When we think of the Lord’s judgment, we often think in terms of the final judgment; the “great and terrible day of the Lord” we read of in Joel 2, or the Book of Revelation. Perhaps it even reminds us of uncomfortable earthly judgment from report cards and bosses! Certainly the judgment we saw in Genesis 6-8 two weeks ago was like a final judgment with profound consequences and devastation for human wickedness. But this is not the only form of judgment we see in scripture. In Genesis 11 we get the story of the Tower of Babel, which presents to us God’s constructive and discipling judgment. Two sins present themselves in this story, one obvious and one less so. Today we will consider the later.
Let’s first remind ourselves of what God said to Noah and his sons following their rescue: “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth. (Gen 9:1b)” God wanted his “image bearers” to “fill the earth”. It is easy to see pride at work in the tower builders but do we also see their disobedience? Their aspirations to build this singular great city ran contrary to his direction to scatter and fill the earth. Therefore, one element of God’s judgment in the Babel story is his power and commitment to bring his will to pass. “There is a way that seems right to a man (Prov 14:12)”, but God’s plans are never thwarted – his will shall be done!
Something to See:
God’s sovereign will always shall be done – even in spite of us!
I form light and create darkness; I make well-being and create calamity; I am the LORD, who does all these things. “Shower, O heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain down righteousness; let the earth open, that salvation and righteousness may bear fruit; let the earth cause them both to sprout; I the LORD have created it. Woe to him who strives with him who formed him, a pot among earthen pots! Does the clay say to him who forms it, ‘What are you making?’ or ‘Your work has no handles’? Isaiah 45:7-9