The Tower of Babel

The Tower of Babel

Today’s passage: Genesis 11:1-9

Have you ever bribed someone to do something for you? Every now and again, stories will come up about people or companies or countries trying to gain a competitive advantage over others by greasing a few palms. Mid 2018, an Australian company was found to have been bribing public officials in Vietnam in order to win work on aid projects in that country. There have been allegations made that people were bribed to vote for Qatar to win the right to host the soccer world cup in 2022. There are, of course, many other examples. Some of us will have lived in countries where it’s just normal.

Bribery is about making sure that things go your way; it’s about ensuring your thriving in this world. This weekend, we’re looking at an incident where a group of people were trying to do exactly that. These people wanted to make a name for themselves. And so they stood together and built for themselves a city and a tower.

It sounds innocuous enough, doesn’t it? But as we’ll see, it seems that this tower was probably more than just a status symbol. This tower was about control. This tower was probably pretty key to their plans to be the most famous, maybe most powerful, people around.

Our passage, Genesis 11, comes at the end of the first part of Genesis. It stands as a representative example of what happens when humanity loses touch with who God is. In the passage, we read of God scattering the people of Babel and confusing their language. But why would he do that? What was so very wrong there? Could we fall into the very same trap that they fell into? And what is God’s answer to the problem?


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