Thursday, October 29, 2009

Save Us From Ourselves:

Genesis 11:4
Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens so that we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth”. 

I remember hearing this story as a child.  I remember listening as I tried to imagine a group of people trying to build a tall tower brick by brick.  I remember picturing a tower that was so high its peak reached far into the clouds and into the heavens.  I remember envisioning God, looking at this tower that was gaining in on Him, and getting angry at his people for building a tower so high that it invaded his heavens.  Getting so angry that with one flick of his finger the whole tower collided: bricks crumbling, people falling to the ground.

Sounds silly, eh?  A twisted combination of The Tower of Babel and Jack and the Beanstalk.  It sounds silly, until we realize that there are many who still view God in this way, even as adults.  Silly, until we realize that maybe we are the ones, still misunderstanding the intentions of our God, still questioning His love for us. 

You see, more than a cruel story about a controlling God, the tower of Babel is representation of love…God’s love to a misguided people.  It’s the story of God’s love to a people who had forgotten His life-giving role in their lives.  It’s the story of God’s love even in the face of blatant human idolatry.  It’s the story of a God that loved so much, that He so mercifully turned their faces to Him.  I suppose sometimes His mercy can only reach us when it is severe.  Sometimes, in it’s sweet severity, He will take all the towers we have built in our lives, one by one, until the only tower that is left standing is Him. 

He knew the pain that would eventually come as a result of their self-righteousness.  He knew the struggles that would follow their child-like, stubborn, independence.  He knew the grave responsibility of allowing them to become the center of their worlds.  He knew that if He truly loved them, He had to save them from themselves. 

And in an effort to do so, He shattered their worlds.  God will do that sometimes- step in and save us from ourselves.  Save us from our misinterpretations.  Save us from our arrogance and self-centeredness.  Save us from giving glory where glory is not due.  He’ll do that sometimes, by shattering the things we thought good and replacing them with what‘s better, or even what‘s best.  By taking the things we have so wrongly placed before Him, and giving us the chance to seat Him at the rightful throne of our lives. 

It may be painful sometimes, but it will always bring peace.  It may be tainted with confusion, but never without a lasting comfort.  It may cause sorrow, but in time, it will always bring salvation. 

Lord, forgive us for the towers we have built in our lives.  Forgive us that we have sought a name for ourselves and have forsaken your name.  Remove those things in our lives that eclipse our vision of you.  Save us from our Babel.

Save us from ourselves.


  1. Verse 6 (5 posted for reference) is the most thought-provoking powerful part in my mind of the story:

    Gen 11:5-6
    5 And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built.
    6 And the LORD said, "Behold, they are one people, and they all have the same language. And this is what they began to do, and now nothing which they purpose to do will be impossible for them.

    "nothing which they purpose to do will be impossible for them"... this is God talking... whoa.

  2. Eric,

    Thanks for your thoughts! You are right, my husband and I were just talking about that part the other day. What do you think that actually means? It's definitely an interesting verse....


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