After the flood, humanity decided they would remain unified if they abandoned their nomadic lifestyle to build a city of stone and a tower that reached the heavens. They thought the city would become their identity and keep them from being “scattered over the face of the whole earth.”
They started laying bricks before they consulted God about their plan. He “came down to see the city and the tower the people were building.” Then he said something interesting, “Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do; and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.” God promptly confused their language and scattered them all over the earth.
The people had everything they needed to do the impossible. Anything they could imagine would be theirs. Yet God brought the construction to an abrupt halt and did to them the very thing they were trying to avoid. He scattered them all over the earth. His actions are perplexing. Why would he deny them the ability to do the impossible?
As man perceives time 174 years had elapsed since the flood. As God perceives time 4 hours had elapsed since humanity broke his heart by filling the earth with violence. The earth was full of violence because “every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” God could not allow people to possess the power to do whatever they can imagine when their every imagination is evil.
The city they attempted to build in the plain of Shinar would have given them little more than a false sense of security. Their shepherd had not consulted God before he led them to build a city. Their shepherd would have squandered the power to do the impossible on his lusts and produced every kind of impossible evil.
God thwarted humanities plan in the plain of Shinar, but he has every intention of giving us a city where anything we can imagine is attainable. The people were missing an important element to keep their evil in check. A faithful shepherd who obeys God who will lay down his life for the people he rules.
 All Scripture quotes are from the NIV Bible unless otherwise noted.
 Genesis 11:4, KJV
 Genesis 11:5
 Genesis 11:6
 Genesis 6:5
 Jeremiah 10:21