Hello friends. It’s been a minute.
Over the past few months, I have walked through so much. I have been thoroughly challenged, pushed past where I thought I could go—physically and mentally—and I have learned so much about myself that I honestly was not ready to sit down and process it all until now.
I often feel like life continues to move faster when we really want it to slow down, and doesn’t allow us time to sit and think about what’s happening around us. Today, I’m thankful for time, so that I can finally begin to process.
Where to even start. I suppose the most important beginning is this. I have always been fascinated by and thankful for the fact that the Lord uses the same passages to teach us different things each time we are faithful to read. I’ve been studying Genesis with some dear friends of mine, and I love that we all pick up on different messages, all having to do with the season of life we’re in. For me, one word in particular keeps coming to mind as I read…And when I say “keeps coming to mind,” I actually mean in every single chapter I see something that makes me hear this word in my head.
It only took me a minute to figure out why this word was relevant to my life right now. Provision—as in, the Lord will provide—is an essential thing to believe in as a senior in college. Especially for those of us who barely know what we’re doing after graduation.
As I say that, I want to also reiterate that I think having an understanding of and belief in the Lord’s provision is essential for all of us, regardless of what stage of life you’re in. So, in the coming days, I want to walk through a few tangible examples of provision that have really spoken to me in Genesis.
We’ll start in the middle. Chapter 11, verses 1-9, to be precise.
“The whole earth had the same language and vocabulary. As people migrated from the east, they found a valley in the land of Shinar and settled there. They said to each other, “Come, let us make oven-fired bricks.” (They used brick for stone and asphalt for mortar.) And they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the sky. Let us make a name for ourselves; otherwise, we will be scattered throughout the earth.”
Then the Lord came down to look over the city and the tower that the humans were building. The Lord said, “If they have begun to do this as one people all having the same language, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let’s go down there and confuse their language so that they will not understand one another’s speech.” So from there the Lord scattered them throughout the earth, and they stopped building the city. Therefore it is called Babylon, for there the Lord confused the language of the whole earth, and from there the Lord scattered them throughout the earth.”
[Genesis 11:1-9 CSB]
The Tower of Babylon is my favorite example of Provision in Genesis. That may seem funny to you at first, but I have my reasons. In this story, the people were attempting to build a tower—a staircase to heaven, if you will. They were attempting to be like God, and they were very pleased with themselves. But, in building this tower to heaven, they were trying to live without God. And God loved them too much to let them try to do everything on their own. He knew this wouldn’t make them safe, or happy. It would only bring destruction, and God knew that.
So, he stopped them. At this point in history, everyone had the same language, so God confused their language and made it to where everyone couldn’t understand one another—which made continuing to build this tower impossible. No one could understand one another, so they stopped building the tower, and they all went separate ways across the earth.
My favorite part is that God knew no matter what these people did, no matter how hard they worked on this tower, they would never make it to heaven on their own. Even in this story, chapter 11 of the entire Bible, God is preparing the way for Jesus.
God knew that people didn’t need a Stairway—they needed a Savior.
The way back up is Jesus.
I read a commentary on this story the other day that put it this way:
“People could never reach up to Heaven, so Heaven would have to come down to them. And, one day, it would.”
I can’t get over it!
This is VITAL. No matter what we do—no matter how hard we strive, how hard we work, how much money we make, how many ministries we’re a part of, how many classes we’re taking, how many people we invite to church, how many times we read all the way through the Bible—WE CANNOT GET TO HEAVEN ON OUR OWN. And more than that, we cannot do Anything for the Kingdom on our own!
We are all guilty of this. We are all trying to build up our Towers—our own stairways to heaven. We start to accomplish things, things that could make a great impact for the Kingdom, but then we start to convince ourselves that we can do even more. And slowly but surely, if we are not careful, we begin to work out of ourselves, not out of the Spirit overflowing in us. We start to think we can accomplish great things on our own. We begin to build stairways to heaven.
The incredible truth in this often overlooked passage is that God was looking out for them, even in their attempt to become their own gods. Even though they were trying to live without Him. He was still there. He still loved them even in their mistaken identity. He still took care of them.
Even in punishment.
Even in misunderstanding.
Even in an identity crisis.
Even in striving.
Something that comes to mind the more I read this story is that after God changed their languages, these people were probably beyond confused about what was going on. They scattered across the earth probably with, from what I can tell, no understanding whatsoever of why they couldn’t understand each other anymore.
God is always many steps ahead of us, and I believe He is affecting our steps in such a way that will take care of us, even when we can’t understand in the moment. Even when there is no understanding, there is still provision. I am grateful for that.
This morning, I was listening to the new album by for KING & COUNTRY and the song “Burn the Ships” came on. It’s all about moving on and not dwelling on your past—past anxiety, past bad decisions, past identity crises, past sin, past times of striving, past misunderstanding…it encourages us to “Step into a new day…and don’t you look back!”
That’s my prayer for you all today. I thought this was super fitting since it’s December 1st. A new month, a new chance to start fresh. We are all constantly in need of fresh perspective. This song is SUCH an encouragement, as well as a challenge to relinquish our hold on the past in pursuit of a better future.
I don’t know what you’re facing today or this next month, but I know that we all could use a chance to feel replenished. To feel like we can stop striving. To feel like whatever happened last month is now behind us—and we can step into a new day knowing God will provide. Always.