Babel Babble


Reading Time: 2 minutes

Bible Reading:  Genesis 11:1-9

Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall.   Proverbs 16:18

IMAGINE WHAT IT would have been like to have been a kid living in the Plain of Shinar thousands of years ago. You wake up in your corner of the family tent and turn on your radio. (OK, so they didn’t have radio back then. Just play along, OK?)

“Goood mornin’, Plain of Shinar! This is Wolfman Mash, broadcasting live from the site of the Tower of Babel, the greatest real estate development the human race has ever seen!” Wolfman Mash continues. “We’ve got the latest hits by Dust II Men, The Artist Formerly Known as Arphaxad, and Tupac Shinar—but first, I’m sitting here with Nimrod, one of the builders of this amazing tower. Thanks for joining me and my listeners this morning, Nimrod.”

“We are so excited about this project, Wolfman,” another voice says. “When it’s done it should convince everyone that we don’t need any superstitious belief in a god or creator. We are ascending our own ladder to heaven! This tower will shine forever as a monument to the greatness of man—and to the greatness of a Nimrod such as me! And one more thing, Wolfman—razzle frazzle boboli babel!”

You shoot a confused look at the radio. It sounded like that guy just said, “Razzle frazzle boboli babel!” You jiggle the tuning knob just to make sure you’re not losing the station. But then you hear Wolfman’s familiar voice saying, “Goo, mungu peeekee botahaha goo!”

Suddenly you switch off the radio and shake your mom and dad to wake them up. “Hey, Mom, Dad, I’ve just decided what I wanna be when I grow up! A translator!”

OK, maybe that’s not exactly the way it happened. But the construction of the Tower of Babel came to a halt because of the pride and ambition of its builders (see Genesis 11:1-9). They intended to build a monument to their own name and ability, but their great Tower of Babel soon became a pile of rubble.

That’s the way it usually goes. The Bible says, “Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18). The Bible—and the rest of history—is filled with stories of people whose pride led to their fall (Goliath, Haman, Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar, to name a few). That’s one of the reasons God wants us to be humble: He wants to protect us from the destruction and disappointment a prideful attitude often invites and fill us with the wisdom and blessing that humility often brings. And that’s a whole lot better than ending up in a pile of rubble.

REFLECT: Do you agree that pride often invites destruction or disappointment? If so, why? Do you think pride blinds people to some things or makes people less willing to listen to wise advice? Why or why not?

PRAY: “Wise and loving God, thank you for protecting me from the dangers of pride by teaching me humility. Please keep teaching me to be humble and gentle like your Son, Jesus.”


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