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And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there. And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter. And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth. And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. (Genesis 10:6~10)
People Who Plan Life without God
I used to simply read the Bible without any thought. I read it once, twice, three times . . . . When people first experience the end of spring, they think, “Why is the weather becoming warmer?” And when autumn passes, they think, “I guess it’s becoming cold again.” But as they experience the seasons over and over again, they naturally see that summer comes after spring, fall comes after summer, and winter comes after fall. When we first read the Bible, it is difficult to sense it, but as we continue to read it, we see the world illustrated in the Bible. In the Bible are the people whom God establishes and the people whom God crumbles down. If you were going through hardship because of a disease, would that disease still be a problem if Jesus healed it? When Jesus met the blind man, the blindness was not a problem whatsoever when Jesus healed it. Even though you may not have a good job now, or you have nothing to do, or you are going through hardships due to a low income, it is not difficult at all for God to open up a good path for you if He wants to provide you with a good job. It was not difficult at all for God to make David, a shepherd, into a king. It was not difficult at all for God to make Joseph into a governor. If God wants to exalt you, if He wants to sanctify you, it is not a problem at all. But how do most people today live? They set up plans to do well on their own without God. On their own, they study, search for jobs, make money, meet good spouses, and try to raise their children successfully without God. But one day, things they have never dreamt of happen. Car accidents, which were not in their plans, occur; people go bankrupt; people become divorced; children go astray; people get cancer, etc. Who plans to be in car accidents or to get cancer? When getting married, who plans to divorce or plans that their children will go astray? People do not know what will happen and simply set good plans and work hard believing that things will go according to their plan.
The People Who Built the Tower of Babel and Abraham
As I read the Bible, I saw that there were people whom God blessed and there were people whom God crumbled down. Genesis chapter 11 speaks about people building the Tower of Babel. At the time, they arrived at the plains of Shinar and said, “This vast plain is great. Let us build a great tower here that will reach the heavens. Let us make a name for ourselves. Let us not be scattered but live here together,” and made plans to do so. However, God scattered them. They were building while God was scattering. How then could it be built? It was impossible. But in Genesis chapter 12, God says to Abraham, “I will multiply thee. I will make you a father of many nations. You will be a blessing. I will bless them that bless you and curse them that curse you.” Although Abraham had no plans whatsoever set up for himself, he became a father of as many children as the sands of the seashore and stars in the sky. Although Abraham did not have such a plan, God bestowed grace and blessings upon him.
Although I Am Small, God Is Great
Before reading the Scriptures, we consider ourselves to be extremely great and mighty while considering God to be small and insignificant. However, the more Scriptures we read and the more of God we come to know, the more pitiful and smaller we become while God becomes greater and greater. Through this, we change into people who flow into the faith of believing in God, rather than in our own ability and effort. As a pastor, I often think this as I minister: “How could I be most effective as a minister?” I know the answer to this: “I should not do anything, but make it comfortable for God to work in our church.” I once met the husband of a sister who was attending our church. He, too, started to come to our church, and I spoke to him about spiritual life. He was distant from spiritual life and he was very adamant about his perceptions and ideologies. I thought in my heart, “Would I be able to turn his heart around to Jesus within ten years? What could I possibly say to him to lead him into the faith to believe in God?” After speaking with him, I felt in my heart, “Although this man does not live a spiritual life, he is ten to a hundred times smarter and greater than me. I am no match for him. He is full of knowledge and very clear about his philosophy.” Afterwards, whenever I had time, I w