Blindness and the tower of Babel

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by npetreley, Jan 30, 2007.

  1. npetreley

    npetreley
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    The topic of blindness reminded me of the story of the tower of Babel. For what it's worth, I believe there really was a tower of Babel, that God really did confuse our languages, and that this is not allegory.

    First, was God unaware of the fact that if they built a tower to reach the heavens that they wouldn't be able to breathe up there? Was it true that if God had not confused man's language that there would be nothing we could not accomplish? Was God feeling threatened by what man might accomplish?

    From the thread on blindness...

    I have a different question than the one posed in that thread, and I apologize if it was already covered there (I didn't read the whole thing). I'm curious as to how free-willers square this verse with the belief that God is not willing that any should perish. If God is not willing that any should perish, and man is able to hear and understand of his own free will, then why would God step in and prevent some people from hearing and understanding so that they can't be converted?

    As an aside: For those who interpret the above to mean that the tower would reach God's heaven, did God relocate heaven since this story? Man has made it to the moon, and the space shuttle routinely flies where nobody can breathe without life support, but I don't recall anyone ever mentioning seeing heaven while they were up there. Okay, I'm just kidding around, but I couldn't resist.
     
  2. Scarlett O.

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    I agree. It's an authentic happening. And it happened just the way that the bible says.


    I don't think that "the heavens" means outside the stratosphere. It just mean very high in sky!! Some of our buildings today are probably taller than the Tower of Babel.

    No. Mankind has gone on to achieve great accomplishments - some good, like eradicating polio and smallpox and some bad, like nuclear weapons.

    The Tower of Babel was not representative of man's accomplishments. It was representative of man's rebellion. When God said in Genesis 11:6 that "nothing will be restrained from them which they have imagined to do", He was not talking about their accomplishments - he was talking about their further rebellion. They would have sunk very deeply and very quickly into total depravity and total abandonment of God, based on what they thought that they had accomplished in their decision to disobey Him.


    Far from it. With one exhale of His nostrils, God could obliterate the entirely of the Universe, let alone humanity. There is nothing that humanity can be or do to intimidate Almighty God.

    God was protecting humanity against itself by punishing them with a confusion of languages.

    God had told them to be fruitful and multipy and to scatter across the earth. The people decided NOT to do that. Instead, they populated one particular place and instead of scattering out, they built up.

    In Genesis 11:4, they said, "Let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered."

    Well.....being scattered was what God told them to do in the first place.

    It was the being of secular humanism. Worshipping the accomplishments of mankind. Depending on the man's abilities to "save". Pride in human accomplishments. Abandoning the notion of dependence on God and obedience to God.

    God protected them from their own selves by forcing them to do what he told them to do in the first place - and that was to scatter across the earth.

    It's kind of like when a parent tells a child not to play in the streets and the little child does it anyway thinking that he can make his own decisions. Sometimes the parent has to physically pull the child from the street lest he be run over by a car or mauled by a dog or snatched by a child moletster.

    The parent isn't afraid of the child or the child's rebellion. The parent is protecting the child from the child's foolish notion that he knows better than his parents.
     
    #2 Scarlett O., Jan 30, 2007
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2007
  3. webdog

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    To take a quote from the calvinists...because He is sovereign :)

    Just kidding, that's not the answer. The answer is in "how" the blinding and hardening happen. God also said He would kill the Israelites' enemies with the sword. Did He physically do it? How was it done? Blinding and hardening need to be looked at in this same light.

    Your view has greater problems. Why blind and harden a spiritual corpse? What corpse can see and feel in the first place?
     
    #3 webdog, Jan 30, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 30, 2007
  4. Tom Butler

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    I don't intend to derail the thread, but instead add some interesting information.
    According to the book of Jasher (mentioned in Joshua 10 as containing the account of the long day), Nimrod the king and his counselors decided to build a city the likes of which had never been built before.

    They picked a valley two days walk east of Shinar and gathered 600,000 men to build a city and a tower.

    According to Jasher, it took a brick and mortar carrier a full year to reach the workers at the top of the tower. And at the tower's base, it took three days to walk around it.

    The book of Jasher records that Nimrod and his men decided to make war on heaven, to smite the God of heaven with arrows and spears and replace him with their own gods. At that point God confused the languages and we know what happened.

    One other thing. Jasher records that God also destroyed the tower. The earth opened up and swallowed one-third (what a hole!). Fire came down from heaven and burned up a third (bricks and mortar, at that). And that left a third of the tower still visible.

    The city and the tower were build out of pride by Nimrod and his followers, so that was a sin in itself. The confusion of tongues came after they Babelites decided to go to war with God.

    We return you now to the OP discussion.
     
  5. tinytim

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    OOPs my bad, I thought the title read... Blondness and the tower of Babel....
    I thought it was going to speak about the babeling of blondes! lol

    I always wondered where people got Nimrod as leader of Babel... now I know. Thanks
     
  6. npetreley

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    The problem exists for both sides, if one assumes that the blindness has no purpose other than to prevent people from being saved. On the Calvinist side, there's the problem you state. On the free-willer side, it contradicts the assertion that God is not willing that any should perish.

    So there's a false assumption somewhere on one side, the other side, or both.
     
  7. webdog

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    I don't assume that God is preventing them from being saved. Like I stated prior, when one figures out the "how", the picture starts to become less blurred.
     
  8. npetreley

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    I don't assume that either. That's the false assumption to which I was referring. God does not need to blind anyone to prevent them from being saved, since man is totally depraved to begin with. The blinding and hardening is for other purposes. For example, God hardened Pharaoh's heart for many reasons - to demonstrate His power, to escalate the situation to the point where the Hebrews would actually plunder Egypt of its goodies by the time they were set free, and so on.

    But I was allowing the assumption that God blinds to prevent people from being saved because that was part of the other thread.
     
  9. webdog

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    The question is "how"? How does God harden, blind and 'kill with the sword'? You have given tidbits of "why"...but "how"?
     
  10. npetreley

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    I don't understand why you think the how is important. Does God get into the minds of men and prevent them from understanding something? Does God manipulate external circumstances to aggravate someone's existing condition? [Add you own speculation here.] I don't know, probably all of the above. What difference does it make?
     
  11. Jkdbuck76

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    OP:

    I don't think they were trying to reach God and shake hands with
    Him by means of their tower.

    I think they were trying to rival God.

    "We don't need to obey in order to reach heaven and be as mighty
    as God! We're going to do it on our own."

    The Tower of Babel is a picture of religion: man reaching up for God on
    his own feeble merit.

    We don't reach God on our own terms. That is what is sad about those
    people who think "I don't go to church....the world is my church....God is
    everywhere and in everything and if you're sincere you'll be ok." That
    is man's effort.

    God's way is Jesus Christ.

    BTW, I believe the TOB literally happened!
     
  12. reformedbeliever

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    The blinding and hardening was already there. The blinding and hardening being spoken of was in reference to what He had already done.
     
  13. Allan

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    But you are still left with the fact they could at one time see. What constituted God ending that ability??

    Like where it states it here:
    A prophesy concerning the future event when the Messiah is manifested unto His people. But Why does scripture say God blinded those who COULD see?? You have to go back to Isaiah to get the answer.
     
    #13 Allan, Feb 1, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 1, 2007
  14. reformedbeliever

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    They never could see, Allan. They were born blind to the truth. We all are. God has to open the eyes of their hearts. He will only open the eyes of those whom God has given to the Son. They were always blinded, by God. It is not that they could see and then God had to blind them.... the blinding was already there and done by God.
     
  15. psalms109:31

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    vail

    We have made our own vail that binds us from the truth of His word and only Jesus can remove, because even to this day God has not removed it.
     
  16. Marcia

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    But before the Bible tells us that God hardened Pharaoh, it clearly shows that Pharoah was rebellious and did not heed what God said through Moses and Aaron. The very first time he was approached, he was rebellious.

    So does God harden hearts of those who are already hardening themselves against Him? I would say that is a possibility.

    I know that when I was younger and unsaved, I was not hardened, but as I grew older and was still unsaved, I was definitely hardened, and it got worse year by year. To be hardened is more than just being lost, imo. In my case, PTL, the Lord had mercy and saved me despite this. But he softened me up several months before salvation.

    I agree with what Scarlett said about the Tower of Babel.




     
  17. Allan

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    Ok, I think I might see our difference and it is due (IMO) to me not stating who the "WHO" is.

    THose in Christs day were ALREADY blinded and I agree with that. But they were blinded due to the rebelliousness of Isreal BEFORE then (the time of Christ) and is reason God placed THIS judgment upon them.

    They rebelled as a Nation and was punished as a nation. But the scritpures states that BEFORE the judgment of God upon them, they COULD 'see' at that time and their seeing (then) was veiled by God from that point onward as a Nation for the purpose of God that Paul speaks of in Romans of salvation coming to the gentiles. Yet it was all apart of Gods plan.

    To take a quote from an old TV show (A-Team)
    Hannible - I love it when a plan comes together.
     
  18. Tom Butler

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    I find it interesting that all sides of this discussion have agreed that God does harden and blind.

    The implications of this are this: God has now made it impossible for them to believe. They now cannot believe. They cannot freely will to be saved. They cannot choose Christ. They cannot see the truth of their lost condition, their need to be saved.

    If that's too strong for some of you, the fact remains that they may will only one way; they may choose only one way. They will to continue in their rebellion, and they may not will otherwise. An essential element is missing--God is no longer dealing with them.

    Some of you hold that by hearing the gospel preached, eyes are opened, hearts are softened and desires are changed. When God blinds and hardens, preaching has no effect. In John 12:37-41, John explains that the very purpose of hardening and blinding is to prevent them from believing.

    Actually, that sounds a lot like any lost person. Until something (like the gospel) or someone (like the Holy Spirit), brings about a change, that lost person will continue as before. They not only can't choose to, they won't choose to, and in fact, they willingly won't, if that makes sense.

    So it seems that all sides have agreed on this principle. God is not willing that all should come to repentance, for he has made it impossible for some to do so.
     
  19. Allan

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    This is where we part ways. God sealed them IN the rejection of truth God had given them. They chose and God solidified it.

    Exactly. But God dealth with them already. The blinding is against salvation but see the messiah for who he really is. When they reject Jesus as the messiah (which they will do in a nation sense) they do so because they are looking for the messiah for all the wrong reasons. They reject Jesus because He didn't come and do what they expected Him to on their terms. In reject The Christ it establishes and Judgment as righteous because of their maintaining of willful rebellion and rejection of God. To reject the Messiah God sends is to reject God Himself - figuritively and literally.

    Then how do you explain this blinding being a judgment of blinding on the WHOLE Nation and yet it was not till AFTER the resurrection that people (including the disciples) actaully beleived - Thousands of Jews believed. If they were not to be converted then how could thousands of Jews under the judgment of God regarding His blinding them be converted after the resurrection - Including the disciples who were in unbelief until the resurrection as well. It is not that God did not want them converted, it was that they COULD NOT be converted at that time because God's plan was not yet fulfilled. If the Nation HAD been converted then they would have NEVER allowed Christ to be crusified for He was their promised redeeming Messiah.

    Well of course. No one can come to God when he chooses but God must come to man first. But when the truth is revealed to them they choose then and there what they will do with it. But it is only when truth is revealed they even or ever will have that choice

    Nope, God makes it impossible ONLY to those who have rejected His truth revealed to them. God may be gracious and give it again, if He wish, but He can seal you at that moment as well due to your rejection.
     
  20. Tom Butler

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    Quote:Tom Butler
    Allan repies:
    Allan, we've been over this ground before, so I don't want to completely retrace it. And although we may disagree over why God blinds and hardens, you and I both agree that this act renders it impossible for its objects to believe.

    I also agree that God may remove blinding and hardening. This reinforces my point that outside of a purposeful act of God to the blinded (and that includes all of us) to remove that blindness, we all would be lost.

    The result of the blinding of the Jews and the blindness of us all is the same--rejection of the Messiah. Only by God's grace do any of us have our eyes opened and our hearts softened. This also undermines the idea that one always has the ability to choose Christ.

    I think we're pretty close on this part, if I read your posts right.
     

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