I try to start each day with a time of devotions, reading some Scriptural material, reviewing some of the Bible verses I’ve memorized and taking a time of prayer before starting the day.
This morning I was mulling over in my thoughts some things that are happening in my life right now. And as I was starting my devotions, I was thinking about how God gives us our choice, even if our choices are sometimes wrong. I was thinking about the verse “Nothing will be restrained from them which they have imagined to do.” (Genesis 11:6). It’s about the first Babel or Babylon and how God let them have their choice, even when it was really the wrong one.
And I picked up my devotional book and immediately I saw that the passage for this day was based around that very event in Genesis 11, drawing lessons from that incident and the verse that I’d just been thinking about!
How did I come to think about that 10 seconds before I was reading about it in my devotional book? Was it an accident? Just a coincidence? What would a Las Vegas gambler give as odds for something like that to happen?
I at least took it as one of those little “ringing bells in the Spirit” from the Lord that there was something to it which should be explored and possibly shared with others. And perhaps I can share my train of thought that I was having when contemplating these things.
One was just the whole concept of choice. Those people way back then were off track as far as God was concerned. They wanted to “build a city and tower whose top may reach to heaven” (Genesis 11:4) and to make a name for themselves. It’s just another form of what people have been wanting and trying to do for all these thousands of years: ignore God and make themselves great. Make their own heaven and reject the will of God.
God saw this and then said, “Nothing will be restrained from them which they have imagined to do”. Why? Couldn’t He have stopped them? Of course. But He didn’t. He let them have their way. He also scattered them by bringing into their lives a multitude of languages. But it says of this “They left off to build the city” (Genesis 11:8). They were hindered, delayed. It was still in their hearts.
But then we go from the first book in the Bible to the last. In Revelation we see Babylon again, not as a simple tower from ancient times but a worldwide Babylon, ruling over the people of the earth. And then it says, “For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God has remembered her inequities.” (Revelation 18:5)
The thing that was in the heart of mankind since before the time of Abraham, that earthly material creation called Babylon, where every dream of the unsaved heart of man finds its place, seems to finally be realized in the final days that the book of Revelation talks about. God gives unregenerate man his desire, “Nothing will be restrained from them which they have imagined to do”. In the final end, they get what they want which is called “Babylon the Great” in Revelation.
So we need to watch out what we want. We may get our wish but find it to be ashes in our teeth. It’s like what happened to the wandering children of Israel in their 40 years in the wilderness. King David said of them, when they murmured and wanted something more than manna to eat, that God “gave them their requests, but sent leanness unto their souls.” (Psalms 106:15)
Jesus taught us to “lay up treasures in heaven” (Matthew 6:19), the eternal world to come that will ultimately be here on earth. But the vast majority wants to lay up treasures on earth, to fulfill the desire to build and be a part of an earthly heaven, the great, glittery false fantasia that’s the worldwide materialistic system that has come to such an awesome tower of prosperity and spiritual filth in modern times. That’s why God says to His people of the end days, “Come out of her [Babylon the Great] My people, that you be not partaker of her sins and that you receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God has remembered her inequities.” (Revelation 18:4&5) What was in unregenerate man’s heart over 4000 years ago has remained there and it is having its climax and fulfillment in our times. “Her sins have reached unto heaven.”
Jesus told the parable of the wheat and the tares. Wheat is good for us, tares are poisonous weeds. But at the beginning of their growth, they can look similar. And at times, at the beginning, simple innocent faith and infantile, undeveloped self will and stubborn independence against God can be hard to discern between. But at the harvest, the difference between the wheat and tares is crystal clear. The wheat has turned almost white and is ready to be harvested. The tares have turned almost black and are worthless. One goes to the fire, the other to be used and to be a blessing. So it is with the things we treasure in our hearts.
The lessons from thousands of years ago are still as true today. “Chose this day whom you will serve. If God be God, serve Him, but if (the gods of this world, Mammon, Babylon and all the rest) be God, then serve them. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord”. (I Kings 18:21, Joshua 24:15)