Tower of Babel

Bible Reading: Genesis 10; 11

"At one time the whole world spoke a single language.... 'Come,' they said, 'let's make great piles of burnt brick and collect natural asphalt to use as mortar. Let's build a great city with a tower that reaches to the skies—a monument to our greatness....'" (11:1-4 NLT)

These primitive people pooled their knowledge and resources together to build the biggest city with the tallest tower so they would be considered the greatest people on earth. God was not impressed. He wanted them to be unified in him for his purposes, not for their own glory. He "confused the people by giving them many languages, thus scattering them across the earth" (11:9 NLT).

Many people spend their lives building monuments to their own greatness. They focus their efforts on acquiring fame, recognition, respect, a big house, an important job title, expensive toys, etc. While ambition and achievement are not wrong in themselves, we need to be careful that we don't become more impressed with ourselves than with God. Our focus should center on God. "Focusing on the self is the opposite of focusing on God. Anyone completely absorbed in self ignores God, ends up thinking more about self than God. That person ignores who God is and what he is doing" (Romans 8:7 Msg).

Do my words and actions draw attention to the greatness of God or to the illusion of my own importance? Do my lips declare God's glory, or do I babble on and on about me (or my children!)? Am I building my own tall tower to reach the God of the heavens in my own way, or am I reaching out to God in the way that he has asked me to--in humble adoration and loving obedience?

Lord, tear down any shrines of self-importance that I've erected in my life, both consciously and unconsciously. Build, in their place, a tower of trust in you that will keep my heart in tune with yours and provide protection from the evil schemes and attacks of the enemy. As I study and memorize the Bible, let your words of truth form the bricks of my strong tower; let your Holy Spirit act as a mortar that joins your truths firmly together in my mind. Join my efforts with those of other believers as we spread your truth and lift our praises, as one voice, to glorify you.

"May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God" (Romans 15:5-7).