In Episode 12 on The Bible Breakthrough, we are discussing Genesis 11. We’re going to explore Genesis 11:27-32 NIV & Genesis 9:1 NIV to bring some context.
3 They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. 4 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.”
5 But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower the people were building. 6 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. 7 Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.”
8 So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. 9 That is why it was called Babel[c]—because there the Lord confused the language of the whole world. From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth.
The blessing of Genesis 9:1 came with a command that is the heart of the issue we are reading about today. As we read today’s Scripture, we can see that the people chose to do what they wanted as opposed to what they were told to do in this key verse.
In Genesis 9:1 God’s command to Noah and his sons was to go and be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.
It stands to reason that the Tower of Babel incident happened around 100 years after the flood and this blessing and command. The Bible doesn’t say exactly when, however, none of the great cities could have been built until the people were scattered so that gives us a general idea of the timeframe.
So, 100 years after the flood, after God blesses and commands Noah and his sons to multiply and fill the earth we see these families all together in one place with an issue rising up in their hearts.
So what’s the issue? We see it very plainly in Genesis 11:4 NKJV:
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.
The key is in the words “lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.”
It’s obvious here that their hearts were not in alignment with God’s command to multiply and fill the earth. In fact, their heart desired to stay there in one spot and become one strong civilization to serve their own desires, not to be obedient to God or to have any relationship with him at all.
God sees this upon inspection and said:
Indeed, the people are one and they have one language, and this is what they have begun to do. (Gen 11:6 NKJV)
This is the point. God saw into the hearts of these people and sees that they have no desire to go fill the earth and spread out, rather they want to all stay in one spot and be one powerful people making a name for themselves.
God knows that this is not good for them and decides to encourage them to spread out by giving them all a different language. Eventually, they break off into tribes by that language and spread out.
So let’s talk about how this applies to our lives today. Have you considered the condition in your heart lately? This isn’t the first time in the Bible that we see that God examines the heart. By this time, we should see very clearly that is what He does!
Is there something that was put on your heart to do but you think perhaps you know a better way? OR you’re avoiding it because of some fear?
Maybe you are not sure what God wants from you?
Here are some application points you can start with regardless of where you are.
Application point: God wants to spend quality time with you. The reason this is important is that it creates a deeper and more intimate relationship with him. As you form a deeper relationship with God you begin to understand what He is promising you and what he wants you to do.
But remember the most important thing is what is in your heart. If you do this but only just to check a box or to boast, you might as well not be doing it. If you’re even reading this or consuming The Bible Breakthrough then we suspect that you do want to take your faith to a deeper place.
There are two tasks here:
1) Examine your heart. Are there any areas of your heart that feel like you want to keep God out? Areas where you feel like you want to hide? If so, write those feelings down. Once you’ve made a list of those feelings bring them to God and pray! He knows these feelings so choose to surrender those to him anyway. Even if it’s that you are angry at God. His feelings are not hurt by your feelings. He already knows, so confess your feelings to him.
2) Pray for the desire to line up with His will in your life. The reality is that sometimes we just don’t feel like it and we don’t understand why. He will meet you wherever you are and help you. If you pray for the desire and step out in faith and keep pressing in, He will help you and give you that desire. Sometimes you must choose it in your mind first and take those first steps out in faith. Get your heart in the right place, pray, and then choose to spend time with him even if you don’t feel anything at first. If this is still a struggle, then it’s important to find a few believers who can come alongside you and help you!
If you are still struggling perhaps, you need a community around you. If you are local, one of the best ways to get your heart right with God is to serve. At Breakthrough Ministries that means coming down to our equipping center and serving the homeless and disadvantaged. We also pack up food and bring it to the Minneapolis 1st and 3rd precincts. This is always a great place to start.
If you are not local, find a small group to be a part of at your church. If you don’t have a good church, then that would be a great place to start as well! Simply pray and ask that God show you a church that has what you need and then start going and checking them out till you find one that fits.
Reading the Word is the other key way to start a relationship with God. Getting into the Word for even just 15 minutes per day makes a huge difference. If you are praying for the desire, you’ll quickly see that where you use to struggle to read for 15 minutes you now struggle to stop after the time has passed.