What Does Genesis 11:4 Mean?

They said, "Come, let us build for ourselves a city, and a tower whose top will reach into heaven, and let us make for ourselves a name, otherwise we will be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth."

Genesis 11:4(NASB)
Picture courtesy of Commons Wikimedia

Verse Thoughts

Following the flood but before the call of Abraham there is a brief section in the Bible that gives significant insight into mans' speedy demise into godlessness. It shows how Noah's descendents became scattered across the world, and the reason for their distribution. It helps us understand how the nation states we know today, were originally established.

Because of their continuous wickedness, judgement fell on humanity by means of the Noahic flood. Although God's heart is always to bless and restore mankind... man's innate motivation is rooted in selfishness and rebellion against His divine authority. And when man rebels and sins against God, judgement will inevitably fall. 

The post-diluvian population did not learn the lesson of the flood, but determined to revolt against God's authority and establish both a unified government, and a religion in opposition to their Creator. "They said, 'Come, let us build for ourselves a city; let us construct a tower whose top will reach into heaven, and let us make for ourselves a name, otherwise we will be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth."

Not only did this generation have a unified language, but they determined to establish their independence, by breaking free from the God Who deserved their glory and not their disdain. They were motivated to deify the creature rather than the Creator. The foolish plans devised by human wisdom are no match for the eternal plan of almighty God and His omniscient power, and riches, and wisdom, and might and honour, and glory, and blessing.

Here we read how the collective heart of fallen man were not prepared to fulfil the directive given to Noah and his descendents. God had blessed Noah and his sons when they came out of the ark, and instructed them to them, "Be fruitful and multiply and to fill the earth". However, these people did not want to be 'scattered abroad, over the face of the earth', as God intended.

They knew that disobedience would result in God's wrath, but at the behest of Nimrod - a mighty man who defiantly opposed God and resisted His directive,  devised a satanic plan to disobey His command. He encouraged the people to remain independent of The Lord by establishing themselves in a valley... in the land of Shinar. Their plan was to remain united as one people. Their scheme was... "to make a name" for themselves" that would resound through history.. by building "a tower" that would reach "into heaven."

They concluded they could outsmart God by building a city and constructing a great tower 'that would reach into heaven'. They believed Satanic sorcery and dark occultism would divorce them from God's jurisdiction and enable them to become a self-governing race. They enjoyed a universal language and set themselves against the Almighty, unaware of the divine intervention that was soon to befall them, where their language would be confused - causing this vast, rebellious community to be segregated into many different nations with unfamiliar languages; a divided community and the destruction of their nefarious plans to become united.. in opposition to God - under the authority of Satan.

These foolish people concluded that by their actions they would gain divine power and God-like authority. They no doubt presumed that they could once again tap into the evil, angelic realm that had corrupted humanity prior to the flood and brought it to the brink of destruction. Even though these arrogant people knew God, they refused to honour Him as God or to give thanks to Him. Instead, they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish hearts were darkened - professing to be wise, this generation became fools.

What lessons we can learn from this brief passage on this post diluvian population. The same arrogant attitude and rebellious plan to bring in a one-world government and establish a united, anti-god religion with Christless theology still exists today.

However the Satanic plans of man can never derail the supernatural plan of God, and will bring the inevitable judgement that befell Nimrod and the foolish people on the plain of Shinar, who conspired together and said, "Come, let us build for ourselves a city, and a tower whose top will reach into heaven, and let us make for ourselves a name, otherwise we will be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth."

My Prayer

Heavenly Father, teach me all there is to learn from the foolish decisions made by the post diluvian people and the rebellious attitudes they fostered in their heart. Thank You that You are my God and Creator, and that You have given me all I need for life and godliness. Help me to make the right choices in life and to refuse to adopt the sinful ways of the world and which encourages independence from You. May I look to Jesus day by day and rest my hope and future in You. This I ask in His dear name's sake, AMEN.

Picture courtesy of Commons Wikimedia

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