Yesterday, we looked at this wonderful feat of engineering that the builders at Babel created. However, their tower was built for selfish motives. So today, let’s see how God responds. Please read Genesis 11:5-9.
Notice that the Lord came down before construction was completed on the tower and city. This is why “they left off building the city.”
This makes me wonder how God would respond if He visited me in the middle of one of my projects. As His child, I want my Heavenly Father to see my work and be pleased. I want Him to be able to return at any moment and find me serving Him. I want to hear Him tell me those words, “well done, my good and faithful servant.”
I certainly don’t want Jesus to return while I’m in the midst of sin. I don’t want God to come visit me while I’m actively rebelling against Him. As His child, I want Him to return while I’m living for Him, so that He will be pleased with me.
If God were to come down and see what you are putting your effort into, would He be pleased? Or would He react like He did at Babel?
Sometimes, Babel seems like pure judgment, but even here God shows His mercy. God doesn’t wipe out mankind like He did with the flood—He scatters them.
The text indicates that God changed their language. We don’t know exactly how He did this, whether it was in the organs of speech or in the human mind, but we know that groups of people could no longer understand other groups. And therein lies the mercy of God—groups of people.
You see, God didn’t isolate every individual; He made language groups. In fact, most scholars believe that the events recorded here actually take place before the Table of Nations in Genesis 10. If you reread Genesis 10, you’ll see that the people are divided by their clans and languages (10:5, 20, 31). The Table of Nations is really a kind of ancient linguistic map that demonstrates how God divided the language groups up according to their clans.
So, God mercifully allowed families to retain the same languages and be able to communicate with one another, even in the midst of His judgment.
As a child of God, you may be found wanting when He returns. You may realize that the work you are doing is not up to par. In that case, you may find yourself entering into heaven as one escaping through the flames. Yet, even then, you can praise God because He always shows mercy to His children.
Whenever Christ returns, all of God’s children can be pleased. We can all rejoice because our Lord is here to take us home! Still, I hope He returns to find me serving Him. Let this motivate us to always be living for Him, for no one knows the day or the hour of His return.
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