Tower of Babel – Genesis 11:1-9
so that we may make a name for ourselves
The people try to build a tower to the heavens, and God confuses their speech. I find it interesting that God chooses this particular consequence. After all, at first glace, the punishment doesn’t seem to fit the crime. Why not fireballs from heaven, destroying the tower? Why didn’t He give the builders boils and sores on their arms, preventing them from doing constructions again? Why did He choose to affect their speech?
But then I am reminded that the people were trying to make a name for themselves. It appears as though they hadn’t learned the Westminster Shorter Catechism, which says, “Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy Him forever.” (Well, of course they hadn’t learned the Westminster Shorter Catechism… it hadn’t been written yet!)
In other words, instead of using their mouths to praise and glorify the Name of God, they were more interested in making a name for themselves. Suddenly, it begins to make sense that God would confuse their language. Unable to build up their own reputations and glory, they would have to relearn why it was that God gave them the gift of language in the first place.
Take a moment today to consider the words of your mouth. Do they build you up? Or are they words that bring glory to God? Do they declare the praises of Him who brought you out of darkness into His wonderful light (I Peter 2:9)?