May 15, 2008 - Thursday in the Week of Pentecost

Daily Lectionary: Numbers 24:1-25; Luke 23:1-25

Today's Reading: Genesis 11:1-9

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.” (Genesis 11:9)

In the name of Jesus. Amen. Sometimes with children it’s easier to get into trouble in twos, threes or fours. Sometimes children must be separated for their own good. Didn’t your mother ever say, “Do I need to separate you two?” The God who invites us to address Him as Father, does what a good Father does. He cares for His children in trouble.

What got human beings into trouble in Genesis 11? Pride and arrogance! They thought they could build a tower to heaven. They wanted to show God just how much they could accomplish together. As humans we always seem to be showing God how much we don’t need Him.

Even today we’re trying to rebuild the Tower of Babel, showing God how smart we are as human beings. We can tinker with genes and cloning, thinking that somehow we’ll make what is mortal immortal. Is God impressed? Certainly God rejoices when we use our gifts, our intellect, our abilities to accomplish good, but there’s a fine line between what is good and what isn’t, and we should use caution lest we cross the line. The Tower of Babel was crossing the line!

Is human accomplishment for the glory of man or the glory of God? The Tower of Babel was being built for the glory of man. God stepped in to put an end to it. God, the loving Father that He is, confused the languages. He “scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts” (St. Luke 1:51), and that was the end of the Tower of Babel. The God of heaven comes down to earth to save! He crossed the line from heaven to earth to be your Savior.

Will God step in to judge the pride of human accomplishment today? Maybe, but that’s not for us to worry about. We know where God’s wrath was poured out over human pride and sin — on Jesus at the Cross. The immortal God took on human flesh and died. That’s Divine accomplishment for the glory of God and the salvation of man. Jesus will indeed return to judge the earth, but now is the time of salvation. Now is the time when the Gospel goes forth to every tribe and tongue dispersed across the face of the earth. And still the God of heaven comes down to earth to save! In the name of Jesus. Amen.

O let your mighty love prevail To purge us of our pride That we may stand before Your throne By mercy purified.” (LSB 553:4)