United Aspirations for Evil
Now the whole earth had one language and one speech. And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar, and they dwelt there. Then they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They had brick for stone, and they had asphalt for mortar. 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.” (Genesis 11:1-4)
Here is a provocative question: how and when did the human race gain the faculty of speech? The Bible answers it: God spoke to Adam, who understood what he was told. God then gave mankind the faculty of speech. This phrase does not merely describe the physical capacity to form words … it also refers to the actual words used (language).
In other words, God gave human beings the capacity of human speech and the specifics of human language. We see this fact in our first parents. Adam possessed the ability to have an intelligent conversation (Genesis 2:23; 3:2, 10, 12, 13) and even had the ability to create new words: “So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field” (Genesis 2:20).
Problems arose when the hearts of men became increasingly evil, even after the judgment of the great flood. And because there was only one language spoken on the earth, man’s capacity to fulfill his wicked intentions also grew. Man’s pride and rejection of God resulted in the building of a city and the tower of Babel. This was not a good thing.
The city centralized a large portion of human population. The tower centralized their worship of demons (1 Corinthians 10:20).
“The Tower of Babel (Genesis 11:19) was not a Jack and the Beanstalk-type of construction, where people were trying to build a structure to get into heaven. Instead, it is best understood as an ancient ziggurat (Assyrian for “mountaintop”) … a ziggurat was a man-made structure with a temple at its top, built to worship the host of heaven” (Dr. David P. Livingston, Associates for Bible Research- http://christiananswers.net/dictionary/nimrod.html).
Man is incurably proud and idolatrous. In the natural, humans love to imagine living a life without God. They think: “Life without God will preserve our autonomy. We can live as we choose.”
But such a life is not only humanistic, self-focused, and shallow … it is also unlivable. The spread of darkness in a culture without God removes all trace of light. Without light man cannot see, and without light the color and beauty of life vanishes. Wickedness thrives where there is no light.
“And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.” (John 3:19-21)
For Further Review
1. The capacity to hear God’s voice and to speak to Him is among our greatest blessings. Find a passage that promises that believers in Christ can hear God’s voice.
2. What is so evil about idolatry? Are there any idols currently living in your heart right now? If so, take some time to confess them and forsake them right now (Proverbs 28:13).