~ Click here to read today's Scripture on Bible Gateway ~
~ Listen to today's Scripture with The ESV Bible ~
Today in Genesis chapter 11 we read about the tower of Babel! You can view the location of the tower at a high level below:
I probably should not confess this, but I will - verse 4 made me smile and laugh at myself a bit, which really shouldn't be funny. This verse reminded me of myself at times: "Let's build a great city with a tower that reaches to the skies--a monument to our greatness!" This verse is obviously not one that made God happy, as we see in subsequent verses. And I guess I have to ask myself - are there times my life or areas of my life where I am attempting to build something that will be a "monument to my greatness"? And I'm afraid that the answer is too often yes. Or it surely has been in the past. I pray that I'm turning over the desire to "be great" over to God more and more these days. I pray that I am not seeking glory for myself - but seeking glory for God. But, I am afraid that sometimes I revert back to wanting to build a "monument to my greatness" in my work or volunteer activities or maybe even personal relationships. And this is pride. It was this pride that brought about the building of the tower of Babel - and it was because of pride that God stopped the building of the tower by giving the human race different languages. In your life today - are you seeking to build monuments of greatness for yourself? Or are you instead seeking to only glorify God? Below is an oil on panel painting of the "Tower of Babel" by Pieter Bruegel, circa 1563:
Today is a big day in our readings! We are introduced to Abram & Sarai! Genesis chapter 12 is significant in that it transitions our Old Testament readings from being about the world at large to being primarily about a specific man, Abram, his family, and his descendants. Verses 2 and 3 are an amazing promise from God to Abraham: "I will cause you to become the father of a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and I will make you a blessing to others. I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you. All the families of the earth will be blessed through you." This is a powerful promise that we will see played out throughout the rest of our Old Testament readings - and into the New Testament this promise continues and is fulfilled in Jesus - and continues in us as spiritual descendants of Abram today. I heard somewhere once that one way to paraphrase this promise is "I will bless you, so that you will be a blessing to others." And I think about that today for our own lives. If we have been blessed by God, is it possible that we have been blessed in part so that we will be a blessing to others? Do you believe that you been blessed by God? Are you passing along that blessing to others in your life?
The brief story of Abram and Sarai in Egypt is a foreshadowing of what we will see later in Genesis and into Exodus - the descendents of Abram going into Egypt to escape a severe famine - and then ultimately leaving Egypt to the north "with all their household and belongings" (verse 20). I also was intrigued in our Matthew readings a couple of days ago that Jesus as a child went into Egypt, when Mary & Joseph fled Herod's decree to kill all boys 2 & under around Bethlehem. Egypt plays quite a supporting role in the Bible! Below is a map of Abram's journey that we read about today:
Worship Video: Today's readings reminded me of the wonderful worship song "A New Hallelujah" by Michael W. Smith. Here's a great live version of the song featuring the African Children's Choir from Uganda!
Have you ever sung "A New Hallelujah" to God? Click here and sing!
Comments from You: What verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!
p.s. I would greatly appreciate it if you would pray for this Bible Blog ministry today! Please also consider partnering with us by financially supporting this ministry. Thank you!