I'm reading through Genesis this month. I would like to make some observations about the "Tower of Babel" episode in several different posts this week.
The history of nations is certainly replete with countries who resolved to establish a land apart from God. The whole failed communist experiment of the Soviet Union was such an attempt. The history of nations is also a history with the fingerprints of God’s judgment upon it. Whenever and wherever God was left out of the equation, the nation has fallen or has experienced great unrest. Nations, and individuals for that matter, who seek to exist and live apart from proper regard to their creator will eventually be brought down. God will only strive with man for so long.
This brings me to my devotional reading today- The Tower of Babel in Genesis 10-11. The bottom line? They that go up in their own estimation must come down again by His discipline.
The inhabitants of Earth disregard God not too long after the re-population by Noah's descendants. You would suppose the people would have a fresh awareness of the justice of God. You would think that a worldwide Flood would have served as a vivid reminder to the inhabitants of the Earth that they must rely on God alone and give Him proper regard. Ancient human propensities and inclinations die hard, old sinful ways resurface. Under the leadership of a man appropriately named “Nimrod” the people are convinced they can live in opposition to God. They are convinced they can place themselves upon the ultimate throne. They have apparently forgotten that Lucifer shared this prideful opinion before the world was made. It has apparently been lost from their memories that the sin of Adam and Eve came on the heels of their believing they could be like God by disobeying Him. For some reason the people of Nimrod have forgotten that the sin of Cain was to operate outside of the dominion of God in thinking of himself as higher than he ought to have. Forgetting or ignoring the fate of those who had fallen to the most dangerous of sins, the sin of pride, the people of Nimrod seek to make a name for themselves apart from the true and living God. Read and think about these passages, I'll give some thoughts throughout the week.
Genesis 10:8-12 Cush begot Nimrod; he began to be a mighty one on the earth.9 He was a mighty hunter before the Lord; therefore it is said, “Like Nimrod the mighty hunter before the Lord.”10 And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, Erech, Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar.11 From that land he went to Assyria and built Nineveh, Rehoboth Ir, Calah,12 and Resen between Nineveh and Calah (that is the principal city).
So it is that Nimrod is known as a mighty hunter (which would be cool, if it weren't for the seeming fact that he hunted men!) and leader on the Earth after the flood. This text states also that He was the originator and builder of several cities, one of which was Babel. Skipping to Chapter 11, I'm pretty sure it is a chronicle of one of Nimrod's building initiatives-
Genesis 11:1-9 Now the whole earth had one language and one speech.2 And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar, and they dwelt there.3 Then they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They had brick for stone, and they had asphalt for mortar.4 And they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.”5 But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built.6 And the Lord said, “Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them.7 “Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.”8 So the Lord scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they ceased building the city.9 Therefore its name is called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of all the earth; and from there the Lord scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth.