What was the real problem?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by menageriekeeper, Jan 2, 2008.

  1. menageriekeeper

    menageriekeeper
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    Occasionally something I read strikes me as a bit odd and I have to stop and figure out why. So it is with this:


    Ge 11:1And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech.

    Ge 11:2And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there.

    Ge 11:3And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for mortar.

    Ge 11:4And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.

    Ge 11:5And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded.

    Ge 11:6And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.

    Ge 11:7Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech.

    Ge 11:8So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city.

    Ge 11:9Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.

    The context is the generations immediately following the flood and the new spread of humanity. Nothing real complicated about that. But then verse 11:1 appears to back up way back into chapter 10, verse 10 and start again. Am I correct?

    Now as chapter 11 unfolds, "they" are exploring the empty, flood changed landscape and come across a nice flat plain and they're gonna build a city and a tower, lest they be scattered abroad. They are not identified.

    Are "they" a particular band of Ham's decendents as seems to be implied?

    What is the real problem with the city and the tower? Is it pride? Is it faithlessness? I mean, surely "they" had the intelligence that their tower could possibly reach to the spiritual place we call heaven so the text means space, correct?

    And what do we do with 10:5 which implies there were already different languages prior to chapter 11 happenings?

    Ge 10:5By these were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands; every one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations.

    Why was God concerned that man's technology was progressing to quickly and why doesn't He seem this concerned about the rate our technology is increasing today?

    Ge 11:6And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.

    One last question, cause everything has to come down to a C/A debate. What does this passage have to say to us in terms of man's will? :D
     
  2. Dale-c

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    Ok, I will bite.
    I think they were wanting to be like God as always. They wanted to unite men in the strength of the flesh to show mans greatness.

    There is nothing wrong with technology in itself.
    Remember God created all of these things and man has just discovered them.
    When we use technology to show that we don't need God, that is when we have a problem.


    This here shows the total depravity of man.
    Man will always try to do good on his own if left to himself..

    Thankfully God intervenes.
     
  3. standingfirminChrist

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    Genesis was not written in chronological order. Chapter 10 should have been after chapter 11.
     
  4. menageriekeeper

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    What do you base this on, Standing Firm? I've heard such before in reference to Genesis, but never heard an explanation of why this could be.

    Ah, Dale? I thought man would always do evil if left to himself? :confused:

    The quote will define my use of the word problem in the following:

    Okay, this is the heart of the question. What makes "their" problem big enough for direct attention from God and our problem appears to not rate a second glance? Doesn't there have to be more to it than pride?
     
  5. standingfirminChrist

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    mk,

    It is obvious. Language was not confused until the tower of Babel. It was then God confused the languages.
     
  6. tinytim

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    God commanded Noah and his descendents to go replenish the Earth...
    Fill the earth with people, if you will...

    They didn't want to go... they wanted to stay in one place...

    Sorta like the Early church... I do see a parallel here.
    The Early church was to commanded to Go into all the world and preach the gospel... IOWS, fill the earth with this new creation... the born again man.

    They stayed in Jerusalem, but God allowed persecution to accomplish this commandment.


    Or, I could be wrong... this is just off the top of my head...

    If this is so, I wonder if there is any correlation between the fact that in Babel no one could understand each other's tongue, but at pentecost, it didn't matter what language was spoken, others understood the statements in their own language?
     
  7. KJVkid

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    Tiny Tim has it right as far as I concerned.
     
  8. menageriekeeper

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    Ah, so it was more direct disobedience than pride that was the problem. That makes sense. I also like the correlation you make about Pentecost.
     
  9. reformedbeliever

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    As far as I'm concerned... God's eternal plan, his perfect blueprint, does not include mankind getting to do exactly everything he wants to do. Its kinda like my daughter... I do not allow her to do everything she wants to do. Do I violate her free will? Yes. Of course anytime we use human analogies, they can not be sufficient when describing God's attributes. God's perfect plan shall be accomplished.
     
  10. blackbird

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    I'm driving on Dale-C's side of the road on this one

    Notice how the people got together and said

    "Go to. let us make . . ."---v. 3

    "Go to, let us build . . . let us make . . ."---v. 4

    Then notice God's intervention in v. 5 and 6

    "And the Lord came down. . ."

    Pay attention to what the people wanted to do----they wanted to go up to where God was

    But it was the Lord who "came down" to see the site

    Notice God's direction in verse 7

    "Go to, let us go down . . . "

    The people had gathered to make a tower for themselves---one that would stretch to Heaven where God was

    They wanted to build a city

    They wanted to be "as God"

    But the emphasis is on the words

    The people say "Let us"

    Same as what God says---when God said "Let us"

    The people wanted to be as God ---- wanted to sit on a throne like God and as God---same as Satan desired

    But God wasn't gonna let um---and He won't let us, either!!!!
     
  11. Tom Butler

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    The writers of Joshua and II Samuel mention the book of Jasher. A writing exists which claims to be that book. Scholars disagree on whether it is or not, but Chapter 9 fleshes out the story of the Tower of Babel.

    Take this or leave it. It's interesting nonetheless.

    Nimrod, the mighty hunter, became the most powerful man in that area. He built a city called Shinar, and essentially became king. And he and the people became very wicked. One day, his advisors proposed to build a city and a tower that would reach to heaven. Jasher records that the base of the tower was so large in circumference that it took three days to walk around it.

    God was angered because the people said the tower would enable them to reach heaven, make war with God and replace him with their own gods. So God confounded their tongues so that no one could understand anyone else, including the tower builders.

    God also sent fire from heaven to destroy the tower, and they scattered.

    If you want to read the book of Jasher, just Google it. I make no claims for its accuracy, but it does parallel the Pentateuch. Some fascinating reading, true or not.
     
  12. skypair

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    Same with Gen 2 and 3. It's just a "rehash" of the same events.

    The "real problem" is that God had given them "collective conscience" to guide them when individual conscience failed. But even collective conscience failed to "stave off" Satan! He got them distracted by the stars.

    "Rehash."

    Realize that God is revealing Himself via dispensations BUT He is also revealing man's difficiencies.

    That man has failed 7 times and God has "rescued man's biscuits" 7 times. Do you see that Satan has attempted to destroy the "inheritors" of the earth 6 times (Adam, Abel, Noah, Israel in Abraham, Israel in Moses, Israel in the tribulation) and God had to intervene in each case to preserve Israel who are to inherit the earth?

    If you want to say this is a C/A debate about man's will, go ahead. But it is really about God's will and promises being fulfilled.

    skypair
     
  13. menageriekeeper

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    See this is the thing, the text doesn't say they wanted to get up to where God was. Logically you can't get to a spiritual place from a physical place so building to heaven can't mean what we think, can it? (we got any Hebrew scholars that want to weigh in?)

    The text does say God was concerned with the level of their technology (this theme being secondary to the one of disobedience to the command to multiply and spread out):

    Ge 11:6And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.

    Tim and Tom have answered part of the question, but why the concern over the technology?
     
  14. webdog

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    The sin was the fact the laborers for the tower were not union workers :laugh:
     
  15. webdog

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    I agree about Jasher. While it is not Scripture, I do believe it is a good history book that aligns itself well with the Pentateuch. I found Jasher quite helpful in discerning who the "sons of God" were in Genesis that took the daughters of man as wives.
     
  16. Dale-c

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    I must admit that was a good one! :)
     
  17. Tom Butler

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    The book of Jasher also says the city and tower were two days travel from Shinar.

    Without hijacking he thread, it also says Abram was taught about Jehovah God by Noah and Shem, with whom he lived for several years as a child.

    And Nimroad was assassinated by Esau. Nimrods soldiers chased Esau until he was exhausted. That's why he was so hungry he was willing to trade his birthright for something to eat.

    The Babel story illustrates the height of arrogance on the part of Nimrod, his advisors and the people.
     
  18. skypair

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    Are you, perhaps, saying that the "brick" instead of "stone" was "technology. Dr Rogers did a good sermon on this and, of course, brick was made by MAN.

    Have you ever stopped to wonder whether there will be airplanes (modern technology) in the 1000 year MK? I don't think so. FWIW, I often think that oil somehow relates to the demons who are released in the 5th trumpet! I remember the wells that Saddam "torched" as his troops fled Kuwait.

    Technology is invented to make things easier for man, right? What could be easier that what God provides?

    skypair
     
  19. menageriekeeper

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    I always find it interesting the places the Lord allows my weird questions to end up. This one for instance. I had never, ever heard of the book of Jasher before I asked about Babel. If I hadn't of asked and Tom answered I wouldn't have read the first 20 or so chapters yesterday and if I hadn't, I wouldn't have a good answer justing for the question my daughter asked just this morning:

    "What happens to folks who don't think God exists or haven't been taught about God?" "Well, how can they go to hell if they don't/won't believe." (as though what man might think has anything at all to do with reality) "But why won't/don't so many believe what is plain to you and I?"

    And that last question became very simple to answer with the story from Jasher about Abram destroying his father's idols and saying that one of the idol had destroyed the others. Continuing with how Terah had known it not possible for the idols to do such and continued to worship them anyhow (Cindi's condensed version). A nice clear story on the stubborness and determination of man to simply not want to do right, even when right is easier.

    So thanks for everyone's input!
     

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