When the immediate descendants of those who had survived the world-wide flood of Noah’s day found their bearings again in the course of time, one of their earliest recorded endeavors began with these words: “Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven” (Genesis 11:4). It was a lofty ambition – in some sense, a noble one – to reach heaven! Man, though he had failed the test in Adam, would build again the bridge he had broken, the bridge of communication with God. That the attempt failed, we know: that it, and all attempts like it, are doomed to failure from the start, may seem more surprising.
Adam’s sin and its consequences brought misery and ruin upon the human race; even those who do not admit the cause, tacitly recognize the result. Something is wrong with the world. And so men have set out to fix it. In Noah’s age, the fix was to build a tower; in the days of Jeremiah, to propitiate the false gods; in the time of Jesus, to keep punctiliously the Pharisaical law (see Genesis 11:4, Jeremiah 44:15-18, and Mark 7:3-4). But always the key has been: believe in yourself! Strive! Press onward! Never give up, and you will earn paradise at last!
The world could be better, as we all admit: let us, then, make it better! Or, if we are not so ambitious, still we recognize that our own lives could be better. Then let us make our own lives better; at least, let us assure ourselves of a better life hereafter.