It’s an old story. Once upon a time, before languages divided us, all the people got together and said, “Come, let’s build ourselves a city and a tower that reaches Heaven. Let’s make ourselves famous…” that’s in Genesis 11:4.
You probably know the rest of the story. God scattered them — the very thing they were trying to avoid — and confused their languages.
But then, literally on the next page in my parallel Bible, God calls Abram, telling him to leave his home and go, to step out in faith and trust God. The promise He offers? Sure, there’s the more famous part about the numerous descendants, but God also promises Abram, “I’ll make you a great nation and bless you. I’ll make you famous; you’ll be a blessing.”
God offered Abram, freely, the very thing the people at Babel wanted. The difference is that it was on God’s terms and through his timing and his will.
Psalm 127:1 tells us, “Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.”
It’s not that God wants to deprive us of the things we want. He may want to pour them out on us freely, but He wants — and commands — that we want Him more, we focus on Him first.
In Matthew chapter 6, Jesus is teaching us not to worry. Look at how God cares for the flowers of the field who don’t try to figure out how to clothe themselves. Jesus tells us “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
Him first. His will. His love. His righteousness. He is enough.