I posted the morning sermon on Monday. Here's the evening sermon outline:
Tower of Babel: The Dangers of Self-Exaltation
Genesis 11:4 (NASB95)
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.”
The goal of our life is God-exaltation, not self-exaltation.
Let's look back right quick:
Genesis 9:7 (NASB95)
7 “As for you, be fruitful and multiply;
Populate the earth abundantly and multiply in it.”
Mankind was supposed to filling the earth, spreading out---being obedient to that command.
Instead, here's what happens: the group settles. Together. And decided to build a city to stay together, to build a tower in the midst of the city.
As they build the city and the tower, the goal is stated in 3 things:
1. build for ourselves
2. Make a name for ourselves
3. Avoid scattering.
Now, the city is for all to live together, but
Why a tower?
What had God used for judgment?
Big water. So, why build the tower?
It's an effort to evade any future judgment. It directly counters two important things:
1. God's responsibility and right to judge sin.
2. God's promise of grace that He will not flood the world again.
To build this, requires ignoring the positive command of God to go forth, fill, and multiply.
The building of the tower took time. I think the text supports that this was an effort that spanned generations. This was a long-spanning effort to evade the consequences of sin.
And it was started with the full knowledge that's what it was for.
So, how does God respond?
He does not destroy the people.
He does not even destroy the tower or the city.
He confounds their language. They cannot live together. Cannot work together.
And so, they scatter. There is no name for them: we guess that Nimrod was involved, but there is no real evidence who started the building.
Now, what do we take from this?
1. Don't build towers in Babylon, right?
Well, yes----but did any of us plan that?
Try it again:
1. God has given us a diverse set of commands. Some to do, some not to do. These aren't options.
2. We should honor those commands: live lives of holiness; encourage one another daily; worship Him; don't chase idols; don't dishonor the name of Christ.
3. We should not plan how we will avoid God's judgment for intentional sin. We should instead avoid the intentional sin. And that should be a no-brainer.
4. We should see that, even after failure, God provides the ability to obey: the people had no choice to scatter.
5. Echoes of this passage are found in Acts: the undoing of language confusion; the scattering forced by persecution.
6. Seeking our own fame ends in disaster: what are you doing that only builds your reputation, security, and greatness? Should you be doing those things?
7. Seek His fame...