God’s grace in the Tower of Babel.
In Genesis 11, we find the story of the tower of Babel. This story is familiar to many as the origin of language. We see this mostly as a story of sin and disobedience. This is also a story of God’s great grace and mercy. There were a few points of significance I wanted to bring out in this story.
First off, the people building the tower (presumably the descendants of Ham, as his grandson created kingdoms in Shinar, the place of the tower of Babel) were originally following the command of God in that they were spreading over the earth (Which God had commanded Adam in Genesis 1:28, and then reiterated this to Noah in Genesis 9:1), but then stopped spreading to build a city. While I will not say that established governments are exactly evil, I think it is no coincidence that Cain did the same thing upon murdering his brother Abel (See Genesis 4:17). Not only did they stop and build, but there is no evidence that God was consulted.
A second point to bring to light in the passage is the reasoning for constructing this tower (many believe this to be a Ziggurat, a house of worship not unlike the picture in this article). The reasoning seems to invoke some pride and some fear. Verse 3 of chapter 11 says they wanted to do this “ to make a name for [themselves]and  not be scattered over the face of the whole earth”. What name could these people expect to make for themselves apart from God? Evidence from prior generations was done away with in the flood. Even God acknowledged the unity among the men later in the chapter, and yet there was also the fear of being scattered.
By verse 5, we can see God was not exactly invited to the party. Society was reverting back to its pre-flood condition, and this unity was completely geared against God. In his wisdom, God thus gave the people different languages and they began to again fill the earth.
While this is a nice story, many might be wondering why this is important. Well, there are a few principles we can take from this text. One of these is that God’s work is not effective when it is concentrated solely in one place. It becomes corrupted, as humans are sinful in their nature. God also divided humanity up into languages and nations and people groups (totaling over 16,000).
There are yet over 6,000 of these people groups that are yet to hear the gospel, and considered unreached, consisting of roughly 40% of our world population of over 7 Billion people. God gave us the task of being witnesses to this vast population, but broke them into smaller pieces spread out over the world so that we can more easily focus our attention as we present the message to them. Any good commander like a “divide and conquer” kind of strategy, God has presented this to us with regard to sin among men (even bringing these people right to us in some circumstances). This is all to bring unity among division, which appears to be the story of Scripture from the beginning.