But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built. And the Lord said, “Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them. Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.” (Genesis 11:5-7)
It is quite something for the Almighty to acknowledge that the one thing that can motivate mankind to unite is rebellion. It is quite disturbing for the Almighty to have to admit that, once united, any wicked thing man can imagine to do, he can accomplish. Apparently, these early Babylonians would have been successful in their bid to be one and to avoid being scattered over the earth had God not intervened.
Many years ago, the Beatle, John Lennon, wrote a song called, “Imagine.” In it, he fantasized about a world where there was a “brotherhood of man” with no heaven, no countries, no religion and no possessions. In the lyrics, he hoped that one day, others would join him and his fellow “dreamers” so that the world could “live as one.” The point here is that he encouraged men to imagine this; if they could imagine it, they could attain it.
The Almighty said, “The imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth” (Gen 8:21) and, obviously, that wicked imagination is capable of growing into philosophies, and then policies, that influence — and in some cases, forced upon — others. If you really think about it, much of what Lennon imagined is being accepted as an ideal to be lauded and implemented. Consider how quickly socialism has become accepted as a viable concept in this country, just in the last ten years.
As for the people of God, we are to resist the inclination to imagine what might be according to what we deem to be right. We are told that there is a way that “seems” right to us but leads to death (Proverbs 16:25). We are instructed not to lean on our own understanding but to but to trust God to direct our way (Proverbs 3:5-6). Reading between the lines, God is telling us that we can’t trust our heart and our imagination to lead us in a way that is conducive to life and blessing. Left to our own devices, we will choose the path that leads to destruction. Paul made this observation:
“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled. (2 Corinthians 10:3-6)
Remember, if we can imagine it, it is likely we can do it; that is how we are led astray. If we are to walk in victory, we must be disciplined to bring “every thought into captivity” that would resist the authority of the Messiah.
Blessings and Shalom,