Jacob and the Babel-Builders – by Desmond Ford
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- Dr Desmond Ford
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- Milton Archive
Aug 25, 2015 2327
The Babel builders of old had a self-centered religion. They said “Go to now, and let us take mud and slime and make a tower to reach unto heaven. Let us make us a name”.
Now, you don’t know the name of one of them, do you? Neither do I. They went to all those efforts to make a name for themselves and they were going to make their own tower up to heaven. Here’s one type of religion.
What’s wrong with it? It brings heaven too low. You think you can pet there yourself. You can’t. And this type of religion puts God too far off. Because God is really closer than breathing. And nearer than hands and feet.
And this type of religion uses the wrong materials. It used mud and slime. That’s what man is, mud and slime. Animated mud. It depended on human effort to make its power to get up there to make a name and be accepted. It depends on human effort to be accepted. That’s a false religion.
Jacob is a good example of the other religion, the true religion. Jacob was a twister; that’s what his name means. I wouldn’t like to be called “Twister,” would you? But that’s what his name was: Twister, rascal, cheat, rogue.
Just see him, the first night away from home after he’s cheated his brother out of the birthright. See him expelled and exiled, lying under the stars with a stone for a pillow. And his conscience is smiting him, and he looks up to God and he cries out that he is indeed Jacob “a rotter, a twister, a weakling morally.” Then in sheer weariness, at last he falls asleep and lo and behold the heavens are lit up with glory and he sees a great, grand ladder from heaven to earth and the angels of God descending upon it.
Then he hears the voice of God. He learns that he can never make it up to heaven, but God will come down and meet him. That’s the opposite of the Tower of Babel, isn’t it? God makes the connection and the connection is Jesus, because Jesus is the ladder. The junction between heaven and earth was accomplished by the Saviour for people like Jacob, who felt their need.
And Jacob said, “This is the gate of heaven. This is the house of God.” He found out that God was nearer than he thought. Not up there, but here. The true religion finds God near at hand for sinners.
But God is very distant to those that don’t know that they are sinners. He’s a trillion miles off to those that are self-satisfied.
– Des Ford. Rom 8:27–32. Adapted from “The Only Two Religions”