In today’s reading from Genesis, God ‘comes down’ to inspect the progress of the human race. The people of the land of Shinar had great plans, using their ingenuity to design a tower that would reach into the clouds. Their hope was to make a name for themselves and rally the people, uniting them into one nation around this tower.
It is perplexing to read in the context of our modern day, full of skyscrapers and space exploration to think what possible threat would the tower of Babel have? And, in reality, the tower of Babel probably wasn’t so tall if God had to ‘come down’ to see it.
We come back to one of the reoccurring struggles of the human race: Pride. It was in the beginning, in the garden with Adam and Eve; and here too there is the desire to use their freedom to ‘make themselves God’, to center themselves on their creation and puff themselves up. It is in the midst of prideful behavior that “babel”, confusion – or disharmony – happens.
Most of us can recall a moment in our lives where we were working with others on a project, and it all goes awry because various members want the credit for themselves. We have witnessed people walk away, not wanting anything to do with the work anymore, towers left unfinished because of the lack of virtue, of being able to value others’ contributions. Pride becoming the din of confusion, rather than humbly letting God have the glory.
May God bless you!