Now the whole earth used the same language and the same words. It came about as they journeyed east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. 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. 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 Lord came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built. 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. Come, let Us go down and there and confuse their language, so that they will not understand one another’s speech.” So the Lord scattered them abroad from there over the face of the whole earth; and they stopped building the city. 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 incident of the Tower of Babel is a kind a fitting end to this series of messages because it contains the basic choice that has colored all of the incidents in this series – the pride of mankind verses the commands and directives of God. In the end we get into this mess because of mankind’s continual problem of deciding against what God directs. The Tower of Babel is no different as we remember that the constant command to both Adam and Noah was to spread out, fill the earth and subdue it. The people after the flood do the exact opposite and instead stay together as one nation and culture.
The question from God;’s perspective seem to be one of prevention as before mankind turned all of its attention to evil and while they don’t seem to be evil like they were before, they are so united that even God admits that nothing is impossible for them. God realizes the danger and decides on a decision that involves changing man’s knowledge f language so that there become many languages instead of just one and this mankind cannot work together anymore but their freewill is not violated.
The ultimate thing mankind was looking for was security and unity but to achieve that they had to ignore God’s command to fill the earth. Once again God finds himself reacting to the decisions of mankind by changing their situation so they are compelled to make the right decisions but at a cost – namely there will not be strife, wars and power games into the future.
For us, we need to that our own personal messes are caused by the same pride that we think we know better than God. The thing is even now we can see the love and grace of God which in the end is the only things that get us out of this mess. Ultimately, we must look to God to help us get out of the hole we dig for ourselves for not listening to Him in the first place.