are seven interesting points of contrast between this scene and the one
recorded in Acts 1. The gift of new tongues by the Holy Spirit is the
divine remedy for the pride that results in the strife of tongues. We
I. A Revelation of Human Ambition. "Out of the heart
are the issues of life" (Pro 4:23). A straw may indicate which way the
wind blows. Observe-
1. The Object in View. "Let us make us a
name." The natural man seeks a name for himself, and one of his own
making. Name-making is a very common and popular business, although it
never pays well in the end. See the failure of three name-makers in
Numbers 16. It is possible to be doing Christian work with the same end
2. The Method Employed. "Let us build a city and a
tower." This purpose of theirs betrays a felt need of protection,
abiding fellowship, and future prospect. Every man needs a city of
safety and a tower of hope. The self-righteous seek to build them for
themselves. "Going about to establish their own righteousness"
(Rom 10:3). Thank God, Jesus Christ has built such a city and tower
where all may have salvation and hope.
3. The Means Used. "Let
us make brick." Those who would save themselves by their own works have
much to do. They have not only the building, but the very bricks to
make. Not only to do good works, but they have the very desires to
manufacture (a hard task), and, after all is done, it is only brick at
the best. In Luk 18:11-12 we see one of these brick-makers busy at work.
A Manifestation of Divine Displeasure. What will all our building do
for us if it does not please God? It is only wood, hay, stubble-fit for
1. The Divine Inspection. "The Lord came down to see
what they had built." Every man's work will be tried. This is a very
solemn truth. The eyes of Jehovah will scan every brick or jewel. Every
motive and act alike must be tested. "Without faith it is impossible to
please God" (Heb 11:6).
2. The Sudden Confusion. "The Lord did
there confound, so they left off to build." What a change when God
comes! When the Spirit of God comes upon the self-righteous He makes
them leave off their vain and presumptuous works. Think of it. The
presence of God means confusion to the religious self-seeker. What may
be very pleasing in the eyes of men may be suddenly turned into Babel
at the approach of God. "He that believeth on Him shall not be
confounded" (1Pe 2:6).
3. Complete Dispersion. "From thence did
the Lord scatter them abroad." The very thing they were labouring to
prevent was the thing that came upon them. Proud men labour to save
themselves from being cast out by God at last, and their faithless
works are securing for them the doom they strive to avoid. The city of
God, seek ye it (Heb 11:10). The name of the Lord is a strong tower;
flee unto it (Pro 18:10).