The Tower of Babel – Genesis 11
“Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. As men moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there.
They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth.”
But the LORD came down to see the city and the tower that the men were building. The LORD said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.”
So the LORD scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. That is why it was called Babel —because there the LORD confused the language of the whole world. From there the LORD scattered them over the face of the whole earth.”
What were the people of Babylonia trying to do? Build a tower to make themselves famous
Were they being successful? Apparently
What made them successful? A common language – the ability to communicate successfully
Was that good or bad? Why?
What did God say about them? “The people are united, and they all speak the same language. After this, nothing they set out to do will be impossible for them!”
Do you think God would say that about your church? Your family? You and your friends?
The people of Babylonia were united in doing something wrong, so God had to stop them. But what if a group of people could be united in doing something right? Nothing would be impossible for them – God said so.
So how does a group like that become so united together? How did the people of Babylonia do it? Look through the passage. They all spoke the same language – they talked – they understood each other. When their ability to communicate was stopped – they were finished. I think Satan has done a great job of keeping us Christians from communicating with each other because he knows that Christians who have that kind of communication – nothing will be impossible for them.
Think about it: When you’re at church, how often do you talk to someone about the things that really weigh on you heart? How often do you share your deepest hurts, how you really feel, what you’re really concerned about. The last time I was at church my conversations went like this:
Other person: Morning, Dave. How are ya?
Me: Hey, I’m doing great. You?
Other person: Real good. How’s work been going?
Me: Not bad. Keeping busy, anyway.
Other person: That’s good. How’s the kids?
Me: They’re good. Well, I better go find this kids. Nice to see ya.
Did we really communicate? Not really. Most of what was said wasn’t even true. That’s not communication – that’s not even fellowship. God doesn’t want us to only communicate with Him (although that’s surely important), He wants us to communicate with each other. The Christian life was never meant to be lived alone – God intends us to live life in unity with other Christians.
What would happen in your life if you had a small group of friends that you could really communicate with? A group of friends that you could share your biggest struggles with – no matter what they may be? People who ask you how you really are – how you day has really been. People who say they’ll pray for you and then actually do. Friends who don’t just talk about the weather, they talk about what God’s been doing in their life and what He’s been teaching them. I tell you, nothing would be impossible for a group like that.
Would you like to be a part of a group like that? I sure do. But it’ll require a change in the way we communicate. Casual conversation isn’t enough. Non-believers can have casual conversation. Christians need intentional conversations. Our natural tendency is to be very superficial in our conversations – even with close Christian friends. The “Hi, how are you? I’m great” kind of stuff. We need to intentionally make our conversations count.
Ephesians 5:16 – “Redeeming the time, because the days are evil” Or “Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days.” Ask the real questions. Answer questions with truth. Take the opportunities you have to encourage one another and build each other up. Don’t waste your time on weather and politics – talk about things that actually matter.
Exercise: Pair up with someone who you know fairly well and spend five minutes being real with each other. Have an intentional conversation.