wanted to build this tower. They “wanted to make a name for themselves” (vs. 4). The same is true for many, if not most, people today. They work so hard at trying to find that big break in their career, or wait and work diligently until their ‘ship comes in;’ and finally they realize around mid-life that most of what they had planned to do in life has not even begun to be done. So they start scurrying around looking for ways to be remembered. They fear that no one will remember them when they are gone. If men would put their trust in God and try to glorify Him, then they would not be so worried that men would forget them.

3. Only negative results come from trying to thwart God’s purposes (Woods, p.28). This is a lesson sorely needed for everyone—myself included. We humans are sometimes prone to think that we can get by on doing things a little bit different than how God said to do it—but such will not work, and really this is a wicked and rebellious attitude (cf. 1 Sam. 15:1-28); this is what the men of Babel did. God told them to fill the earth, not settle down in one area and stay there; So instead of making a great name for themselves, they made a name of shame, because Babel in the Hebrew language means ‘division’ or ‘confusion’(Ibid). That’s the irony of the whole story; they, wanting to make a great name for themselves, disobeyed God and started building a huge tower, but they really ended up making a negative name. Man cannot outwit God (Gal. 6:7-8).

4. We must not misuse the gifts that God has given us. Everything, from the “smallest” thing to the “largest” thing, God has given us is a gift. We use language so often that it really escapes our attention that it is a blessing from God. Just imagine what life would be like if you could not communicate with anyone. It would be rather frustrating wouldn’t it?

(continued on page 10)

Page 1 - Elusive Victory | Page 2 - What Do I Say/Do In Time Of Loss?
Page 3 - Prison Report: Hope | Page 4 - Old Testament Studies: The Tower...
Page 5 - The Awesome Responsibility of... | Page 6 - Cutting Okra and Killing Wasps
Page 7 - Christian Evidences | Page 8 - Why Baptism?
Page 9 - Why Baptism? [Continued] | Page 10 - Continuations
Page 11 - The Weakness of Islam | Page 12 - Advertisements

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