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The Meaning

When I was little, I was told a bible story. TheTower of Bable was built to reach heaven. The people thought they could reach heaven by building a tower very high.

I read this story as an adult and found that their real reason had nothing to do with heaven. Nothing at all. The people were not even interested in heaven.

The enormous tower was a celebration of themselves. They built this tower to focus the people on their goal to have a central point. A city would surround the tower. A great city. They knew people would naturally drift apart and spread out. This tower would show that this group was going to do great things. They would work together and rule all the others.

They said, “We will make a name for ourselves!” Look there. We built that tower. It shows our power. We are the greatest people on this planet. Stay with us and feel our greatness.

If the beginning was stupid people doing something stupid then the rest made no sense at all. God wants to stop the project. What would he care about a tower that would never reach heaven?

God does something only God could do. He changes their one language into many unlike languages. He rewires their brains to a new vocabulary, new grammar, new structure of thought. This forces them to divide into groups by language for convenience. It would be too hard to overcome these language differences.

The people leave off the tower. Construction stops. They disassociate from each other and eventually move apart to various areas of the world. They become the beginning of nations. God wanted people to spread out on the planet.

Now the story has meaning. And many people want to be part of a big thing even now. They join groups to increase their power. They train armies. The make weapons. The conquer others. They form alliances. They make big groups of people who speak different languages. They still want to make a world governed by a small group with great power.

The story has meaning for today. The language thing worked. It prevented people from organizing into a one world order. But look! They are doing just that right now. They are overcoming the language problem with translators that work in real time. Just a short time ago, it was hard to translate a book and really get all the meaning to come through. Now you can translate something written two minutes ago in a country many miles away into your language with a push of a button. You read it and can respond in your language and they translate it to theirs.