December 7, 2021

They said to each other, “Come, let’s make oven-fired bricks.” (They used brick for stone and asphalt for mortar.)

Genesis 11:3

Written by Brandon Owen from the Harpeth Heights Campus

When The People Decide

Genesis 3:11 seems to mark the time when the people decided their wandering was no longer the way things were going to go. Instead, camp must be set up, and set up in a way that would be lasting—even palatial.  

These first three verses in this chapter set up the theme for the next six verses: the scattering of the people. We have to open our minds a bit when considering scattering. No doubt it can be seen as punishment, similar to the way people were exiled for various reasons. It is far less than ideal to be punished and sent from what is familiar to what is unknown. However, we also must realize that God sometimes calls us to the unfamiliar and even to the unknown.  

When God Intervenes

The people stopped, set up camp, and began devoting all of their time and energy into making those oven-fired bricks which would eventually serve to build their never-ending tower. And this tower would effectively serve as their never-expanding home. As we will see in the rest of this section, God would not stand for that.   

God’s kingdom is made for expanding. And in this sense, scattering is exactly what we are called to. As those who follow and are being formed by Jesus, we are to be found scattered throughout God’s whole world, not settled in one particular part of it. 

Scattered, Not Settled

Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean we are to pack our bags and go somewhere else ASAP. Maybe it does for some. But it could be that we are to open our lives to different types of people living right here in our midst. To do so is to live into the reality that each whole person bears the image of God.

To do so is to live into the reality that God is still moving and making all things new.

Now What?

Consider the areas in your life where you’re more tempted to settle than to scatter. Where are you more likely to cling to comfort rather than obedience to the Lord’s guidance? Then, reflect on those around you who do not yet know the truth of God’s love for them. How can you move in obedience so that they may hear the good news?

Related Resources

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