I’ve heard the story of the Tower of Babel lots of times: A bunch of people wanted to build a tower to get to heaven, and they were so wicked that to punish them, God made it so that they all spoke different languages and couldn’t communicate anymore, so they all went off in their own direction.
But I’ve never read the scriptural account of it before:
Genesis 11:5 And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. 6 And the Lord said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. 7 Go to, let us go down, and there confound their alanguage, that they may not understand one another’s speech. 8 So the Lord scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth.
The Lord’s words in verse six really stood out to me. The first time I read them, I thought it meant ‘nothing will be restrained from them’, as in, they will be blessed. Which doesn’t really fit with the story I know, because I was sure they were punished. So I thought about it and read through it a few more times, and I realized that in verse six, the Lord is basically saying:
These people are united in their wickedness, and they’re all working together to build this tower. If they’re to the point that they’re willing to do something as wicked as this, there’s nothing they won’t do! All of their wicked thoughts will become actions.
Therefore, when He decided to confound their language and split them up, He was doing it to save them from themselves! Rather than being united in their wickedness, they divided, and there were some groups who were more righteous and were able to repent and raise righteous families.
It made me think of times in my life when it was really hard, and I figured I was just being punished for making bad choices. Looking back, I can see now that although those trials hurt at the time, in various ways, the Lord has saved me from myself time and again. He always, always has our best interest in mind.