Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Babel's Fall

Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.”

Genesis 11:4

This was the plan of the builders of Babel. Within a short span of time, the civilization that emerged after Noah's flood had ambitions of self-grandeur. They longed to be something great. They wanted to be a homogeneous city bent on celebrating themselves. There was a problem though. God commanded Noah and his sons to multiply across the face of the earth (Genesis 9:7). This tower scheme was a plan opposed to God's command for humanity.

I have scratched my head at this account. Certainly there are now dozens of mega-cities now upon the face of the earth that dwarf the brick tower intentions of the Babel builder's ambitions. Why are these cities not "judged" by the frustration God brought to Babel? 

I suppose the answer is all in the philosophy behind the building and in the timing. God supernaturally "confused" the languages back then because human homogeny was an impetus to disobedience. God's sovereign plan required this intervening twist of conditions to advance humanity around the globe. Nowadays, with people so saturated across the glove, the rise of civilizations and their urban aspirations are not the same issue as before.

Mega-cities are impressive feats of human engineering. I understand China has ten of them in the works for the next fifty years. Imagine that same creative ability surrendered for God's glory as a whole from each nation on earth. That is what God is bringing about through the gospel over time. It is the kingdom Jesus will eventually return to achieve. And then we will be truly civilized.

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