This week we will be discussing the tower of Babel and how it can apply to our lives. Genesis 11:4 shows us that the people of the world at the time after the flood "said to each other 'come, let us build a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered all over the face of the earth.'" In response God says in Genesis 11:7 "Let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other." Immediately following, the people did not understand each other and were scattered over the face of the earth.
Last week, we discussed fixing ourselves and how bad we are at doing that. Now let us take it a step further. When we try to fix ourselves, we create two problems for every one solution we come up with. The people who built the tower of Babel not only tried to fix themselves but tried to make a name for themselves similar to God and as a result, ended up getting what they feared most, being scattered to the wind.
Is this not what we do so many times in our own lives? Very often, we are dissatisfied and afraid and in our own ways build our own towers of Babel. And yet once we build them, we end up receiving exactly what we fear the most. We fool ourselves thinking that we have control and we try to exercise it over everything. An analogy has been said that our lives consist of 10% of what happens to us and 90% of how we respond to those events. More often than not, we try to control what we have no control over and what we do have control of, we avoid at all costs. What are these towers that we build for ourselves? Getting our dream jobs, finding the perfect partner, going to the perfect college, getting a lot of money, having a perfect family, living in the perfect location. While there is nothing wrong with having any of these things, when we put our hopes and expectations in them we end up in disappointment and confusion.
So when we are scattered over the earth in our disappointment and confusion, what are we to do? If indeed the analogy holds true that we can only control how we respond, we have the option to respond by trying to pick up our pieces and rebuild our towers or we can respond by going to the One who will lift us up and never let us down.
That seems cheap though. Often, it feels like God does not listen to us. It feels like he has abandoned us and that regardless of what we do, we are stuck in confusion and disappointment, so why would we devote our time let alone our lives to Him? He has promised us that if we seek Him first, all that we need will follow. We might consider that we make demands of God for our purposes and like everything else in our lives we try to control God. Let us try something we may never have done before and let go. Let us ask Him to show Himself to us and to show us how to let go. Let us ask Him to show us in our lives what we might be refusing to acknowledge. And let us ask Him to show us why it is worth it to seek Him before all things.