Let Us Build Us A City And A Tower
When the United Kingdom voted and left the European Union after 43 years, a lot of people were asking, what exactly is the EU? Suddenly, there was renewed interest in this potential superpower, which is populated by more than 500 million people from 28 member countries and functions politically and economically as one country with its own money, a single market, and open borders.
After the historic Brexit vote, the Rev. Franklin Graham posted, “We don’t know what the #EUReferendum vote means long-term, but I know that this is at least a temporary setback for the politicians in this country and around the world who want a one-world government and a one-world currency.”
The desire and planning for a world government is not new; it’s as old as man’s rebellion against his Creator:
“And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there. And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them throughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter. And 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. And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. And 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. Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech. So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city” (Gen. 11:1-8).
THE TOWER OF BABEL
Centralization of power is a pagan tendency. Nowhere in Scripture is civil government said to have the responsibility to be the provider for, or the savior of, men. Yet, in the Old Testament that is exactly what happened—men began to pervert the purposes of civil government.
The Tower of Babel was the first public expression of humanism because it placed sovereignty in man rather than God. There, men gathered together to conspire rather than spreading out and filling the earth as God had instructed humanity to do (Gen 1:28). They wanted to make a name for themselves—save themselves—which required organized cooperation. This fleshly effort resulted in compromise and consensus thinking, turning “the state” and a “collective consciousness” into a counterfeit messiah, and, ultimately, failure. Let’s examine this a little more.
“And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech” (Gen 11:1). Before and immediately after the flood, there was only one language on the face of the earth, which was probably Hebrew. During this time, the Lord had told Noah and his sons to “be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth” (Gen 9:1).
The Lord wanted mankind to replenish the earth, but these people had other ideas, as seen in the story of Nimrod and the rise of the first cities.
“And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth” (Gen 10:8). Nimrod founded Babylon and the city of Nineveh. Josephus recorded that Nimrod built the Tower of Babel, as described later in the book of Genesis. Nimrod led the first organized rebellion against God, His ways, and those who followed the Lord. He hunted them down, possibly even killing those who worshipped Jehovah. Nimrod and his city actually foreshadowed the coming Antichrist and his city.
The Bible says Nimrod was “a mighty hunter before the Lord,” but this had little to do with hunting for food or sport. Rather, it described his opposition or rebellion to the Lord—a sin likened to witchcraft (I Sam. 15:23). Witchcraft seeks to control its own destiny, or the destiny of others through manipulation of the spirit world; it seeks its own will.
God asks the exact opposite from us. He asks that we surrender to Him and live according to His will for our lives. Therefore, the simple refusal to follow God or His ways is, in essence, a form of witchcraft.
As previously mentioned, Nimrod founded Babylon, which, throughout history, has stood for every false religion, every false doctrine, and every false way. That’s why it is also referred to as the “great whore” and “the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth” (Rev. 17:1, 5).
For centuries, Babylon has been an iconic image in the hearts of unredeemed men who believed they could achieve their own self-serving dreams apart from God. And, because God has given man a free will on this side of the grave, man is sometimes able to reach individual goals and successes in this life.
However, man’s desire to have a peaceful, utopian planet by his own organized rebellion apart from God will never happen. Peace will only come to this planet when the Prince of Peace—Jesus Christ—returns.
REBELLION AGAINST GOD
“And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there” (Gen 11:2). This verse refers to a great group of people—not every person, but a large number—who went in that direction, more than likely led by Nimrod. Prince Nimrod, his city of Babylon, and the plain on which the city was built all represent Satan’s efforts and his use of man as his agent to oppose and destroy God’s plans.
“They said 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” (Gen. 11:4).
The words “they said” in this Scripture demonstrate the undeniable evil of the human heart. In this one verse we find the seedbed of all rebellion against God, then and now. As previously stated, the Lord had told Noah and his sons to be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth. Instead, Nimrod and his followers were determined to gather together in defiance of God.
“And 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” (Gen. 11:6).
Once God saw their unrestrained rebellion, He dealt with them by confounding their speech so they could not understand one another. At least a hundred or more languages were introduced, which made it impossible for these rebels to function together with any type of cohesion. God also scattered them abroad upon the face of all the earth.
Consider what is being said here: The Tower of Babel was the world’s first attempt at global government and it was judged and destroyed by God.
GOVERNMENT GOD’S WAY
Now compare man’s ancient struggle for a global government to the founding of Israel. Israel’s government was formed by God. God found a man, Abraham, who would surrender his own will to God’s will. God gave specific instructions to him and promised, “I will make of thee a great nation” (Gen. 12:2). Indeed, the nation that God made of Abraham has changed the whole world. It exists till this very hour. In fact, Israel still holds the key role in future world events, continuing into the coming Kingdom Age.
When we let God have His way, He brings honor not only to Himself, but also to His servants. Israel was to be a theocracy, ruled by God. Among the many pagan nations surrounding her, Israel was to be unique. God said to Abraham, “And I will bless you and make your name great and you shall be a blessing.” The word bless means “to increase.” The phrase, “and you shall be a blessing,” concerns itself with the greatest blessing of all, which is really the glory of Abraham’s faith.
You see, God would give Abraham the meaning of salvation—the meaning of “justification by faith.” Its fulfillment would come about through the Lord Jesus Christ and what Christ would do on the Cross.
Genesis 12:3 says, “I will bless them who bless you and curse him who curses you and in you shall all families of the earth be blessed.” Again, this speaks of Israel, which sprang from the loins of Abraham and the womb of Sarah, giving the world the Word of God, and more particularly, bringing the Messiah into the world. Through Christ, every family in the world who desires blessing from God can have that blessing, i.e., justification by faith.
NATION OF GODLY PRINCIPLES
In the founding of the United States, careful consideration was given to the principles God used throughout history in dealing with government. It was never the purpose of the United States to be a theocracy, but it was to be a nation that governed using godly principles. To facilitate this, careful attention was given to the division of powers within the different levels of government—local, state, and federal—and even power to individual citizens in such things as owning property.
Consider these words from the U.S. Constitution: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness—that to secure these rights, governments are instituted by men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”
Our Constitution solidified the mandate for “the consent of the governed” by carefully assigning responsibilities mostly to the local and state governments and giving only those of national interest to the federal government. America would become the envy of the world because its citizens were allowed to enjoy these God-given rights.
THE STATE EXISTS FOR MAN
Jesus Christ and His death on the Cross for the sins of the world restored man’s ability to govern self internally. Man is no longer to be dominated by government and is superior to the state; therefore, the state should be fashioned for man’s use, not the other way around. The state should exist for man, and justice, protection, and liberty for all should be the aim of every government.
It is not God’s will for man to have a government telling him everything to do, say, and think. It is His will for men to have a governing body that protects his individual rights and ability to serve the true God in freedom.
This article includes content from the April 2012 Evangelist article, “Organized Rebellion.”