In yesterday’s post, I talked about how Noah is given a fresh start. It’s like he’s a new Adam.
Today’s first reading comes just before another new beginning. It is the story of the Tower of Babel. The story in itself is not a new beginning. The people on the earth decide to build a tower reaching up into heaven to make a name for themselves and so they will not be scattered all over the earth. This tower is probably a reference to a ziggurat, which was a common temple type structure in the Ancient Near East.
Of course, their plan gets thwarted. They were attempting not to be scattered throughout the earth and that is the very thing that happens.
But, what comes next? Well, if you follow along in the lectionary readings, you wouldn’t get this because the lectionary abandons Genesis at this point. Next week’s readings are in Sirach. At any rate, what happens next is God’s call of Abram, later called Abraham. God starts something completely new with Abram. God at this point has scattered all people throughout the earth. But, through Abram God wants to bless all the nations of the earth 12:3.
We should realize that in reading the Bible God’s punishment is often times meted out with some form of mercy as well. God scattered the people, but he set a plan in motion with Abram through which he intended to draw everyone back together.
Let us today, rather than “building a tower” for the sake of our own name, be a part of God’s saving plan of blessing the whole world through Abraham and his descendants.