Babel in Our Time
The story of the Tower of Babel can be found in the Bible in the Old Testament in Genesis 11.
1 ¶ And the earth was of one tongue, and of the same speech.
2 And when they removed from the east, they found a plain in the land of Sennaar, and dwelt in it.
3 And each one said to his neighbour: Come let us make brick, and bake them with fire. And they had brick instead of stones, and slime instead of mortar:
4 And they said: Come, let us make a city and a tower, the top whereof may reach to heaven; and let us make our name famous before we be scattered abroad into all lands.
5 And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of Adam were building.
6 And he said: Behold, it is one people, and all have one tongue: and they have begun to do this, neither will they leave off from their designs, till they accomplish them in deed.
7 Come ye, therefore, let us go down, and there confound their tongue, that they may not understand one another’s speech.
8 And so the Lord scattered them from that place into all lands, and they ceased to build the city.
9 And therefore the name thereof was called Babel, because there the language of the whole earth was confounded: and from thence the Lord scattered them abroad upon the face of all countries.
My first impression of the story is that the people got together to build a tower to take themselves to heaven and God was mad at them for trying to do something so arrogant- so God mixed up their language and scattered the people.
Well, that is the story sort of, but like most stories in the Bible, especially in the Old Testament, there is a great deal of symbolism associated with the story.
According to Bible scholars the city of Babel and the Tower of Babel were built by a man named Nimrod. Nimrod’s idea was to build a city and a tower. Before he built the tower, however, he had the people make bricks. (By the way, Babel refers to Babylon which, in the Bible, is symbolic for the wickedness of the world.)
22 ¶ And the Lord said to Moses: Thus shalt thou say to the children of Israel: You have seen that I have spoken to you from heaven.
23 You shall not make gods of silver, nor shall you make to yourselves gods of gold.
24 You shall make an altar of earth unto me, and you shall offer upon it your holocausts and peace offerings, your sheep and oxen, in every place where the memory of my name shall be: I will come to thee, and will bless thee.
25 And if thou make an altar of stone unto me, thou shalt not build it of hewn stones; for if thou lift up a tool upon it, it shall be defiled.
26 Thou shalt not go up by steps unto my altar, lest thy nakedness be discovered.
When Moses was commanded to make an alter to offer sacrifice to God, he was told to make the alter with stone that had not been cut or shaped in any way by a tool. Why? God wanted the Children of Israel to understand that uncut stone was made by God while brick or cut stone was crafted by man- all stones are unique while bricks are uniform. It is clear that we should not worship men or what men can accomplish but should always remember and worship only God. We should always understand the uniqueness of God greatest creation which is MAN. Man is a stone, not a brick. No two men are exactly the same. It is a good thing we are different and something that should be appreciated not condemned.
The word for mortar in Hebrew, I am told, means materialism. Mortar is the cement that holds bricks together. Materialism or the worship of temporal things of the world is the act of turning our attention from God and replacing God with the things of this world. So the symbolism of a tower, built with man made bricks that are held together by man made mortar is, a tower that attempts to replace God and what only God can do. This is a tower that is constructed by men and held together by the corruptible things of this world.
So why did God condemn the tower, confound the language and scatter the people? First, the tower was an attempt by Nimrod to replace God in the eyes of his people. Second, the tower was to be built with bricks that were all the same rather than with stones. The symbolism of bricks instead of stones is that people didn’t matter. They were not unique, they were all the same and the importance of the individual was lost. To God, the single lost sheep is unique and important; to leaders like Nimrod, people are interchangeable. Finally, the mortar of our society should be a faith in God. Nimrod wanted to replace that faith with a faith in man and what man could produce; he aspired to a secular society rather than one based on allegiance to God.
It is interesting that the more things change, the more they stay the same. In our time, Secular- progressives or Marxists, Fascists, Liberals or Socialists if you prefer those labels, are trying to destroy the foundation of God and faith in our society. They want us to be bound together by our economic ties rather than our ties of faith. They want us to look to Washington (or worse, a one world government) instead of to God when we are faced with problems. Moreover, to the secular- progressive, people are not as important as the society or the state.
We are supposed to all get on board the state social health care bandwagon. We are supposed to use mass transit rather than drive a car that harms the planet. It is okay to destroy an unborn infant, but wrong to leave a carbon footprint. We are supposed to live cookie cutter lives with their morality of rules and regulations. As a matter of fairness, we will punish the rich, productive and talented and reward those who are not, so that no one stands above the crowd. We are supposed to be interchangeable manmade bricks rather than unique stones that were created by God.
Secular-progressivism is nothing new. It is the opposite of God’s plan of freedom and choice and individualism. It is the works of Satan. This is not just a matter of political differences of opinion; this is a case of good vs. evil.
Men of faith, stand up and defeat the evil of the modern day Tower of Babel. We can never allow evil to overcome righteousness.