What if the Tower of Babel was never built? Well, it’s tempting to assume languages would not have developed, that the world would speak one tongue. But then may be and maybe not. But we seem to be getting ahead of ourselves. Let’s back up a little.
Just in case you missed the news Dubai is building yet another world’s tallest building, it’s called the Dubai Tower. It was designed by a world-renowned architect, Santiago Calatrava. Calatrava is known for skeletal forms – think of the flaying of flesh off a big bird or animal, leaving the skeleton to dry in the desert and you have a vision of Calatrava’s design aesthetic. The present tallest building in the world is the Burj Khalifa. It stands at 829.8m tall. It’s been the tallest building since 2008. But the Saudis are contesting that title with the Jeddah Tower. It’s right now under construction and the estimated completed height is 1,008m. They should be through by 2020. The idea is that the new Dubai Tower will be completed before the Jeddah Tower and so would briefly occupy the title of world’s tallest building. But you never know. The Emiratis might just have a joker up their sleeve. The exact height of the Dubai Tower is secret. The Emiratis covet superlatives crown earnestly. But listen to Mohammed Ali Al Alabbar, President of Emaar Properties, developers of the Dubai Tower project: “Combining Islamic architecture with modern design, the tower at Dubai Creek will become a national monument as well as a cultural and tourist destination.” And this is what Santiago Calatrava the architect said: “Dubai is where innovative and revolutionary architecture is making incredible strides. In the proposed design, we have united local traditional architecture with that of the 21st century.”
Both Mohammed and Calatrava might as well be speaking from back in time, transported to a place called the Plain of Shinar, Ancient Mesopotamia circa 2100BC. Some contest Shinar was probably in what is today north-eastern Syria. As the story goes, “At one time, the whole Earth spoke the same language. It so happened that as they moved out of the east, they came upon a plain in the land of Shinar and settled down. They said to one another, “Come, let’s make bricks and fire them well.” They used brick for stone and tar for mortar. Then they said, “Come, let’s build ourselves a city and a tower that reaches Heaven. Let’s make ourselves famous so we won’t be scattered here and there across the Earth.” (Genesis 11:1-4 MSG) What we now refer to as the Tower of Babel would have been the tallest building in the ancient world. And just like the Dubai Tower it required the cutting edge technology of the ancient world. The people were not just trying to build a tower however. They were also building a city – just like the Emiratis built Dubai and then plunked in the Burj Khalifa. And just like the people of Dubai built their brand identity on their city as well as the world’s tallest tower so the people of Babel sought to establish their brand identity with their city and the world’s tallest tower. Obviously, therefore, the more things change the more they remain the same.
Why would God scatter the people and confound their language because they built the world’s tallest tower and a modern city? Why would God travel dimensions to come and see the city and the world’s tallest tower? Surely, God has no problem with architectural accomplishments, or New Yorkers would have been scattered all over the world. There are after all, many towers in New York. And yet we’re told, “God came down to look over the city and the tower those people had built.” (Genesis 11:5 MSG) The only other time we see God do that again was in respect of the situation in Sodom and Gomorrah: “The cries of the victims in Sodom and Gomorrah are deafening; the sin of those cities is immense. I’m going down to see for myself, see if what they’re doing is as bad as it sounds. Then I’ll know.” (Genesis 18:20-21 MSG) So we do know that God sometimes chooses to come down to do personal assessment of situations on Earth; likes to review critical situations like Sodom and Gomorrah from a human perspective. Whatever was going on in Babel must have been something serious. God doesn’t buy tourist ticket for nothing. And God’s report card on the situation gives us some clue on the state of affairs: “God took one look and said, “One people, one language; why, this is only a first step. No telling what they’ll come up with next — they’ll stop at nothing!” (Genesis 11:6 MSG)
The technological wonder called the Tower of Babel was obviously not the issue. God could see there was an agenda unfolding. The people were unified in rebellion against God. As the Amplified Bible puts it, “They said, “Come, let us build a city for ourselves and a tower whose top will reach into the heavens, and let us make a famous name for ourselves, so that we will not be scattered into separate groups and be dispersed over the surface of the entire earth as the Lord instructed.” (Genesis 11:4 AMP) So we do know there was an anti-dispersal agenda unfolding contrary to God’s instruction. This was a runaway generation. They had rebelled against God.
For the first time in scriptures, we come across the advent of one-world government. Think of the Tower as some sort of United Nations headquarters. According to Wikipedia, “World government is the notion of a common political authority for all humanity, yielding a global government and a single state that exercises all authority over the entire Earth.” There have been several attempts at progression into one-world government apart from the Babel revolt. The League of Nations (precursor to the United Nations) was one such attempt. Unfortunately, the League lacked its own army and so could not enforce its resolutions. It could not prevent World War II despite the fact that one of its goals was preventing war through collective security.
The Nazi Party of Germany also envisaged the ultimate establishment of a world government under the complete hegemony of the Third Reich. Hitler even believed the Third Reich would last for one thousand years. That was a delusional appropriation of the concept of Millennial Kingdom of Christ. It was the tenet of the Theosophical Society, the occult movement founded by Helena Blavatsky and Henry Steel Olcott in 1875.
World War II would culminate in the formation of the United Nations. A number of prominent personalities – Albert Einstein, Winston Churchill, Mohandas Ghandi called on governments to proceed further by taking gradual steps towards forming a federal world government. The formation of the European Union is considered by some Bible scholars a major step towards the formation of a one-world government. Not to be left behind, Africans formed the African Union in 2002.
The one-world government experiment at Mesopotamia was just a practice run. At some point in human history the Antichrist will take control of the nations of the world: “And the beast was allowed to wage war against God’s holy people and to conquer them. And he was given authority to rule over every tribe and people and language and nation. And all the people who belong to this world worshiped the beast.” (Revelation 13:7-8 NLT)
The idea of one-world government is however not original to Satan. It’s a plagiarised concept. The Bible says one day, Jesus will take over the sovereignty of the world. Revelation 11:15 says, “Then the seventh angel sounded his trumpet; and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom (dominion, rule) of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever.” And the twenty-four elders, who sit on their thrones before God, fell face downward and worshiped God, saying, “To You we give thanks, O Lord God Almighty [the Omnipotent, the Ruler of all], Who are and Who were, because You have taken Your great power and the sovereignty which is rightly Yours and have now begun to reign. (Revelation 11:15-17 AMP)
God’s problem at Babel was the unified opposition to his authority. And that was why he scattered the people. He had no problem with the building of the world’s tallest building. Or Dubai would be in trouble!
If you’ll like to give your life to Jesus, please pray this prayer: Father I acknowledge that I am a sinner, that Jesus Christ died for me, that you raised him from the dead. Please forgive me Father. I accept Jesus today as my Lord and my Saviour. Amen.God’s problem at Babel was the unified opposition to his authority. Click To Tweet