Monday, March 07, 2011


This morning, I read the 11th chapter of Genesis.  The first half of the chapter is the story of the Tower of Babel.

I've always thought of that story as one condemning pride and arrogance.  My reading this morning from the notes in my study Bible and from the Commentary I referenced had a different view point, and it's one that rings true to me.

As the account begins, the people all spoke one language and understood each other.  They were migrating east, but they stopped and began to build a city with a tower.  "Then they said, 'Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower with its top in the heaven, and let us make a name for ourselves; otherwise, we shall be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth."  (verse 4)

The notes submit that the idea of building a tower to the heavens did not imply that the people were trying to reach God -- just that it was a tall tower.  Making a name for themselves (a reputation) was not necessarily a bad thing.  The problem is that the people were resistant to the idea of being scattered.  God is displeased with their homogeneity.

Image what can happen when power centers build -- the abuse of power that can happen.  Imagine what can follow when a group of people are all alike, and do not celebrate or even recognize diversity.  God's desire was for the people to scatter - to spread -- and to be diverse.  He intervenes to prevent the opposite from happening.

In the movie Robin Hood, Morgan Freeman's character, Azeem, has tattooing on his face.  He has a converstaion with a little girl that I have always loved:
Azeem: Salaam, little one.

Small Girl: Did God paint you?
Azeem: Did God paint me?
Azeem: For certain.
Small Girl: Why?
Azeem: Because Allah loves wondrous varieties.
God loves wondrous varieties.

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