The people who worked at building The Tower of Babel did so “to make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth.” (Genesis 11:4)
What was the name of the people of Babel? The Bible does not tell us.
What happened to the people? “the LORD scattered them from there over all the earth” (Genesis 11:8)
The people who worked at building The Tower must have known success or they would not have thought they could build a huge tower. They probably had a great work ethic, considerable vision, and sufficient materials with which to work. Their problem was:
Their Motive – to make a name for themselves
Their Attitude – we can do it.
This is a great example of “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. (Proverbs 16:18)
Contrast “Come, let us make a name for ourselves” with …the Lord said to Abraham “I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; There are only 27 verses between these quotations.
We must remember to “humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” (I Peter 5:6) How much better it is to humble ourselves and to know that God will lift us up, will care for us – than it is to be proud and to be humbled by God.
It is easy for us Christians to become like the people who built the towel of Babel – and to think/say….I can do it! The more “success” we have doing what God desires us to do, the easier it is to deceive ourselves, to believe, at least subjectively, that we are the reason for “our success”. Can we learn from the history of the nation of Israel…where enough people within the nation decided to do their own thing that the nation was humbled over and over again? God told Moses “Speak to that rock before their eyes and it will pour out its water. Then Moses raised his arm and struck the rock…the LORD said to Moses “Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them.” (Numbers 20:) Many years of faithful service – and a great humbling!
Can we learn from the obvious downfall of some of the leaders within the Christian community today?
How much better it is to keep the mindset of “ Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus” (Romans 1:1 ) and of “James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ” (James 1:1)
With this mindset we can be content doing whatever we know the Lord would have us do, regardless of our situation. Our egos are not to be involved with our decision making.
Dr. McQuilken, who I referred to last week, was an excellent college President. I cannot imagine that Dr. McQuilken was not an excellent caregiver – tough assignment though this must have been. And I am confident that he did so with a wonderful attitude.
Let us “ do it all for the glory of God” (I Corinthians 10:31). Humbly we can live In Partnership With Go d.