Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | January 13, 2022

“for he was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God.”

Today’s devotion comes from Genesis chapter 11.  Here is a link to this chapter –

I quote only the following verses.

“Now the whole earth used the same language and the same words.  It came about as they journeyed east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there.  They said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks and burn them thoroughly.”  And they used brick for stone, and they used tar for mortar.  They said, “Come, let us build for ourselves a city, and a tower whose top will reach into heaven, and let us make for ourselves a name, otherwise we will be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.”  The LORD came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built.  The LORD said, “Behold, they are one people, and they all have the same language.  And this is what they began to do, and now nothing which they purpose to do will be impossible for them.  Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, so that they will not understand one another’s speech.”  So the LORD scattered them abroad from there over the face of the whole earth;  and they stopped building the city.  Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the LORD confused the language of the whole earth;  and from there the LORD scattered them abroad over the face of the whole earth.”  Genesis 11:1-9.


Certainly, the LORD’s action of confusing their language and scattering them assisted His purpose that Noah and his sons populate and fill the earth as He commanded in Genesis 9:1 and Genesis 9:7.

But, God expressly stated the purpose of confusing their language in verses 6 and 7 as highlighted in bold italic font above.  We may still wonder why it is such a bad thing that “nothing which they purpose to do will be impossible for them”.    

Where is the harm in building a tall tower and living together and working together and doing greater and greater things?

Likewise, we may be puzzled by the following Scripture.  “Then the LORD God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil;  and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever” — therefore the LORD God sent him out from the garden of Eden, to cultivate the ground from which he was taken.  So He drove the man out;  and at the east of the garden of Eden He stationed the cherubim and the flaming sword which turned every direction to guard the way to the tree of life.”  Genesis 3:22-24.

Where is the harm in taking from the tree of life and living forever?

In both situations, the LORD does not want nor allow man to be able to boast about his works.  The LORD does not want nor allow man to be able to boast about his wisdom and alleged free-will even in such a small work as taking from the tree of life.

Consider the following Scriptures.

“10 The LORD nullifies the counsel of the nations;
He frustrates the plans of the peoples.
11 The counsel of the LORD stands forever,
The plans of His heart from generation to generation.” Psalm 33:10-11.

“Thus says the LORD, “Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,” declares the LORD.” Jeremiah 9:23-24.

“For it is written,


Where is the wise man?  Where is the scribe?  Where is the debater of this age?  Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?  For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.”  1 Corinthians 1:19-21.

“For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble;  but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God.  But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, so that, just as it is written, “LET HIM WHO BOASTS, BOAST IN THE LORD.”  1 Corinthians 1:26-31.

“For by grace you have been saved through faith;  and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;  not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.”  Ephesians 2:8-9.

The LORD did not want nor allow man to be able to boast about their city of Babel.  The LORD’s purpose is that His righteous ones live by faith.  

“By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance;  and he went out, not knowing where he was going.  By faith he lived as an alien in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, fellow heirs of the same promise;  for he was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God.”  Hebrews 11:8-10.   


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