Mankind is a unique addition to the creation account. Mankind was created in God’s image; they are the only creation that has a soul and they have creative reasoning powers of intelligence. While animals have a built-in instinct that is predictable and out of their control (birds fly south in the winter); man, if he/she is willing, has the ability to invent and build unique creations. This is seen nearly every day as someone comes up with a new invention, idea, or a new way of doing something.
Mankind has the brainpower to do whatever they think up whether good or bad. This is a good trait to have, especially if you are a go-getter with determination and passion. With these traits, anything is possible for you. The only problem is, if you are the one making it happen; you could easily leave God out of the picture. This exact problem is seen in Genesis chapter eleven with the Tower of Babel. Mankind used their strength and intellect to build a tower that in their eyes will reach heaven, so they don’t have to obey and rely on God.
Shortly after the flood, mankind sunk deeply in their old ways of chasing their own ambitions and leaving God out of their lives. Under the leadership of Nimrod, the entire race of man came together to basically show that they did not need God.
In Genesis chapter nine, God blessed Noah and his sons and tells them to “Be fruitful and to multiply and fill the earth”. God also promised that he would not flood the earth again and gives His pledge with the rainbow in the sky. Mankind was not willing to listen to God or even trust Him. First, they wanted to build a tower that would reach heaven. They are showing their dependency upon themselves to survive. They think that this would provide them access to God and/or heaven and instead of believing God that He wouldn’t flood the earth again; they rather have a little flood insurance so they can escape in case it happens again.
Second, they wished to stay together so they would not be scattered among the earth (11:4) instead of obeying God to fill the earth (9:1).
Thirdly, they were only concerned about their own glory as they boastfully say “let us” make bricks (vs. 3), “let us” build for ourselves a city and “let us” make for ourselves a name (vs. 4). It was clearly all about their glory and their own desires.
The Lord sees this and comes down to see their impressive creation which isn’t even a speck in comparison to the universe which God had created. The Lord sees these creative go-getters with their determination and passion striving to build a name for themselves. So, to protect mankind, the Lord says “Let Us” go down to confuse their language. The triune God steps in and creates new languages so they scatter with others that speak the same language like they were originally commanded to.
The triune God had to step down and intervene otherwise mankind would have in union chased their own desires and eventually destroyed themselves. Though this story seems odd, God is really showing his love for mankind.
Since mankind has the ability to be creative go-getters with determination and passion; we must always check to make sure what we are doing is bringing God glory. It is really easy to do things, even in God’s name, selfishly for ourselves and our glory.
Be sure to always obey and rely on God so He gets the Glory, because God will not share His Glory with another.
“I am the LORD, that is My name; I will not give My glory to another, Nor My praise to graven images. Isaiah 42:8