12.06.2005

we babel on...

There's this interesting little twist in the story of humanity, recorded in Genesis 11. God had earlier commanded humanity to spread out across the globe and pupulate it. Thousands of years later, it's no shock that man had another plan.

Genesis 11:4
They said, "Come, let us build for ourselves a city , and a tower whose top will reach into heaven, and let us make for ourselves a name, otherwise we will be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth."

Men are by nature builders. Created artisans by Artisan, the tools may be hammer and nails or pen and paper, but men create. Hammer. Saw. Build. They do it for different reasons. Certainly the first building took place to keep one's family out of the rain. How that evolved into the American Dream Mortgage Payment I'm not sure, but we have what we have, essentially based on that "keep out of the rain" instinct. Likewise, some build for altruistic reasons - hospitals, churches, Little League diamonds in the middle of cornfields. They build the field because they heard the Voice. It's not uncommon for altruism to slip into self promotion though. Witness the number of hospitals with wings named after specific people.

In this passage, men admit they're building to make a name for themselves. One legend has the workers putting their name on every brick...putting themselves into this in a real way, all the while building a case against themselves for the day they stand before the Judge in the trial of their lives.

In addition to building to make a name for themselves, they're building to thwart God's plan. Theory was that if they build high enough, far enough, long enough, God couldn't (or wouldn't) send them to the far regions. I'll save you renting the movie. It didn't work. A few verses later, He confuses their language, they abandon the job site and do what He told them to do anyway, now with the additional disadvantage of it being much more difficult to stop and ask for directions at a gas station because no one spoke English anymore.

All that to ask - what are you building for? Do you really think that when you've got your little empire nearly complete, God will throw in the towel, quit asking what He's asked you for ten years, and let you go about your business?

Wow. That's gutsy. Have fun on the job site.

2 comments:

Mikie3toes said...

Whoa!

Liz said...

That's just what I was thinking... whoa. I never saw the parallel before.

Also, it is funny that we all think that English was the first language...