Sermons on Genesis | Under Construction | Genesis 11:1-9

Genesis 11:1-9

INTRODUCTION

A.	High on a cliff overlooking the Black Sea stands an elaborate castle known 
	as "Swallow's Nest."
	1.	A German oil baron had the castle built for his wife about 100 years 
		ago.
	2.	He & his wife didn't live in the castle long, for they shortly sold it to be 
		used as a restaurant.
	3.	The restaurant didn't last long, for in 1923 a great earthquake rocked 
		the region.
		a.	The castle itself was unharmed, but the cliff upon which it stands 
			sustained quite serious damage.
		b.	The building was then closed to human occupation until 1968 when 
			restoration began. Since 1975, an Italian restaurant has operated in 
			the castle.
	4.	Beautiful & elaborate construction, but it was never really used as 
		intended.
B.	Tonight's text concerns an elaborate structure that was "Under 
	Construction" but was never really used as intended.	
	1.	READ TEXT.
	2.	Tonight, we wish to take a close look at this construction project.
		a.	We find in this text much construction & building.
		b.	We find CONSTRUCTION OF CONSPIRACY, CONSTRUCTION 
			OF CAPACITY, & CONSTRUCTION OF CONFUSION.






CONSTRUCTION OF CONSPIRACY, vv 1-4

A.	"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 make bricks, 
	and burn them thoroughly.' And they had brick for stone, and bitumen for 
	mortar. Then they said, '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.' " 
B.	After the Flood, mankind decides that he will build a tower.
	1.	He obviously has the capacity to do so - they are making bricks & they 
		have mortar.
	2.	There is nothing at all wrong in the building of this tower, per se.
		a.	God gave man great ability that the Lord expects man to use.
			1)	"The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden 
				to work it and keep it" (Gen 2:15).
			2)	I am fully aware that the context concerns Adam's responsibility 
				to care for the garden. Yet, I also believe there is a broad 
				principle at work here, viz., man is to be creative & to work with 
				his hands.
		b.	Yet, man "Constructs a Conspiracy" to keep from doing what 
			God has ordered.
			1)	God fully expects man to fill the earth after the Flood: "God 
				blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, 'Be fruitful and 
				multiply and fill the earth' " (Gen 9:1).
			2)	Mankind however "knows better than God" & decides to build a 
				tower to keep from filling the earth.
C.	In this passage, man conspires against God.
	1.	We aren't told how this took place, but it's often that one or two get an 
		idea, they tell a few others, & before long, this wicked scheme is 
		spreading like wildfire.
	2.	People can & do lead others to sin.
		a.	"There was none who sold himself to do what was evil in the sight 
			of the LORD like Ahab, whom Jezebel his wife incited" (1 Ki 21:25).
		b.	"Therefore thus says the LORD of hosts concerning the prophets: 
			'Behold, I will feed them with bitter food and give them poisoned 
			water to drink, for from the prophets of Jerusalem ungodliness has 
			gone out into all the land' " (Jer 23:15).
D.	Therefore, you & I need to be ever so careful that we steer clear of evil 
	company.
	1.	Soren Kierkegaard, a Danish philosopher in the 1800's, wrote, "A 
		crowd in its very concept is the untruth, by reason of the fact that it 
		renders the individual completely impenitent and irresponsible, or at 
		least weakens his sense of responsibility by reducing it to a fraction."
	2.	Let us never forget our responsibility to do the right thing!  Let us 
		never "Construct a Conspiracy"!






CONSTRUCTION OF CAPACITY, vv 5-6

A.	"And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the 
	children of man had built. And the LORD said, 'Behold, they are one 
	people, and they have all one language, and this is only the beginning of 
	what they will do. And nothing that they propose to do will now be 
	impossible for them.' "
B.	God saw man "Under Construction"& the Lord pays man a 
	compliment of sorts.
	1.	The Lord notices that because man is united nothing he proposed to do 
		will be impossible. In other words, mankind has great capacity.
	2.	It is because of man's unity that this capacity exists.
		a.	If we are unified, we can accomplish so much more than if we are 
			divided.
			1)	The motto of the Commonwealth of Kentucky is: "United We 
				Stand, Divided We Fall."
			2)	We find that truth repeated throughout the Scriptures.
				a)	Moses & Aaron were able to communicate with Pharaoh, for 
					Aaron served as Moses' mouthpiece. 
				b)	After the Babylonian Captivity, the Jews began to rebuild the 
					wall of Jerusalem.
					i.	Their enemies heard what was taking place & stood 
						against them.
					ii.	Yet, God's people worked together & we read: "From that 
						day on, half of my servants worked on construction, and 
						half held the spears, shields, bows, and coats of mail" 
						(Neh 4:16).
		b.	Man can accomplish so much when he is united.
	3.	God saw that in this unity, nothing man proposed to do would be out 
		of reach.
		a.	God's statement has been proven true a million times over: Man 
			has walked on the moon, eradicated diseases, & invented thousands 
			of devices to help our everyday lives.
		b.	Yet, God makes clear that man's capacity to act isn't always good.
			1)	Nuclear technology can be used to treat cancer or annihilate 
				mankind.
			2)	The Internet can be used to spread the Gospel or to spread 
				obscenity.
C.	Man can accomplish so much.
	1.	Skillful people made Aaron's priestly garments (Ex 28:3).
	2.	Uzziah "made engines, invented by skillful men, to be on the towers 
		and the corners, to shoot arrows and great stones" (2 Chron 26:15).
	3.	Solomon built a fleet of ships (1 Ki 9:26).
	4.	Over & over in Scripture, you find different skills being mentioned - 
		from perfumers to silversmiths.
D.	Yet, man can take his abilities & use them for evil.
	1.	"The devising of folly is sin, and the scoffer is an abomination to 
		mankind" (Prov 24:9).
	2.	"Woe to those who devise wickedness and work evil on their beds! 
		When the morning dawns, they perform it, because it is in the power of 
		their hand" (Mic 2:1).
E.	God has endowed each of us with great ability, but how shall we use it - 
	shall we use these abilities for God's glory or in sinful pursuits?


CONSTRUCTION OF CONFUSION, vv 7-9

A.	" '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. And from there the LORD dispersed them over 
	the face of all the earth." 
B.	God comes down & confuses the language of man.
	1.	I find it very interesting that in a context about different languages we 
		are told that God is not the author of confusion (1 Cor 14:33).
	2.	Obviously, the contexts are vastly different.
		a.	God desires that people know the truth & that's the context of 1 Cor 
			14.
		b.	Yet, God is more than willing to confuse man's capacity for sin.
	3.	However, I'm also convinced this demonstrates that God cannot be 
		placed in a box.
		a.	He is far bigger & wiser than we & he may operate in ways we don't 
			fully understand.
		b.	Yet, isn't that way he is God?
C.	Man is dispersed over the face of the earth after God confuses the 
	language of man.
	1.	God's purpose cannot be thwarted.
		a.	When God has determined the way it should be, it shall be that way.
			1)	"Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose 
				of the LORD that will stand" (Prov 19:21).
			2)	"All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and 
				he does according to his will among the host of heaven and 
				among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand 
				or say to him, 'What have you done?' " (Dan 4:35).
		b.	Throughout the Scriptures, we see that the purposes of God cannot 
			be thwarted.
			1)	In the Book of Daniel, Nebuchadnezzar & Belshazzar quickly 
				learn that they could not stay in power one second beyond what 
				God had decreed.
			2)	The Jews decided to get rid of Jesus & crucified him, but they 
				quickly discover that his crucifixion & his subsequent 
				resurrection were part of the purpose of God.
	2.	There can be no thwarting of God's purpose.
		a.	It seems as though evil is winning over what is right, but God's 
			purpose cannot thwarted.
		b.	It may seem that life makes absolutely no sense, but God's purpose 
			cannot be thwarted.
		c.	It may seem that the church all around us is going into apostasy, 
			but God's purpose cannot be thwarted.
	3.	How great it is to know that in the end all things will be made right, all 
		shall praise God, according to his glorious purpose.
D.	God not only has a plan for this entire cosmos, but he has a plan for your 
	life.
	1.	"The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his 
		commandments, for this is the whole duty of man" (Eccl 12:13).
	2.	Have you fulfilled your purpose?


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