Perspectives _ _ _ _ _
Do you know the story of the Tower of Babel? No? Well, here it is from Genesis 11:1-9 (NIV):
1 Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. 2 As people moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there. 3 They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. 4 Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.” 5 But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower the people were building. 6 The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language, they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. 7 Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.” 8 So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. 9 That is why it was called Babel—because there the Lord confused the language of the whole world. From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth.
The NEW Tower of Babel
That was the biblical Tower of Babel (ToB).
However, I’ve been thinking. We have created another ToB…the INTERNET or WORLD WIDE WEB. O.K., just hear me out. The internet was created as a rather quick avenue for communication. There are many forms of communication via the internet. There is email, instant messenger, video conferences, SMS or texting, websites, channel streaming, Instagram, Youtube, Twitter and Facebook (social media). So, one person from Montgomery, Alabama can communicate with another person in Calcutta, India. Or a company from Strasbourg, France can talk to a company in Perth, Australia. The internet even has translation capabilities. So, everyone understands what everyone is saying! But do they really?
Have you noticed that the more the internet is used the more misunderstandings and miscommunications are created?
A. Some of us talk when we have nothing good or true to say. Ephesians 4:29 and 5:4 teach, Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths…let there be no filthiness nor foolishness talk nor crude joking, which are out of place. The internet is full of this.
B. Others talk before they have thought about the consequences of their speech. Fear, dislike, jealousy, anger are all normal emotions, but we should pause before giving them life with words. Proverbs 13:3 edifies, Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin. Even Ecclesiastes 3:7 warns that there is a time to be quiet and a time to speak. (We all know a certain famous someone who tweets without thinking!)
C. Some of us talk just to be seen, heard, and cause a stir. Remember what Genesis 11:4 states, Then they said, Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves… Some people do not care whether they are getting positive or negative attention, just as long as someone is talking about them.
D. Whatever is placed on the web is somewhere FOREVER. Even if you take what you posted down, someone has read and maybe copied what you wrote. The internet does not forgive nor forget! Even God elects to forget our sins. Isaiah 43:25 rejoices, I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.
E. Having the power to always have an audience makes us feel all powerful, omnipotent. We walk around like little gods and deities because 200,000 people have friended us, our video has 350,000 likes, or our channel has 1k subscriptions. Genesis 11:6 states, The Lord said, If as one people speaking the same language, they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. I do not think the Lord was scared of the competition, but He knew that we would not know how to handle such power. Everything that can be done should not be done. However, we do not seem to know when to stop doing just because we can do.
F. The internet is used as a distraction from reality, from what is actually important. Philippians 4:8 comments …whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Many of us are on the internet when we should be helping our kids with their homework, or checking on a friend who has been feeling down, or having a difficult talk about finances with our spouse, or cooking lunch for the week, or listening to the preacher in church, or simply getting rest for our job tomorrow. Yes, we let the internet interrupt our communication with our lives.
Is there any wonder why use of the internet causes division, divorce, distrust, and dislike?
Now, am I saying that we should stop advancing and throw all technology into the sea? Of course not! The internet is an extremely useful tool. However, we should stop, think, and pray before putting anything on the web.
1. Maybe, we should pick up a phone and call. Many minds and hearts have been changed during the dialing and ringing of a phone.
2. Maybe, we should use snail mail a little more often. Writing a letter gives one time to consider each word that is placed for someone else to read.
3. Maybe, we should opt for a face-to-face meeting. Then we can actually see how what we say is being received by the person.
Yeah, there is a ToB in our midst, but nobody said we have to begin a climb to heaven. I realize that I cannot handle such heights. I’ll leave it to my heavenly father to promote me to heavenly resident; until then, the earth is fine with me.
This is one perspective. What’s yours?
BBB-P Jan 2019