075 Aren’t we great?
June 16, 2017 | Permalink
‘And as men migrated from the east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. And they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks, and burn them thoroughly.” And they had brick for stone, and bitumen for mortar. 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, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.”’ Gen. 11:2-4
Man has been given all kinds of creative gifts. No wonder, God made us. Yet, we can use them for good – in response to Him, or, well, for bad – when we want to build our own kingdoms. In creating, or at least forming our own kingdoms, we want also attendant glory and adulation. “I’m king of the world!” In simple terms, we want to be great.
This aspect of the desire to be great affected us prior to our fall. We had everything, yet we still wanted a higher greatness – that of God. And, after the Fall, it seems that that desire is intensified. What we had with God (though we were the ones to throw it away) we still yet desire.
But, God had already made humans great. He made them in His own image (1:26-27) and gave them right to rule “over every living thing that moves on the earth” (1:28) and to enjoy for food (1:29). Yet now because of the Fall, man strives for achievement of (their former) greatness.
Two of the problems we face today is first of all a problem of not being satisfied with what we have. Not just possession, but all that makes us. Second, in this fallen world, we still crave a return to what God had offered to us but we rejected for the supposed greater prize. The echoes of that are often amplified when we lose something else of importance to us, a job maybe, a treasure, an ability, something that was once ours but now is gone. We have a desire for some form of greatness, and we’ll often go to great lengths and try to rise to great heights to get it. The Tower of Babel incident typifies that.
Yet, we also have another problem. We don’t want to be scattered. We want to stay in our own district, own enclave, our own backyard. And this despite the fact that God wants mankind to multiply and fill the land.
Is it wrong to stay in one place, to adopt a very defensive stance? Well that depends on who you want to be great!
What do you aspire to? What defensive posture do you have?