“Then they said, ‘Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves; otherwise, we shall be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.’” (Genesis 11:4)
The story of the Tower of Babel is one that teaches a lesson in humility. The people wanted to “make a name for themselves” that is, they wanted to be known and worshipped. They forgot that only God deserves all praise and glory.
Having been created in the image and likeness of God, there is an element of God in every human being. We have what it takes to imagine, to speak forth creation, to control and dominate the forces of nature, and so on, but then, no matter how we try, we cannot take the place of God.
The moral of the story is simple: “When we fail to acknowledge God in our quest for greatness, the repercussions are always disastrous.” The Psalmist says: “The fool says in his heart, ‘there is no God.’” (Ps.14:1). Whoever sets out to prove that there is no God will surely come to nothing eventually.
The story of the Tower of Babel can be likened to the story of the Titanic. It was said about that great ship that “nothing can sink it, not even God.” In the end, the ship sank.
Another way we challenge God is by living in total disregard for God’s commandments. I have heard many who argue that Christianity only exists to put fear in our minds and prevent us from using our brains. This was the exact same thing the serpent said to Eve while tempting her to eat the forbidden fruit.
Satan says: “enjoy your life, do whatever you like, catch fun, and touch the heights of pleasure.” Jesus says: “if you want to be my disciple, discipline yourself, pick up your cross, and come after me.” The cross Jesus wants us to carry is to follow the narrow path; that is, to seek righteousness and to value heaven more than this transient life. Of course, “what shall it profit a man, to gain the whole world and forfeit his life?”
If serving God as some claim is foolishness, I rather be the most foolish person on earth than repeat the same mistake as the builders of the tower of Babel. Jesus said: “For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of man be ashamed when he comes in the glory of the Father.”
There is more to life than what we can see. As the saying goes: “life is more than logic; reality is greater than science.” No matter the height you attain in life, do not be ashamed of your Christian identity. Always put God first and do everything to spread God’s kingdom on earth.
Let us pray: Heavenly Father, grant me a deeper sense of humility. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Bible Study: Genesis 11:1-9, Ps. 33:10-15, Mark 8:34-9:1).*
@Rev. Fr. Evaristus Abu