bible story

The Tower Of Babel

Spoken By The Supreme Master Ching Hai,
Hsihu Center, Formosa

May 30, 1990 (Originally In Chinese)

Now the time of the deluge had passed. Noah had lived to be eight hundred years old, and had many sons, probably thousands of them! The book says that Noah and his children cultivated the land and grew grapes on it. His children had many children, who in turn had many more children. There were generations upon generations. Before long, there were too many people, and many families had to move somewhere else. If they didn't, there would not be enough grass for the livestock. Because all of them spoke a very simple language, they understood each other very well, so it was easy for them to cooperate on any project or task.

"Some of them moved to a place called Babylon, where they invented a way to make bricks. They learned to fire the bricks making them hard and strong. They also learned how to adhere the bricks together with an ancient material very much like the cement we have today. This way they were able to build houses. One day, one of them said, "We should build ourselves a very large city and in that city a sacred tower, as big and tall as never before, so we can make a name for ourselves." Nonsense! (Audience laughs) They wanted to build it to become famous. Then everyone in Babylon agreed, thinking it was a very good idea. From then on, everyone worked very hard to build the Tower of Babel.

"God began to observe their work from heaven. Seeing the walls getting taller and that human beings were having more opinions and becoming busier in their minds, God knew there would be trouble. Human beings started to think too much, and their egos and mundane notions were expanding. At that time, human beings began to believe they were deities and were capable of everything. Therefore, before they finished the tower, God came up with an idea. Hes thought that if human beings spoke different languages, they would not understand each other and therefore wouldn't work so aggressively.

"Then God began to confound their languages and sent people to different corners of the world -- to the north, south, east and west. Some settled on the coast and some on the islands. Some moved to places very far away. Some went to Egypt, some to Africa and others to Arabia.

"Noah's descendants multiplied and became more and more. Each lineage generated many more men and women. Each of the families grew larger and larger. Finally they became nations. In each nation, people spoke a different language. From then on, they were unable to work together or communicate with each other.

"So far, every time people think of the Tower of Babel they are reminded why people speak so much babel, which means they "blah, blah, blah" a lot. The word babel means speaking like children babbling, so the tower was named the Tower of Babel. Like what babel implies, we always speak too much.

"This is a story about God and Noah's descendants. There is a moral to this story and we can learn from it. What is it? The more comfortable human beings become, the less they think of God. Back when their parents were still alive, everything was very simple. Everyone lived in the ark and remembered God all the same. Not too long after, God gave them comfortable lives. There were no floods, no punishments and no reminders; so they began to feel they were great.

"Sometimes when we live a more comfortable life, we become more fanciful, just like Eve the Idiot (Sounds similar in Chinese) and Adam the Bold (Sounds similar in Chinese.) When they were still in heaven, they were carried away by their illusion, thinking that they did not have enough and that they should be like God. But what's the point of being like God? It was just an apple that they didn't have, and they were tricked into doing a foolish thing. They already had the whole world and the whole of heaven to themselves. They were happy every day and had whatever they wanted; but they still wanted to be like God. How foolish they were! No wonder God punished them by sending them down to Earth. Only in this way could they learn their lessons. Then they would know: "The life before was good; it's painful now," and they would begin to cherish it. They had already had everything except one apple, but they still coveted it to be like God. What egos they had! Hopeless!

"Therefore, we have to reflect on ourselves once in a while. When we live a good life, we should not fantasize too much; or else we would regret it later when it would be too late to come back. Usually in a comfortable life, people are likely to forget, and do unpleasant things or things they shouldn't do. Therefore, even in a relaxed and happy situation, we should not forget, indulge or pamper ourselves and end up getting weak and unable to survive in more difficult situations. Instead, we should keep our courage and maintain a balanced heart.

 


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