The First Skyscraper
After the Flood, during the days of Noah, God told Noah and his family that they should have many children; God wanted them to fill the Earth with people again. Noah’s growing family moved away from the mountains of Ararat where the ark had come to rest. They decided to settle in the plains of Shinar—an area between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers that later would become the home of the great Babylonian Empire. Under the direction of Nimrod (great-grandson of Noah), the people decided to build a large city and a huge tower that would reach high into the heavens.
What were their reasons for this great building project? First, they wanted to make a name for themselves; they wanted to be known throughout the ages as the family that built the tower into heaven. Second, they wanted to stay together and not scatter all over the Earth, as God had commanded them. And third, they wanted to show their self-reliance and independence from God; they were full of pride and self-confidence.
God knew what the people were doing, and He did not like it. He was angry about the building of the great tower, and angry that people had decided, on their own, to stay in one place. He was angry that they had such an arrogant, self-sufficient attitude, thinking more and more about their own work, and less and less about their Creator Who had given them their strength and knowledge. He knew that eventually they would forget about Him entirely, and begin to worship the things they made.
They were very proud of themselves, and pride is a sin against God. What does “pride” mean? It means to be pleased with yourself, especially because of something you own or something you have done; it means to be conceited, arrogant, or haughty.
God decided to stop the building of the Tower of Babel. Until this time in history, all men spoke the same language. This made it easier for them to work together, and sin together. So, God confused them by making them speak many different languages. Because they could not work together or communicate very well, the people moved away from each other and scattered all over the Earth, just as God had wanted them to do in the first place.