Brick or Rock? Lessons from the Tower of Babel.


This morning I was reading in Genesis Chapter 11 about the Tower of Babel. I’ve always found this story very interesting! 

The story starts off saying, “While men were migrating eastward”. 

In the Bible going “East” many times signifies a moving away from the things of God. Here are a few examples - Adam and Eve were sent “East of Eden” - Lot went “East and pitched his tent toward Sodam - The Israelites were moved to the “East” when Babylonian Empire took them into captivity. - and the people in Genesis 11 migrated "East" to build a man man society based on selfish motives rather than Godly principles. 

When the people that were migrating eastward discovered a valley in the land of Sennaar and decided to settle there.  They said to one each other, “Come, let us make bricks and bake them.”  They used bricks for stone and bitumen for mortar.  They then said, “Let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves lest we be scattered all over the earth.” 

The tower of Babel is possibly our first look into a truly secular society. By secular I mean a society (group of people) that sets itself up out of the will of God and in complete opposition to his standards. 

One of the first things that I notice is that the tower of Babel was made out of bricks. I am not a brick layer by any means, but in some of the studies that I’ve done, here are a few characteristics of bricks. 

1 - They are man made, artificial rocks. You will not find a brick occurring in nature. 

2 -  They are identical and uniform. It is very hard to distinguish one brick from another. 

3 - They are functionally interchangeable. A brick can serve equally well anywhere in a wall. 

However, when you look at rocks or stones they are completely different then bricks. 

1 - They were created by God not man. 

2 - They are unique in shape, size, strength, and purpose.

3 - They are not interchangeable. When building roads or walls, you need to find the unique stone and/ or style of rock for the job. 

Lets look at a passage of scripture found in, 1 Peter 2:4-5

As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

I love this passage! 

God is inviting us to come to Him! He doesn't want us to be like the people in Genesis 11 who migrated “east” away from God and His ways. He wants us to migrate toward Him and into His hands. 

When we place ourselves in Gods hands, He forms us and creates us into living stones, uniquely gifted, uniquely placed in His house, to set apart for His unique purpose for our life! 

However, when we don't come to God, we place ourselves in the hands of culture. We will be made in the image of those around us. We will think like them, act like them, and be just another brick in a man made wall that will soon crumble. 

So what do we do with this?

1 - Go toward God ... not away from Him. 

2 - Put ourself in His hands by accepting Jesus grace through salvation. 

3 - Let God create us by obeying Him daily. 

4 - Find our fulfillment in living out Gods unique plan for our life, not our selfish motives.