10/11/15 The Lord Scattered!

Posted by Pastor Steve Siegrist on Monday, October 12, 2015 Under: Sermon

New Beginnings Series - Genesis 11:1-9

Intro: Have you ever been a part of a fraternity or some special organization? You might have had a secret handshake, or repeat a password whenever you were around as a group or met someone from the group. Maybe it was certain clothing you wore. Or a tattoo or something that just made your group stick out. The three musketeers left a legacy in the movie world with a statement: “One for all and all for one.” Could have been a click, a group of people who had common interest and you might have needed to be invited to be a part of this click. Problem with some organization or groups, it is one for all, and all for one. Like instruction for a new toy you just purchased for you child, you find batteries not included, and in this case God is not included. Things might go well for a while without God; however, sooner or later God is going to come down and scatter the arrogant unbeliever who doesn’t need God. “And whoever exalts (elevates) himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted (elevates)." Matthew 23:12

Text: Genesis 11:1-9

“Now the whole earth had one language and one speech. 2 And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar, and they dwelt there. 3 Then they said to one another, "Come, let us make bricks and bake them thoroughly." They had brick for stone, and they had asphalt for mortar. 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, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth." 5 But the LORD came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built. 6 And the LORD said, "Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them. 7 Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another's speech." 8 So the LORD scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they ceased building the city. 9 Therefore its name is called Babel, because there the LORD confused the language of all the earth; and from there the LORD scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth.”

Application: If you understand God there is no confusion! Do you understand?

1. The Sin: Vs. 1-4

“Now the whole earth had one language and one speech. 2 And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar, and they dwelt there. 3 Then they said to one another, "Come, let us make bricks and bake them thoroughly." They had brick for stone, and they had asphalt for mortar. 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, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth."

This Biblical account of the Tower of Babel is a story that most of us have heard at one time or another in our learning of the Bible. For many it is a tale of a tower from the book of Genesis. In my Bible it starts on page 13 in chapter 11. It is a story of something that took place thousands of years ago and it has nothing to do with me or the current events of today! So you think! It happened in the OLD Testament. This narrative talks not only about those people long ago from the Old Testament, it talks about everyone. Verse 1 emphasizes “one” language or common speech and by verse 9 it describes a people scattered with confused languages; it moves from unity to disunity, all because they left out God and when you leave out God it ends badly, why? Because, man without God equals sin. A common statement in these first 4 verses is “let us!” “Let us makes bricks,” “let us build ourselves a city,” “let us make a name,” do find a shared theme? “Let us” not God! He has already done His part, He created us. This was a time in history where all human beings attempted to unify themselves for their own glory. I am sure glad our world isn’t like that today?

Who are we kidding, sin has taken God out of everything. Human beings don’t need prayer for God’s presence. Take it out of the government; take it out of the schools. Don’t pray at any social events, just leave it out! We don’t need it…

2. The Sentence: Vs. 5-9

“But the LORD came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built. 6 And the LORD said, "Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them. 7 Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another's speech." 8 So the LORD scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they ceased building the city. 9 Therefore its name is called Babel, because there the LORD confused the language of all the earth; and from there the LORD scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth.”

If God created us and He did! Remember what the New Beginnings of Genesis tells us: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1:1

The sentence: “God scatters them by confusing their language at the Tower of Babel.” God’s instructions were clear. The people were not to hunker down in one spot. They were to spread out over the whole earth! “And as for you, be fruitful and multiply; Bring forth abundantly in the earth And multiply in it."

It was all about convenience, the people had done what seemed convenient instead of what was commanded. It seemed much wiser to congregate together in one large metropolis than to be “scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.” So they ignored God’s clear instructions in favor of their own wisdom. Were so much better than that today! Let us admit that modern men and women are not above the ancient sin of Babel—thinking ourselves wiser than God. This is the sin of Babel, and of many a modern churchgoer, too. Their chief goal had shifted from glorifying God and enjoying him forever to promoting their own fame.

The Tower of Babel would have actually been what is called a ziggurat—a stair-stepped, pyramid-shaped structure. Literally, it was a stairway to heaven; an attempt to gain, by human effort, what only God can give. They thought that, if they could just provide themselves with enough fame and fortune, there would be heaven on earth.

Illustration: Sitcom - Jefferson’s; “Moving on up to the east side to a deluxe apartment in the sky.”

How did God restrain the evil of Noah’s descendants? He scrambled their language, foiled their plans, and scattered them over the whole face of the earth to make sure that nothing like Babel was attempted again. What an ironic reversal of fortunes! They had wanted to make a name for themselves, and now they couldn’t pronounce one another’s names! They had wanted to ensure that they wouldn’t be scattered over the whole face of the earth, but that is exactly what ended up happening. What a reminder that God is opposed to the proud—and will often make the punishment for our arrogance a direct reversal of our prideful intentions! If we have adopted plans without consulting the Lord and his Word, we should not be surprised if we find our dreams turned on their heads.

Conclusion:

This is cause for reflection when our plans fail. Why has this business deal flopped? Why did that relationship sour? Why did that purchase end up such a waste? The answer may not always be chastisement for sin, but Babel reminds us that it is a possibility. God has a way of showing us when we have left him out of the equation, hasn’t he? But, if we believe, even this is for our good—because it gives us an opportunity to repent. And it teaches us to: “Commit your works to the LORD, And your thoughts will be established.” Proverbs 16:3

So it was the action of the people to make bricks and build, and make a name, in fear of being scattered over the whole earth. What seem to be part of the confusion here the people didn’t want to be scattered and in the end as He continues to remind us today, we are blessed when we scatter. “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen!” Matthew 28:19-20

I love it; I know someone must be thinking how you can get discipleship out of the Tower of Babel Story!

The tale of the Tower of Babel speaks to us of unity. We know how important language is for unity. It can create or confuse a people. Language also incorporates hearing and listening. Crucial to the end of this story is that people could not hear/understand each other. It’s important to understand God can scatter a people or a church because of sin created by disunity, but God can also allow us to experience a unity by following his glory and get excited about a New Beginning.

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