To read this text, go to: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+11&version=NLT
Scripture: Genesis 11:3-4, They began saying to each other, “Let’s make bricks and harden them with fire.” (In this region bricks were used instead of stone, and tar was used for mortar.) Then they said, “Come, let’s build a great city for ourselves with a tower that reaches into the sky. This will make us famous and keep us from being scattered all over the world.”
Observation: Most of us know this story as the “Tower of Babel.” While we tend to focus on the tower, the reality is that the people’s main sin had to do with arrogance, pride, and fear. There was this underlying need or desire to be remembered and be known. There was also a real fear of being scattered. Despite God’s command to “fill the earth” in chapter 9, humanity felt much more secure cloistering in one area.
Application: There are two important learnings here. First, it is a normal human desire to want to be remembered. There is nothing wrong with that until it starts being predominantly about pride – when we want to be more defined by our own achievements and successes than who we are in Jesus. When our job, salary, education, talents, etc. are what dominate our thoughts and we begin to think this is what makes us valuable (and others less valuable), then there is an issue. The second lesson is that fear is debilitating. When we are fearful of doing what God has called us to (and he calls us all to something!), when we stay firmly planted in our comfort zone, then we will not grow spiritually. Fear keeps us from doing the next God-thing – blessing another, having a spiritual conversation, reconciling with something with which we have conflict, reaching out to a coworker or neighbor who is hurting, or sharing the love of Christ in real, tangible ways.
Prayer: Jesus, help us remember that it is really all about you. We try to make it about ourselves. For that, we are so very sorry. Help us stay focused on you and what you are calling us to do today. Help us get out of our comfort zone and do the next God-thing. Let us rely not on our own power but on the power of the Holy Spirit working through us. We love you. Amen.
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