Devotion – November 7 – “Remember the Tower of Babel”
It looks like in January we will have a new president. To fifty-percent of the people this is joyous news. To the other fifty-percent this is a disappointing and painful time. But the people have spoken, the votes have been (and still are being) counted and a president will soon be declared. That is the way this country has always run and will continue to do so, regardless of how much wrangling takes place between now and January (and beyond).
As one-hundred-percent of the people brace for a difficult transition, I pray for our country and also pray that we as a Christian people will not only become peace-makers, but will constantly remind one another, that the presidency of the United States of America isn’t the highest, nor the most powerful position in the world – God’s throne is! The psalmist puts it this way, “Your throne, O God, endures forever and ever” (Psalm 45:6).
Do you remember the Tower of Babel? In a time of self-absorption, inflated egos and a god-complex, the people of God decided to build a tower all the way to heaven. They believed by their own powers they could work themselves into heaven, and from there, ascend the throne of God and declare themselves gods unto themselves. Yes, they proclaimed, the Tower would prove they were gods and holders of ultimate power. So, they began to build this greatest of all structures. Day by day it grew taller, and day by day they congratulated themselves.
Then God, through the Scripture, reminds us all of just how small human powers and human thrones are. Genesis 11:5 reads, “The Lord came down to see the tower, which mortals had built.” Read it again, slowly this time: “The Lord came down to see the tower, which mortals had built.”
Did you catch it? The people thought they were getting ever so close to heaven’s gate, when in fact their “greatest of all works” and “greatest of all feats,” was IN FACT, so small and insignificant that we are told God couldn’t even see it from heaven and so had to come down and see what was going on!
The presidency of the United States is important, but don’t for a single moment think it is the be-all and end-all of powers. The presidency is a position that is at best a footstool for God. I say this because I can see that way too many people are thinking this is the most important position in the universe – it is not, so stop acting like it is!
Instead of worshiping the altar of the president, put your time and effort into worshiping the one who sits on the throne in heaven. Put your time and effort, allegiance and loyalty into the throne that is everlasting; the throne that “endures forever and ever.”
If you are joyful over the results – use this time to be humble and work to repair the fractures of our society. If you are mourning the election of a new president – do the same thing, be humble and work to repair the fractures of our society.
We are a country torn in many places, but God is a great seamstress and He can repair it, and he asks us to be the needle and thread.
I’ll close with this prayer written by Jane Deren:
Oh God of healing, we are called to wholeness. We are called to community. We are called to restore and renew. To darkness of division, we choose to respond with light. To the despair of violence, we chose to respond with peace. Trusting in your light and your peace, to open a way forward.
Oh God of healing, help us to listen and learn, help us to reflect on your teaching, as we seek new beginnings:
Help us to act with the realization, we are all your children,
We are all brothers and sisters, Connected with sacred bonds.
God of healing, hear our prayer for wholeness, for community, for restorative peace, and for the healing of our nation. In Christ’s name, hear our prayer. Amen
~ God bless, Dan