The thought that came to mind as I read the story of the Tower of Babel is, “if God must be in it.”
Nothing is wrong with being ambitious but when ambition takes on the form of self-exaltation, there is a problem. The people wanted to make a name for themselves. They wanted to build a tower “whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth” (Genesis 11:4). They wanted to make a name for themselves because they didn’t want to be scattered even though God wanted them to be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth. It wasn’t God intention for them to remain one place. They decided that they wanted to stay put and build a skyscraper.
God put a stop to their construction work by confusing their language so that they could not longer communicate with one another. They had to abandon their dream and God still succeeded in scrattering them all over the earth as He had originally planned. Making plans without God is futile. The Scriptures say, “Unless the Lord builds the house, They labor in vain who build it” (Psalm 127:1). The workers labored in vain because God was not a part of their project—in fact He was excluded from it. They wanted the glory. They wanted the recognition. Their endeavor was doomed to fail because God was not in it.
We are nothing without You. Help us to always exalt You and not ourselves. You and You alone deserve to be glorified and honored. Instead of building towers to make names for ourselves, help us to build Your kingdom by reaching out to those who don’t know You and teaching them about Your love and Your grace. Help us to build character for ourselves so that we can be more like Jesus. Help us to build up the hopes of fellow believers. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.