Mini-blog (in place of an apaology for the longish hiatus):
nearly every week at church on Sunday I learn one or two very interesting things I had never noticed previously in the scriptures. What I learned last week is that the ambition of the men of Babel in Genesis 11 corresponds exactly with what God promises Abram in Genesis 12. The men of Babel wanted to "make a name for themselves" and establish a great city. God told Abram that he would make him great and into a great nation, which I think would be pretty closely related to the idea of "city" in the ancient world.
Obviously the key difference is that the men of Babel tried to create such an honor for themselves while Abraham would receive it by waiting on God, being patient and obedient. Patient as in waiting over 400 years after his own death!
It was interesting to me at least.