Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Episode 3.2 All fall down.

If we look at the Bible as a narrative, with definitive "episodes" or sub-chapters, here is what we have so far in the first Chapter (Genesis). 1) Adam and Eve with associated exploits. 2) Noah as an act of God's redemption. 3) The Babel Generation.

In the previous post, we saw the first mention of the city. This city is an archetypal city throughout the Bible as humans' attempts at becoming completely autonomous. That is, we build cities to become gods. The city is Babylon (or Babel), which is described throughout the Bible as a pagan city. Whether this Babylon, Babylon of the 6th century BCE, or the Babylon of revelation, Babylon is humans attempts at creating apart from God.

God steps in here (literally "coming down to the city"), and confuses the people. He actually directly causes division, which is odd considering that God designed us to be in communion with one another. What has happened through the lenses of grace, is that humans have substituted the God-human relationship with the human-human one. As a result, God redirects our attempts to fulfill ourselves back towards our need for Him. The city is abandoned and scattered.

Babel means confused . . . which has so many levels here. Simply meditate on why God chose to preserve the name of the city thusly. What comes to mind?

Next, another genealogy. Another "to be continued". Finally, an introduction to the next episode. Abram, the man. As the story goes on, "God's chosen family" becomes a smaller and smaller portion of society due to our own actions. Be prepared for this trend to be reversed throughout the New Testament (with Pentecost being Babel Part II, the reversing of the tide). The introduction here would be a montage set to music with either headlines or memories if it were a movie. Crude background information rushed in to shed light in later sub-plots.

P.S. Check out Holy Trinity, a remixed modernized version of Gregorian Chant.

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