The Project Tower of Babel was a problem only because of the motive of its proponents. That they wanted to build a name for themselves would not have been a problem had the motive been through that name to glorify God’s name.
But alas. It was a project to outmatch God and to be equal to God (sounds familiar?) to no longer need God. The project officers had not learned any better that Adam and Eve and the pre-Noah civilization. When will we ever learn that we can be our best with God and for God?
There is so much capacity and ability that God has invested in human beings. The people in this narrative learned brick making and brick laying, which implies that they had already identified earth’s precious raw materials needed for the task. “They had brick for stone and bitumen for mortar.” They were smart people, who had figured out the processes of adding value to the earth’s yield. Gifted with such creative ability, there was no telling what they could accomplish. Hear God, “This is only the beginning of what they will do; nothing that they propose to do now will be impossible for them”.
They’ve been there and done it. In aesthetics they’ve made the greatest harmonies and blends of music and song, recreated landscapes of colour. and built amazing worlds actual and virtual. In architecture they’ve built skyscrapers on sand! In biological science they’ve explored the DNA code and helped forensics expose unsolved mysteries. In biochemistry they’ve fabricated pharmaceuticals and vaccines to control disease causing agents that once crippled human populations. In medicine they’ve corrected so many congenital abnormalities. In astrophysics and aeronautics they’ve been to the moon, and are now checking out the sun’s surface. In ecological sciences they’ve seen how our bad ways cause chaos as they explain what’s going on in the Arctic and Antarctic. And the list of human achievements goes on…
God knows everything, indeed. It is true that there’s no stopping us human beings if and when we propose to work together. But will we? Or will we still add fire to the desire to compete against each other and to compete against God – the formula that tends toward consumption of our achievements rather than consummation of all this good that God enables us to achieve.
Have we learnt anything from Project Tower of Babel?
Help us to build each other up,
Our little stock improve;
Increase our faith, confirm our hope,
And perfect us in love.
Charles Wesley, 1707-1788