Wednesday, April 29, 2015

"Otherwise, We Will be Scattered" - Devotion on Genesis 11

Scripture: Genesis 11:1-4
Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. As people moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there.

They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.”

The people living in the plain of Shinar in Genesis 11 were wise people. They were looking to and planning for the future. They knew that they would one day have enemies, so to protect themselves, they built a city with a huge tower in it. This tower would provide a look-out for approaching forces and would also intimidate those forces.

No one would attack such an impressive city. By building this wonder, they would ensure their safety.

How do you ensure your safety?

Do you perform for others, putting your most winning smile on, in order to avoid rejection? Do you avoid making new friends, or avoid intimate relationships to keep your feelings safe?

Do you seek to show others how skilled and accomplished you are in order to keep your place at work and your finances secure?

Do you find security in your home or your family, your good looks or your personality, your work ability or your intelligence, your morality or Christian reputation?

The people living in the plain of Shinar had a plan to protect themselves. They didn't want to be scattered by their enemies.

But that plan backfired. In Genesis 11:8, we read that God scattered them - not their enemies - when He confused their language.

Why did God scatter them? Why didn't He praise their wisdom for planning ahead instead?

Because they tried to find security in themselves rather than God. Nothing we do can keep us safe. We can't control anything in this life. We're going to get hurt. Bad things are going to happen to us. Very often, the things we try to do to ensure our own security will end up causing the very problems we were trying to prevent.

The only way we can ensure our security and peace of mind is to trust our eternal safety to the One who does have all control and rely on Him - not ourselves - to give us the strength to stand up to life's difficulties. 

Let us not trust our own strength or wisdom, but find our courage and peace in Him.

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