to understand who God is and why our world is the way that it is.
I would suggest that our actions come from what we believe to be true. It comes down to how we view the world and our place in the world.
There's this story in the Old Testament found in Genesis 11 that speaks to this very thing.
The way people saw the world and themselves.
Their actions spoke to what they believed.
I had the chance to unpack this odd, but telling story of the Tower of Babel. (There's lots to process from just nine verses.)
As I prepared to preach, I kept wondering what was underneath their actions. What did this group of people believe to be true about God, themselves and others?
Maybe some of my thoughts will stir something in you.
In many ways, their story resembles our own.
Language unified them. Their shared language held them together and moved them toward action.
Their construction plans revealed their hearts.
Cities were built to provide strength, stability and security. Cities were often surrounded by walls to keep outsiders -- out.
Towers or ziggurats were like pyramid shaped structures believed to provide a stairway for the gods.
Their massive building project revealed their misunderstandings and misguided actions.
What does God do?
God saves them from themselves. He gets their attention and redirects their focus. And scatters them so they can fulfill their role as God's representatives.
The Tower of Babel is a cautionary tale. It reminds me of the incredible power and potential of words. They allow us to communicate and congregate. To gather around ideas that shape beliefs and behaviors.
In today's word saturated world, it seems to me too many words are being carelessly scattered especially throughout the social media stratosphere. The words we use can either build up or tear down. They can unite or divide.
Let's be careful.