Gen. 11:4 "And they said: 'Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves...'".
When I was a kid I used to watch a TV program called: "Lost in Space". When there was an impending threat that Will was unaware of his surrogate robot would warn: "Danger Will Robinson". That is the first thing that came to my mind when I read this verse. "Danger…". Why? Because after the flood people had one language. They could basically do anything that they set their minds to, and their minds in this case were centered on their protection and their promotion.
Kind of interesting, this is what Eve wanted…promotion. She wanted to be like God. And this was what Lucifer wanted…to be like God. Now, the people after the flood wanted to "make a name for ourselves". The problem, God does not share His glory with anyone, so God put an end to this self serving, self absorbed, self promoting attitude and said: "Come, let Us (notice Us again) go down and there confuse their language…". V7 The result: A barrier. A world full of people who speak different languages.
I know what it is like to try to communicate with someone who only speaks another language. It is tough. I handle cases for clients who are Hispanic and we have to get an interpreter. Why? There is a language barrier. At church we have started a separate service for the deaf community. I love them, but it is tough to communicate because I don't know their language. When we were in Charlotte last month at Easter, my sister's church had a baptism service. A pastor got in the water and spoke Chinese. The people he baptized responded in Chinese. I have no idea what they said, but I knew what they meant. Sure languages enrich what and who we are, but they also create problems. Trying to interpret the information that is spoken or written in Arabic that the United States got from Osama is a tough assignment. And God made this tough because humans wanted to "make a name for ourselves"…and there is danger in wanting to make a name for ourselves. It leads to self promotion. It leads to pride. It leads to placing ourselves in a place that only God deserves.
I don't know why. But, before I even read this verse today I was asking myself the question: "Why do I blog? Is it for self promotion? If so, then I need to stop. If I am attempting to impress others with my thoughts, then even though these thoughts may be good and Biblical, the motive behind them may be wrong. And if the motive behind them is so I can "make a name for myself" then I am walking in dangerous territory. Thankfully, as I thought about my question the answer came back: "So others can be encouraged." If this is the motive, then I am good. Frankly, it doesn't matter who reads my words. If no one ever reads them, that is OK because they are simply a result of what God is teaching me. And what He is teaching me today is stay away from self promotion. It is dangerous.