And they said to one another: "Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves..."
"It's all about me!" That is a good way to sum up just how many people feel in the day we live in. People are encouraged to project a positive image of themselves and so they come to be very self-centred and selfish as a result.
The story we read in Genesis chapter 11:1-9 is a story about people who wanted to be independent and self-sufficient, and they felt no need for God. The Tower of Babel has come to be a symbol of people's desire to do things their way without any reference to God.
The words 'us' and 'ourselves' tell us a lot. "Let us make a name for ourselves" is at the heart of the story and it has a very modern ring to it. People have not really changed with the passing of the years. So many people see no need for God in their lives or in society today.
But the irony is that all human efforts to get rid of God always end in failure. Life is not 'all about me'. Rather, our first duty is to acknowledge God.
As the New City Catechism asks: "What is our only hope in life and death?" And the answer: "That we are not our own, but belong, body and soul, both in life and death, to God and to our Saviour Jesus Christ." Only as we live in the light of that truth will our lives be truly what God meant them to be — the good life!
Dear Lord, please help me to put you first in my thoughts and actions. Amen.