Lesson 7 - The Tower of Babel

    Suggested Bible Reading: Genesis Chapter 11

    What Happened to Noah’s Children?

    Have you ever wondered why there are so many different languages in the world? Or, where all the nations of the world came from? Well, God told us how these came about and even recorded it in the Bible so we will know the answer.

    Many years passed since God saved Noah and his family from the great flood. Once again, many people lived on the earth. Sadly, the majority of the descendants of Noah soon forgot about God's terrible judgment. They purposely ignored God and did not want to believe Him like Noah had believed. They were like Satan in their thinking. They wanted to be great and exalt themselves. They were not interested in knowing, worshipping, or trusting God. Instead, they made idols of people, animals, birds, and snakes and worshipped them.

    Satan was leading our ancestors in rebellion against God. Satan wants people to worship false gods and to reject the One True God of the Bible. Many cultures still worship the sun, moon, stars, birds, or animals. Satan knows the weaknesses of each culture and knows how to tell a convincing lie, to cause you to worship a false god. According to the Bible, only the One True God is worthy of our adoration and worship. Worship has to do with the giving of our thoughts, our hearts, and our resources to serve the object of our worship. Satan does not care what we worship as long as we do not worship the only true and living God.
    The Bible says in Genesis 11:1-2, “And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there.” At this time in history, the whole world had one language. There were not many different languages as we have today, but only one common language. We do not know exactly how many people were on the earth at this time, but they all lived in the same area of Shinar, which is the present day country of Iraq.

    The Unity of Rebellion

    The Bible says in Genesis 11:3-4, “And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them throughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter. And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.”

    These people all gathered together to build the tower of Babel because they did not want to be scattered over all the earth. They deliberately disobeyed the command given to Noah by God. They were supposed to multiply and replenish the earth, not just gather together into one single location. These people were only thinking of themselves. They were full of pride and interested in exalting their own name. How could they be so foolish? Their ancestors all died in the flood, because of their disobedience against God, and these did not learn from their ancestors’ mistakes.

    Here was a whole city of all the earth's people in a united rebellion against God. Today, the cities of the world have great problems: crime, wars, corruption, immorality, etc. This is where it all started after the flood. Who do you think was influencing them to rebel? Of course, it was Satan. He is always the one who wants people to rebel against the commandments of God. Why do you think Satan wanted them to rebel? Again, the answer was so that God could not send the Savior.

    The Bible says in Genesis 11:5-6, “And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. And the Lord said, 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 was interested in these rebellious people. He knew their thoughts and what they planned to do. He knew that if they continued speaking the same language, they would get into even more trouble and cause further evil with greater rebellion. With one common language and one common goal, God knew that nothing would restrain these people from any wicked purpose that they could imagine. God cared about what they did.

    God is everywhere, all the time, and knows everything. He knows all about us as well. We cannot keep anything secret from Him. He knows everything we have ever thought, said, and done. What happened to Satan when he rebelled against God? He lost! What happened when Cain rejected God's way? He lost! What happened when the people of Noah's day rebelled against God? They lost! Do you think these people will have victory in their rebellion against God? No way! Do you think that you can prosper in your rebellion against God? Not a chance!

    God Disperses the People.

    The Bible says in Genesis 11:7, “Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech.” The problem was not that they spoke the same language. The problem was their disobedience toward God. Speaking the same language made it easier to spread their rebellion. It is the same situation in many prisons today. The worst prisoners are put in solitary cells to prevent worse behavior spreading to all the prisoners. God decided to confuse their language before the rebellion grew too big.

    The Bible says in Genesis 11:8-9, “So the Lord scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city. Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the Lord did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the Lord scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.” He confused their one language by creating many new languages. Suddenly, they could not understand each other. They were forced to stop construction, because they could not communicate with each other. The lack of communication prevented any kind of harmony to exist in the city. So they gathered into families and left, spreading out around the globe in huge migrations, some on foot, and some by boat.

    What About My Ancestors?

    This is where all of the various languages, cultures and nations of the world originated. All of your ancestors were at the Tower of Babel. This is the beginning of the history of your family as part of a distinct nationality or language group. The God who created the whole world, who made Adam and Eve, who sent the flood, is the same God who created the different languages and the great cultures of the world. It is not God’s plan for there to be many different gods for the different peoples of the world. The God of the Bible is the only One True God for all people and for all cultures!

    Our ancestors turned away from God and followed the ideas which Satan gave them. There were only a few people who continued to worship the true and living God, but most people turned away from following Him. And so it is today. Most people in this world have rejected the One True God of the Bible and replaced Him with other gods. Some worship money, others worship Allah, others worship men, others worship mountains and rivers, others worship ancestors, and on and on it goes. Many are the false gods that have deceived many people, but none of those false gods have any power to deliver your soul from sin and the curse of death. Only the One True God can deliver you from Satan, sin, and from death. Now that the nations are spread over the earth, who do you think God will choose to begin the process of telling the peoples of the world about the coming Savior? After all, the Savior would be sent for all peoples of the world. We will find out in our next lesson.

    Study Questions

    1. After the flood, all of Noah’s children decided to follow God’s Word.
    2. Satan does not care what we worship, as long as we do NOT worship the .
    3. The people decided to build the tower of Babel because …
    4. Satan wanted the people to rebel against God, so that God could not send a .
    5. God did not care what the people on earth were doing.
    6. God decided to confuse the language of the people before the grew too big.
    7. Will anyone ever be able to prosper in their rebellion against God?
    8. The God of the is the only One True God, for all people and all .
    9. Most people in the world today have accepted the True God of the Bible.

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