Daily Lesson for Sunday 15th of October 2023
In order to reach others, God intends for us to move beyond our comfort zone. The desire to remain only with our own ilk and ethnic or social kind can lead to selfishness, even evil. This danger is one of the lessons derived from the story of Babel.
Read Genesis 11:1-9. What were the intentions of the people? What were they wanting to do, and why would God thwart it?
This story of the people at the Tower of Babel reveals their great ambition. They were planning to make a monumental structure—a city and a tower such as existed nowhere else in the world: “a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves” (Genesis 11:4, NIV).
How often today do people seek to do the same? Whether through politics, art, business, even religion, it doesn’t matter. There are those who want to make a great name for themselves. In the end, how futile and meaningless their endeavors are. (See Ecclesiastes 2:1-11.)
The Bible says in Genesis 11:4 that these people wanted to build the tower so that they would avoid being scattered over the face of the earth. They wanted to stick together for their own selfish reasons. But God had another plan.
These people were also united for this work. But “the Lord said, ‘If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them’ ” (Genesis 11:6, NIV). This ambitious plan of the people was, in fact, evil.
Though Scripture does not say it explicitly, Ellen White says that they didn’t trust God’s promise that He would never destroy the earth with water again (Genesis 9:14-15). They intended to build for their own perceived safety rather than to trust God’s Word. Whatever their ultimate motives, God knew that their intentions were not pure but were filled with selfish ambition, and so He prevented them from achieving their stated goals.
Are you part of a group or ethnic community that is more comfortable among themselves? In what ways may you possibly engage with others who are not part of your race, ethnicity, or nationality?