Devo Scripture: Genesis 11
Key Verse: “The LORD is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens! Who is like the LORD our God, who is seated on high, who looks far down on the heavens and the earth?” (Ps. 113:4-6)
What we need today. What we really need…is the same thing the people in the land of Shinar needed. The people who built the Tower of Babel. The people scholars widely believe built a Ziggurat for their tower. A religious structure dedicated to a deity; similar in shape to a pyramid. “The main architectural feature was the stairway that led to the top. In a small room at the top a bed was made and a table set for the deity.” It acted as a bridge between heaven and earth. A way for the gods to descend upon the people. At the bottom, next to the Ziggurat, a temple was typically found. The gods could descend using the stairs, receive the worship of the people, and in turn bless the people; bless the city. So as you can imagine if one was going to build a city they would of course want a Ziggurat.
So they built one. The people in the land of Shinar. They built it tall “with its top in the heavens (11:4).” To reach God. But it’s arrogance to think God is so easily attainable. Or to think he needs a staircase. Yes, arrogance to think God needs our worship or our resources. He needs nothing from us! Nothing! What the people of Babel desperately needed was a right view of God. A. right. view. of. God. “The LORD is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens! Who is like the LORD our God, who is seated on high, who looks far down on the heavens and the earth?” (Ps. 113:4-6)
But really are we so different? Do we not also need a right view of God? In a society that thinks God is a way of the past. That God is whoever we want him to be. That God is approachable even in sin. That God is like one of us. Arrogance, yes arrogance! “There is none holy like the LORD; there is none besides you; there is no rock like our God. Talk no more so very proudly, let not arrogance come from your mouth; for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed” (1 Samuel 2:2-3).
Jesus is the bridge between heaven and earth. Jesus alone. So shall his name be great! Not mine. No not mine. Neither theirs. For they aspired to make a name for themselves (11:4). But it is God alone whose name is great. And God alone who can make one’s name great, as he made Abraham’s (Gen. 12:2). Yet today are we not guilty of the same ambition? To make a name for ourselves? With selfies. Followers. Reality TV. Viral photos and videos. All of it to make a name for ourselves. But who am I really? Who am I but a servant of Jesus Christ? Oh that His name might be great. That His name be followed. And not as a swear word. But as the Lord of Lords; King of Kings; Holy and Almighty God. Rightly viewed. Rightly worshiped.
No, we are not so unlike the people of Babel. In need of God…in need of a right view of God. So God, merciful as he is, made himself known. To the descendents of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. To Israel; to the nations; to us. But in order to do that God had to separate the people into nations and he did that at Babel. There by the tower he confused their language, giving us the different dialects of today. What a site that must have been! I wonder at their reaction when they suddenly didn’t speak the same language as their neighbor. I wonder if God did it in the night or midday. I wonder at the chaos in the city. What did they think? Did they presume the gods had judged them? Or did they recognize it was the LORD God who had judged them; who was separating them since they would not do so themselves. Defiantly they declared “Come, let us build ourselves a city…lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.” This…a direct contradiction to God’s command to “fill the earth” (Gen. 9:1). But is God one to be defied? His commands such that we can choose to obey them or not? Is this how they viewed God? Is this how we view God?
Oh that we would worship him as he is. Not as we make him. Not as we imagine him. Not as the genie in the bottle who grants three wishes when we rub him the right way. Not as a God that can be manipulated. Not as a God we can merely summon when we need something. Not as the prosperity god. Not as the mean man upstairs; the tyrant who sends good people to hell. Not as a god at the top of a staircase. No….let us worship him as the God of the Bible. The God who makes himself clearly known throughout all the world.
The God who has revealed himself through the work and person of Jesus Christ. A merciful, faithful God is he. A loving God who came to seek and save the lost. A holy God who must judge sin for what it is. An Almighty God who can redeem; who can save; who has power over sin and death. A God who cannot be reached by a staircase or good works or any other means other than the shed blood of Jesus Christ. A sovereign God who holds the earth in the palm of his hand; who numbers the stars and the hairs upon your head; who made all things and holds all things together. This is the LORD God. This. is. who. he. is.
King of kings; Lord of lords. View him as such now and you will be blessed to view him as such in eternity. Forever. Together. In one language. The judgment of Babel reversed. God said through the prophet Zephaniah, “For at that time I will change the speech of the peoples to a pure speech, that all of them may call upon the name of the LORD and serve him with one accord” (Zeph. 3:9). Oh what a day that will be! When God is rightly viewed. Rightly worshiped.
Contemplate and Evaluate:
How do you view God? Does it match with what Scripture says of God?
How does your view of God impact your daily life? Your prayer life? Your life of service to him?
How can you today show the world who God really is? Who can you show his love to?