Scripture Reading: Genesis 11:1-9
“Let’s build a great city with a tower that reaches to the skies—a monument to our greatness! (Gen 11:4a NLT)
Monuments have been erected for a variety of reasons. Cities have been planned and built around monuments such as Washington D.C., New Delhi, and Brasilia.
In Old Testament times as the people migrated eastward they found a plain in the land of Babylonia and settled there. They said, “let’s build a great city with a tower that reaches to the heavens—a monument to our greatness!” (Gen 11:4a)
Ever since that time man has continued to build monuments to his own greatness. These structures are built to reflect a culture or civilization (Pyramids in Egypt, Parthenon in Greece, Acropolis in Athens, Coliseum in Italy); for political implications (Lenin’s Mausoleum in Moscow, Column of Trajan in Italy); to honor the war dead (Normandy and Omaha beaches, Iwo Jima at Okinawa); to represent liberty and freedom (Statue of Liberty in New York, Arc de Triomphe in Paris); or for famous individuals (Washington monument, Lincoln and Jefferson memorials, Lord Nelson and Benjamin Franklin statues in London).
These are just a few in number compared to other parts of the world, but all of them seek to show forth man’s achievements apart from God. A few have been built for religious reasons such as Cristo-Rei (Christ the King) in Almada, Portugal, Christo Redemptor in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and Cristo de la Concordia in Cochabamba, Bolivia.
God was not pleased when he came down to view man’s efforts at mass independent living. I can just see him scowling and laughing at man’s puny tower. I can just imagine him saying to his son, Jesus Christ, “Look at that tower! Isn’t that the most ridiculous thing you’ve ever seen?” If the people are so intent upon establishing their own little kingdom let’s give them different languages so they’ll be forced to scatter abroad over the whole earth. As a result the people scattered like a stampede of cattle on the open plain during a thunderstorm. No one knew what the other was saying, and the juggernaut came to an abrupt end.
It’s easy to follow in the steps of the people of Babel and try to build a personal monument to ourselves through self-effort. Every day we are faced with opportunities to choose man’s way or God’s way.
Everyone leaves behind a legacy. Will your legacy be one of personal achievement or one that reflects the faithfulness of God and a lifetime of service to him?
Prayer: Dear Lord, help me to establish a legacy of faithfulness to the Lord Jesus Christ.