They said “Come, let us”
God said “come let Us”
I have never put that all together until I read it this last time in Genesis 11:1-9 while starting my reading through the bible this year.
It’s just after the flood and God has wiped out the entire world with a massive deluge of water except for 8 people because of sin. Then God said after the flood in Genesis 8:21 “I will never again curse the ground on account of man, for the intent of man’s heart is evil from his youth; and I will never again destroy every living thing, as I have done. So we learn something here, that The intent of man’s heart is evil from his youth even after the flood and God knowing how sinful mankind would be, he would never flood the world again. 2 Peter 3:3-10 tells of a future destruction.
In Genesis 9:1 God said “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth. and again in Genesis 9:7 “As for you, be fruitful and multiply; Populate the earth abundantly and multiply in it.” God calls them to scatter and populate the earth abundantly and multiply in it.
Simple, obey God, make babies and fill the earth again. No, remember for the intent of man’s heart is evil from his youth?
They had other things in mind, look at Genesis 11:1-9
Now the whole earth used the same language and the same words. 2 It came about as they journeyed east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. 3 They said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks and burn them thoroughly.” And they used brick for stone, and they used tar for mortar. 4 They said, “Come, let us build for ourselves a city, and a tower whose top will reach into heaven, and let us make for ourselves a name, otherwise we will be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.”
They, with their leader Nimrod Genesis 10:8-14 whose name means rebel wanted to build a name for themselves. Instead of obeying God, instead of glorifying God in all they do. They wanted to build a temple as close to heaven as possible by humans effort so a deity could come down, like our God needs help ( James Boice has a fascinating section on this in his commentary on Genesis 1-11).
The Lord doesn’t need a temple to come down Genesis 11:5. This is human pride, the incubator of all sin. This is what caused Satan to fall Isaiah 14:12-14 and our core sin, pride. They said let us make for ourselves a name. This is the world talking, you can be all you can, just do it! They wanted fame, they wanted to rise to the top. It could be even the church who wants the world and Jesus too! Isn’t all this human effort and building a name for ourselves exactly what we were doing before we were saved by God?
Just like cattle, God had to corral them in.
5 The Lord came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built. 6 The Lord said, “Behold, they are one people, and they all have the same language. And this is what they began to do, and now nothing which they purpose to do will be impossible for them. 7 Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, so that they will not understand one another’s speech.” 8 So the Lord scattered them abroad from there over the face of the whole earth; and they stopped building the city. 9 Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of the whole earth; and from there the Lord scattered them abroad over the face of the whole earth.
The Lord came down and said, “Behold, they are one people, and they all have the same language. And this is what they began to do, and now nothing which they purpose to do will be impossible for them. This needed more looking into, what does this really mean that nothing which they purpose to do will be impossible for them. This is really a negative statement by God, not that they can do anything and nothing would be impossible for them. Literally what it means is if left untouched by God, they would be as sinful as they were before the flood. God needs to corral them in, and He does just that.
Look at verse 7 Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, so that they will not understand one another’s speech.” First of all something should pop out right away as in let Us, who? Us, that’s a capital “U” just like in Genesis 1:26 the first sign of the blessed Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Then He confuses their language, so that they will not understand one another’s speech. Like babbling idiots. Bottom line, they can’t work together anymore, they couldn’t understand each other. Then God did what He wanted them to do in the first place He scattered them verse 8 So the Lord scattered them abroad from there over the face of the whole earth; and they stopped building the city. God not only divided them by language, but also throughout the whole face of the earth. They wanted to make a name for themselves and ended up not being able to say anyones name.
So what do we learn and how does it relate to us?
- It explains to us the different languages and races of the world.
- When people rebel and do things and try to supply their own needs without God, it show their sinfulness.
- It show us the urgency to share the gospel of Jesus Christ to the unbeliever.
- That God opposes the proud, and gives grace to the humble.
- God is sovereign in all things and nobody can come in the way of His plans.
1 Thus says the Lord,
“Heaven is My throne and the earth is My footstool.
Where then is a house you could build for Me?
And where is a place that I may rest?
2 “For My hand made all these things,
Thus all these things came into being,” declares the Lord.
“But to this one I will look,
To him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word. Isaiah 66:1-2
and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria