The community on the plains of Shinar that organized to build their own way to “the heavens” was a society organized around the rejection of God’s plan and purpose for their lives. Organizing is one of the key features of God’s 03 the meaningpeople. The New Testament speaks frequently of the need for God’s people to be so well organized that it functions like a body; each piece player a significant part in the overall function of the organization or organism. The failure at Shinar was not about organization, it was about the purpose of the organization. Its purpose was to defy God’s intended purpose of going forth and filling the whole earth. “Let’s make a name for ourselves,” they said. But God’s call on Abraham was that He would be the one to make Abram great. He would make from one man, Abram, a great nation! That nation consists of those who trust God – and according to Paul it includes us through our faith in Christ. We too are heirs of Abraham.

The difference between Cain and Able is described for us in Genesis 4:1. It says, “Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, and Cain a worker of the ground.” You see Cain is a “worker.” Abel was a “keeper.” The line of Cain also was the workers. They produced implements and inventions and used iron and metal and other advances of technology. In 4:17, Cain’s son Enoch was said to have built a city. The point isn’t that they shouldn’t have exercised their dominion over the physical world, God wanted them to do that, but again it’s a matter of motive. In the line of Cain the focus is on finding their significance and meaning in their work, rather than in a loving, trusting relationship with their creator. We’ll find our own significance in the world in which we live! Yet, God created all mankind with a yearning for more than meets the eye. No one will find ultimate significance in the things of this world.

Solomon, in the book of Ecclesiastes, spent much of his life searching for meaning and significance in the things of the world. He wanted to investigate and study every area in which things are done under heaven (Ecclesiastes 1:13). The words “to seek” and “to search” indicate the seriousness of his efforts. He wanted to master and understand life. In short he wanted to experience everything that could be experienced. His conclusion was that there is no meaning and purpose “under the sun.” Jesus’ frequent call to all mankind is the call to come to Him and find true life, real meaning, ultimate satisfaction, and eternal life. In Him is the only “fullness.” Apart from Christ, the philosopher Jean Paul Sartre is right. He says “Life is an empty bubble on the sea of nothingness.”