The Tower of Babel was a lousy Idea
First, let’s say what this story is not about. It’s not about a tower that angered God. It’s about a Tower, and a City, and a people who stayed put when God commanded them (see Genesis 9) to “fill the Earth.”
But these earliest descendants of Noah found a place to live, and they played it safe. They built a wall and lived in a bubble and went with what they knew, and a Tower was just the thing to celebrate how smart they were.
Only God doesn’t want us smart. God wants us wise, and kind, and empathetic, and observant, and curious, and most of all aware of the splendor of creation and we can’t do this without diversity, without each other.
So God confounded their language and sent them hither and yon, knowing that in time, they would learn that true unity comes from a shared heart, not a wall.
That’s why the Tower was a lousy idea.