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This article was written by Hayley Mizell, producer of Bible Book Club.
Have you ever been to the Empire State Building or the glass building in Chicago? Both buildings boast impressive heights and the views from both are pretty remarkable. In Genesis 11, we see the world’s first skyscraper called the Tower of Babel. The tower, built by the Babylonians, reached 328 feet tall. While the work behind creating the tower is impressive for that time, the purpose of the tower (to make their name great) points to how far from God this empire really was.
HAYLEY’S BIBLE BENDER:
My Bible bender of the week came through the explanation of the cornerstone (see table below). I love the comparisons Susan made between the Tower of Babel in Genesis 11 and the New Testament Temple (or Jesus). Jesus was the stone God (the architect) had chosen to be the cornerstone, the stone on which the two walls of Jew and Gentile met and were bonded together to build His church. Jesus melds us all together for a purpose greater than ourselves.
Do you know your purpose, the one you have through Christ? Is the enemy using a Babel effect of sorts to create division among us?
Bigger Bible Book Theme: Building Comparison of Tower and the “Temple”
|Old Testament Tower-Babel||New Testament Temple-Bable Undone|
|Men succumb to temptation: build Tower to make a name for themselves among the nations||Jesus refuses to be tempted: Satan offers Christ the worship of all the nations if Jesus bows down to him in Matthew 4|
|Nations dispersed in confusion and languages||Pentacost men were united in language and understanding of the Word|
|Same tower builders, the Babylonians, take Israelites captive and destroy the temple||Rome takes Jesus captive and tries to destroy him (the temple: John 2 “destroy this temple and in 3 days I will raise it up.”)|
|God “goes down” to disperse man from building this tower to glorify themselves||Christ “becomes man” or goes down from heaven to save and build the church
There is a verse in Psalms 118:22 “the stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.” That verse is repeated 7 times in the New Testament by Matthew, Mark, Luke, Paul, and Peter in reference to Christ being the cornerstone.
In the primary meaning of the Psalm, the illustration seems to have been drawn from one of the stones, quarried, hewn, and marked, away from the site of the temple, which the builders, ignorant of the head architect’s plans, had put on one side, as having no place in the building, but which was found afterward to be that on which the completeness of the structure depended.
The term translated “cornerstone” refers to a capstone placed at the top of a corner where two walls come together. It is a piece of the building essential to its integrity that holds the entire structure together.
Jesus was the stone God had chosen to be the cornerstone, the stone on which the two walls of Jew and Gentile met and were bonded together–to build His church.