Two workmen were asked what they were building together. One said he was building a garage. The other replied that he was building a cathedral. A day later there was only one man laying bricks. When asked where the second was, the first replied, “Oh, he got fired. He insisted on building a cathedral instead of a garage.”
Something similar happened on the ancient worksite of Babel. A group of people decided they would build a city and a tower that would reach to the heavens and unite their world (Gen. 11:4). But God didn’t want them working on a grand, self-centered plan based on the idea that they could rise to the heights of God and solve all of their own problems. So He came down, stopped the project, scattered the people “over all the earth,” and gave them different languages (vv. 8-9).
God wanted people to see Him as the solution to their problems, and He revealed His plan for them to Abraham (12:1-3). Through the faith of Abraham and his descendants, He would show the world how to look for a city “whose architect and builder is God” (Heb. 11:8-10).
Our faith does not rise out of our own dreams and solutions. The foundation of faith is in God alone and what He can do in and through us.
Dear heavenly Father, forgive me for focusing on my own schemes and dreams. Help me to look to You for guidance in all that I do.
God wants to do what only He can do in and for us.
Genesis 11 holds a pivotal place in the early Old Testament story, as it forms something of a bridge from the days of the early patriarchs (Adam, Seth, Noah) to the days of Abraham. In Genesis 1–10 we find not only the creation narrative but also the record of humanity’s early failures, which are proof we need the Rescuer that God promised in Genesis 3:15. This promise will find its ultimate fulfillment through the line of Abraham—in Jesus the Messiah—through whom all the people of the world will be blessed (22:18). Bill Crowder