Saturday, January 7, 2012

Genesis 8, 9, 10 & 11: Babel's Tower and Fear

Image used with permission from

Reading the account of the Tower of Babel in Genesis 11, made me think of ziggurats. I remember studying ziggurats with my sons in history class.

Ziggurats were constructed in ancient times by the Mesopotamians as dwelling places for their gods. Mesopotamia was the fertile land between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers (modern day Iraq). After doing a little research, I found out a few characteristics of these ancient people.

*Legalistic in their religious outlook, looking more to the letter of the law.

*Art and literature reflects a gloomy, pessimistic outlook on life.

*Euphrates and Tigris flooded unexpectedly and often killed those who were caught. These rivers came to be feared.

*Surrounded by hostile forces on all sides. People lived in constant fear of invasion.

*Lived from day to day always in fear of invasion and death.

*Selfish and practical.

from Early Mesopotamia 

Reading about the characteristics of the people who most probably built the Tower of Babel helps me to understand their desire to “…build us a city and a tower whose top reaches into the sky, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered over the whole earth.” (verse 4)

Fear of being “scattered over the whole earth” caused them to challenge the God of heaven.

Fear can induce us to do things that we normally would not consider, like challenge God.  Fear seduces us into believing that we need to take control of our destiny, because God is not able. In effect, we challenge God’s ability to protect, guide, and empower us to fulfill that destiny.

Fear is a spirit. (2 Timothy 1:7), And if fear is a spirit, we cannot allow it to master us or we may find ourselves challenging God. Maybe, we will not build a tower, but in some way, we will set ourselves against the One True God.

Holy Spirit, search us.  Root out all forms of fear. Cause us to rise up in faith, trusting You to complete in us the purpose for which we were created.  In the great name of Jesus. AMEN!!!

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