The rebellion at the Tower of Babel? They refused to scatter.
I love seeing things from an expanded perspective, and that’s what happened as I read from The Traveling Team (great people, great resources).
In Genesis 1, after God created Earth and then man in His own image, He desires that man flourish and grow in numbers, “Be fruitful and increase in number, fill the earth and subdue it” (Gen. 1:28). After the flood, God commands Noah and His sons saying, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth” (Genesis 9:1). When His creation fills the earth, He’ll live in relationship with people throughout the world.
Rather than obeying, people rebelled. Shortly after the command to Noah and his sons, people gathered at Babel and sought to build a tower that reaches the Heaven. If you’re familiar with the story, you’ll know that God gets angry and scatters them around the world, confusing their languages. From your understanding of the story, what was the sin committed by the people of Babel?
They didn’t scatter.
The people acted in arrogance, believing they could achieve the same status as God. They also acted in rebellion. In Genesis 11:4, they state one of their reasons for building the tower, “…otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.” They wanted to stay together where they were rather than obeying God’s command to fill the earth. They did not want to scatter their resources or their lives. God did not live in relationship with people throughout His creation, because people refused to go.
The story isn’t a command to do a short-term missions trip, or even to devote our careers to cross-cultural ministry. However, I believe it’s a great reminder that God doesn’t want us to keep resources for ourself, or to insist on staying put. Whether through praying, giving, or going, may we scatter throughout the earth, and may people everywhere worship Him.
Do people still refuse to go where God wants them to go today?