“Now the whole earth had one language and the same words. And as people migrated from the east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. And they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks, and burn them thoroughly.” And they had brick for stone, and bitumen for mortar. Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.”” (Genesis 11:1–4, ESV)
Let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth. Rebellion can sound so good, even grandiose, can’t it? Often it even sounds sensible. We frequently find ourselves working against the very commands of God simply because our ideas and plans make us feel better and suit our desires more. However, as we will see time and again both in the Bible and in our lives, that path leads to our destruction and sometimes our death.
At first read, we could find little in the plans of those in Shinar that would smack of defiance. In some ways, on the surface, their plans sound perfectly harmless. Yet we all know that still, water runs deep. And in the depths of the human heart we discover that the “heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9, ESV) So, we realize after a closer look that the words we read move counter to God’s express command to Noah after the flood. God has a decree, a global plan to repopulate the planet.
God’s command to Noah was as simple as it was clear: “And you, be fruitful and multiply, increase greatly on the earth and multiply in it.”” (Genesis 9:7, ESV) The problem with the people of Shinar was that they didn’t want to disperse. They wanted to stay local and not go global. In their heart of hearts, they were actually working at cross-purposes with God’s expressed will and desires.
In your life, you may have some plans that are near and dear to your heart. You’ve thought about it and you are pretty set in those ways. The trouble is God has other plans – expressed within the pages of His Word, the Bible or whispered through His Spirit to your spirit. And that is all that matters. God’s will done God’s way always yields God’s blessing. Rebellion to those plans always leads to disaster!
Turn-Around Tuesdays are designed to bring hope and help, insight and encouragement to those of us who are simply overwhelmed by the flood of problems life throws at us. No one is immune to trials and troubles, but God has a way of lifting us from life’s torrents. Each short thought is written by Dr. Matthew Lee Smith, Executive Director of Eagles In Leadership, and comes from his life-journey with the God who never leaves us or forsakes us. He welcomes your comments below.