6 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. 7 Come, let us go down and there confuse their language, so that they may not understand one another’s speech.”
The men building the great tower to heaven were engaging in a wicked practice. They were uniting to exalt themselves. They were not working together for the name and glory of God. The Lord God could not allow this to go on.
Ask this question: Why would God not allow these men to build their tower? One answer is that it would have been cruel of God to allow them to build. No loving parent allows a child to continue in a self-destructive activity. No loving parent will allow their children to wallow in filth when the parent has something better to offer.
Remember, God knows us better than we know ourselves. God knows how he made us and why. He knows that we exist, not to focus on ourselves, but to glorify him. God knows that when we give him glory, we will be most happy, most fulfilled. Thus, it would be cruel for God to allow men to miss his glory for the cheap substitute of focusing on man’s glory in a tower.
There is a second kindness in the fact that God stopped the men from building and confused their language. Just a few chapters earlier, God had flooded the world and destroyed all living persons except for those who had taken refuge in the ark. The entire world shared one corruption, one evil mindset. In confusing the languages of people and dividing mankind into separate nations, God made sure that one corruption would not again sweep the world. As an old seminary professor of mine once put it, “God made it so that one bad apple could not spoil the whole bunch.” God made sure that one man’s bad idea could not bring God’s wrath on the entire globe again.
Isn’t it funny how we often fail to see the kindness of God in his actions? God’s move to confuse the language of men and to stop the building of the tower was, without a doubt, a form of judgment. At the same time, it is also a clear picture of grace. God is good, even when he is judging. God was merciful, as he did not destroy the men who were building, but simply put a stop to their man-centered foolishness.
Where do you need to see God’s kindness in your life? What endeavors has he put a stop to in your world that might be a kindness? How much more do you need to trust him, even when he closes doors you wish were opened? How great and loving and wise indeed is our God?