Sunday, February 25, 2007

God is threatened by man's progress?

Genesis 11:1-9 Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. As men moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there.

They said to each other, "Come, let's make bricks and bake them thoroughly." They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. Then they said, "Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth."

But the LORD came down to see the city and the tower that the men were building. The LORD said, "If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other."

So the LORD scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. That is why it was called Babel —because there the LORD confused the language of the whole world. From there the LORD scattered them over the face of the whole earth.


I have to be honest with you, this scripture does not sound any different that the many stories about the gods written over time. We refer to those stories as myths but this as reality.

Here are my questions?

1) Do you really believe that man could have built a tower into the heavens? This isn't even possible today with our advanced technologies.

2) Do you really believe that there nothing that would be impossible for man to accomplish if we were as one? Aren't we finite beings with limitations?

3) Do you really believe that the infinite, omnipotent, omniscient creator of the universe was threatened by humans so he had to come down and intervene?

This account does sound like a mythical story to explain why we have different languages and cultures. If this was written in any other book than the Bible, we would laugh at it as absurd.


jason said...

What are your answers to those same questions? What do YOU believe?

lenny said...

You're right about how much this sounds like a story we typically refer to as a myth. I have to research this more. What do you think about the origins of the rainbow?

tiny tim said...

1. The people said they wanted to build a tower that reached into the sky. Whether they would have been able to or not doesn't change the fact they had an obvious desire to do so.

2. This idea that "nothing will be impossible" assumes some amount of common sense. It's not reasonable to think that man would eventually figure out how to shoot fireballs from his hands if the earth continued to operate under a single language. Instead, the implication is that with one language, it would be far easier for man to compete and fight with God. The lesson is for us, not God. The tower of Babel shows us that man is wicked through and through and that the intentions of his heart is to strive with God. Gen 6:5 "And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually."

3. This isn't about God being threatened. This is about God punishing people for trying to elevate themselves.

space said...

There's also some indication that the people were making a temple, one that would be inhabited by people and not God.

The word "brick" that's used in Genesis 11:3 means "white". Many ancient temples unearthed in the area were white, hence the comparison.

Anyhow, food for thought.

Anonymous said...

"This is about God punishing people for trying to elevate themselves" So God should punish 'religious people' for considering themselves 'morally superior' to the rest of us.

The Exiled Contessa said...

I agree with many of the above answers. But, I would also include the influence of The Fallen, the Nephilim, and the Anak. (You will need to do your own research.) There was a great deal of technology being given to humans back then. Evidence of such exists around the world in various cultures, with pyramids, things that were built beyond the technology we are just learning about. The Fallen, along with humans, were trying to elevate themselves to the levels of gods. And, if you follow the stories and the cultures, you will see that deities did, in fact, arise from this ambition.