Genesis 11:1-3a, 4-6a, 7-9 - Now the whole earth had one language and the same words. And as people migrated from the east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. And they said to one another ... "Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth." And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of man had built. And the LORD said, ... "Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, so that they may not understand one another's speech." So the LORD dispersed them from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city. Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the LORD confused the language of all the earth.
It's weird when you look at the story of the Tower of Babel. The whole thing seems like such a show of strength—they want to make a name for themselves; they're building this huge tower, and so forth. And yet, look at their reason for doing this. They say, "Lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth."
These people are afraid. They are huddling together on the plain of Shinar. They know God wants them to spread out and populate the earth, but they don't trust Him. They think it would be better to stay in one place, within eyeshot of each other. After all, it's hard to get lost when you have a giant tower that reaches up to the heavens! And the tower will probably intimidate other tribes around them.
Truly, that's the reason why human beings do a lot of the stupid or evil things that we do. We are afraid. We don't trust God. And so we behave selfishly. We hoard money and food instead of sharing. We worry about our own future, and so we make decisions that hurt others. We huddle together with people like ourselves, instead of opening our lives up to others.
God understands the fear that we carry. And so sometimes He forces us out of our comfort zones, as He did when He confused human language at the Tower of Babel.
But that kind of response is a blunt instrument. It doesn't deal with the fear that we still carry, deep in our hearts. And so God did better than that. He sent Jesus.
Jesus is the answer to our fear. If you ever want to know what God is like, you can look at Jesus. He is the image of the invisible God. And what do we see in Him? Someone who is patient, compassionate, and good. Someone who is willing to live and to die for you—yes and to rise again. Someone who knows you and all the secrets you carry inside, and still wants you—wants you forever. Someone who will hold your hand as you walk through your fear and bring you out the other side.
This is the God we have—the answer to all our fears.
WE PRAY: When I am afraid, Lord, help me to trust in You. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo.
1. What are some of your fears?
2. When has your fear led you into doing something foolish or wrong?
3. Tell about a time when God got you through a scary situation.
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