Scripture – vs4 “Come, let’s build ourselves a city and a tower that reaches Heaven. Let’s make ourselves famous so we won’t be scattered here and there across the Earth.”
Vs 6-8 God took one look and said, “One people, one language; why, this is only a first step. No telling what they’ll come up with next—they’ll stop at nothing! Come, we’ll go down and garble their speech so they won’t understand each other.” MSG
Observation – Where is the sin? What is wrong with building a ziggurat? Readers of the Torah would have an echo of Genesis 1:28 in their ears, “Be fertile and increase, fill the earth…” . They would also know that the next story in Genesis 12 is about God’s call to “go”. That is, God’s people were to be on the move and increasing in number.
As a Jesus follower, I hear the echoes of Matthew 28:18-20, “As you go… disciple,… baptize,… teach…”
The anti-Babble story of Acts 2 (the Holy Spirit descends on the apostles) demonstrates God’s pleasure in unifying people by using many languages to share the good news of Jesus. Then in Acts 7 God disperses the people again via persecution.
It seems that God is about spreading goodness, building a Kingdom of love and peace that isn’t concerned with being identified as one-people, in one location with security measures build up around it to keep it stable. To do so is sin! God would rather scatter us.
The same God who will confound our language to scatter us or send 12 translators to unify us,… will also scatter us in order that His good news will fill the earth.
Application – What is my ziggurat today? What am I building so that I don’t have to leave the safety of my familiar surroundings?
Prayer – God on the move, help me to pack lightly today. Open my eyes to the ziggurats I’m constructing so that I can walk away from them and journey with you to places you lead me.
Lloyd is married to Carol and the two of them are Regional Mission Mobilizers – Prairie Region for Mennonite Bretheren Mission.