Tag Archives: Genesis 11

Tower of Ourselves

In Genesis 11, we have another example of people moving away from God and His grand design. After the Fall and the Flood, it seemed like mankind was being restored. Noah and his family departed from the Ark, but it did not take much time before one brother leads the others to see a drunk, naked Noah in his tent. Canaan was cursed. Later, we read of the Tower of Babel.

As we look at this historical moment, we can note that the people were focused on themselves. The people wanted to build a city for themselves. The people also wanted to construct a tower that would reach all the way up to the heavens. The question that begs to be asked—why are the people desiring to build a city for themselves when God already has a place for His people?

Adam and Eve sinned long ago. Although they did not outright say they wanted a city for themselves, it is clear that they could not even follow God’s directions in the Garden. They risked everything they had with God—such a special, intimate relationship—for the words of the serpent. They chose something other than God at that point, at that moment they did not accept the Word of God. The cycle continues again and again, as we try to build for ourselves a life, a life apart from God. We try so desperately to make a name for ourselves, yet God has already chosen us and named us. Not only are we children of God through faith, but He will give each one of us a new name. Today, ask yourself this question: are you a tower builder?

“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; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.’” – Genesis 11:4 [NIV]

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Self-Exaltation

We often hear people talk about others being “all about themselves”—proud, living in a “me-world” and thinking of themselves first. The truth is that since the very beginning of mankind we have been trying to exalt ourselves. God alone should be exalted but we seem to want some of the glory or all of the glory.

In Genesis 3, Adam and Eve got off to a bad start that we continue today. The “more clever” serpent lied to Eve. Adam was by her side but he never stepped in to take on the leadership position God gave him. The serpent promised that if the fruit was eaten, Eve would be “just like God, knowing everything.” Boom. Self-exaltation. She couldn’t resist. Adam went right along with it too.

In Genesis 11, it is clear that mankind did not learn from these previous actions. They said, “Come, let’s build ourselves a city and a tower that reaches Heaven. Let’s make ourselves famous.” Once again, they were trying to exalt themselves. They wanted to be famous. They wanted to be great. They thought they could just go to Heaven.

Today we still try to get some of the glory that is never ours. Glory is to God and Him alone. He deserves all honor, glory and praise. Not us. But everywhere we look, we see someone patting themselves on the back. We see athletes showboating. We see people pretending that they have achieved something great and worthy of praise. The reality may be hard to swallow—anything we accomplish is nothing in comparison to the glory of God. He is above all. He is the beginning and the end. No one can steal His glory. Let us remember to give Him all the glory. Let us remember that everything we do should be for the glory of God.


I have been reading The Message 100: The Story of God in Sequence by Eugene Peterson. I am grateful for the opportunity to review this new release from NavPress. I received this Bible free for review thanks to Tyndale House Publishers. I have read The Message (NavPress) twice and I have read the NLT Chronological Life Application Study Bible (Tyndale) as well, so I was eager to dig into the Message 100 to read this new version.

I am enjoying the chronological layout with the trusted paraphrase from Eugene Peterson. Reading in this order allows for a deeper understanding of the Bible, but written at a level that builds bridges for any reading level. It is a pure pleasure being able to sit and read God’s Word in the evening. During a recent message I preached, I recommended this new Bible, because I know that the Message paraphrase is a great translation to read along with a daily reading Bible. I always recommend having a few different translations to read for a deeper understanding. A chronological Bible is a blessing because it helps the reader to see things in an order that is not easy to understand when not in sequence.

The Message can be understood by any type of reader. This new Bible displays the verse numbers so you can look to your daily reading Bible for further study. As well, there is a guide to show where the books can be found as the order is chronological. The 100 readings are designed for a great progression through the books, without any loss to the message of the Gospel. The Bible allows for anyone to encounter Jesus and be moved by how He reveals Himself to us through His Word. There is plenty of room to write in the margins of this Bible as the Spirit leads.

themessage100.com

Tower Building

In Genesis 11, the people were attempting to build a tower to make a name for themselves which resulted in the people being scattered. By attempting to build the tower, they were seeking glory for themselves, rather than glory for God. They were trying to build themselves up rather than living for God.

When you look around today, it seems like there are a lot of towers being built up all over the world. Perhaps we have been scattered all over and we speak different languages, but it did not rid us of this desire to be like God—the same desire that plagued Adam & Eve in the garden. People are still trying to get noticed. People are still trying to build up. People are still trying to live for themselves rather than for God.

Today, look at your life and check for any towers. Are you seeking glory? Are you trying to get noticed? It is okay to get some attention, but we should always be pointing to Christ. To God be the glory.

“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” – 1 Corinthians 10:31 [NIV]