Posted by: Jim Black | February 12, 2008

Babel

An unfinished skyscraper in the Gulf state of Dubai has become the world’s tallest building, at 141 storeys, its developers say. Emaar Properties said the 512m (1,680ft) Burj Dubai is now taller than Taiwan’s 508m (1,667ft) Taipei 101. It is thought Burj Dubai will eventually be 693m (2,275ft) tall.

“Burj Dubai has now reached 141 stories, more stories than any other building in the world,” the company said in a statement. There is speculation that, spire included, the final height could be more than 800m, but Emaar is keeping structural details secret.

It’s curious to me after reading through Genesis 11 again that we’re still building buildings all these years after Babel and still trying to reach toward the heavens. I did a Google search on the world’s tallest buildings and learned that there’s quite a competition going. Every year it seems a new building beats the record and arguments are raged about exactly WHAT is being measured. Does the spire count? What about the cell phone towers on top? Everybody wants theirs to be the tallest building. And they want to put their name on it. Funny.

Given all this interest in tall buildings… it makes me think again about the tower at Babel. What exactly was the problem? It sounds to me like a good thing that the people were able to come together and building something so monumental using such archaic tools and methods. I look back at history and see some of the great architecture from some of the great civilizations of antiquity and wonder… what was the problem? It is beautiful, much of it. Why did God get so upset at Babel… and why did he confuse their languages? THAT one especially get me! If it weren’t for Babel I could go to Honduras and order a hamburger and be understood! Aargh!

This Sunday we’re going to be looking together at Gen. 11 and the story of Babel. Read it again this week and let me know what you think…

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