Another great event which changed history was the worldwide dispersion (spreading out) at the time of the Tower of Babel.
There were eight people who survived the great flood in the days of Noah (1 Peter 3:20). These people carried something with them on the ark (besides the animals) -- something that was like a terrible disease (Jeremiah 17:9), namely SIN! They each had a sinful nature which was inherited or passed down from Adam (see Chapter 1). How does Genesis 9:20-21 show the problem of sin even in Noah's heart?
Noah's family began to multiply. Noah's sons had children. Did these children have sinful hearts just like their parents? _______ Noah had many grandchildren, and then many, many great grandchildren, and then many, many, many great great grandchildren! As many years went by, the number of the original eight survivors had multiplied into thousands of people. These people stayed together and journeyed from A________________ (Gen. 8:4) [where the ark had rested] to the land of S______________ (Gen. 11:2) which was located on a broad plain between two great rivers (the Tigris and Euphrates), one of the most fertile regions in the whole world. They dwelt here and made this place their home.
How many different languages were spoken by these people (Gen. 11:1)? ________ One language tends to unite people; many languages tend to divide people. Suppose there were 100 people invited to a party. Some of the people spoke only English, some only French, some only Spanish, some only German and some only Russian. Soon after the party began, how many groups of people would you have? ____________
These people who lived in Shinar (Babel) decided to begin a massive building project (Gen. 11:3-4). There were no great stones in this area of the world, so they could not make their buildings out of stone (for example, the great pyramids of Egypt and the great temples of Greece were made out of stone). They did have large quantities of clay from which they could make bricks and also asphalt (bitumen) which could be used as mortar or cement. Ordinarily bricks were dried in the sun, but in this case they were burned thoroughly so as to make them much harder, like stone (Genesis 11:3).
There is nothing sinful in constructing a building. King Solomon built a magnificent temple for his magnificent God (1 Kings 6). But these people were not building their buildings for God or for God's glory. They were building a city and a tower for man in opposition to God. In Genesis 11:4 we learn that they wanted a city and a high tower for themselves and they wanted a name for themselves. What was one thing they did not want (Gen. 11:4)? _______________________________________________________________________ Their desire was to UNITE together and build this great city so they would not be scattered throughout the earth. After the flood, did God tell Noah's sons to unite together and stay in one place, or did He tell them to FILL (replenish) the whole earth (Gen. 9:1,7)? ___________________________________________________
The LORD knew all about these people and their city and their tower and their evil plans. The LORD said, "Behold, the P ______________ is O __________, and they all have O _______ language" (Gen. 11:6). The LORD knew that when sinful men get together and become one (unified in one place), there is no limit to the evil they might do! The building project was just the beginning! Unless God slows them down and restrains them (holds them back from doing evil), they will sin more and more and fall deeper and deeper into sin and go down, and down, lower, and lower into the depths of wickedness (see Lesson 2). Something must be done to hinder them and slow them down.
What sinful things would we possibly do if there were no parents or policemen or teachers or laws or conscience to slow you down? If we could get away with it and if no one would even see us and if we were never punished, would we possibly do things that are very wrong? God has given us restraints to slow us down and keep us from doing what we otherwise might do. (Think of a dangerous dog on a leash. The leash is a restraint because it holds back. Without the leash the dog would be free to harm someone or get into trouble.)
The LORD performed a mighty miracle. He confounded or confused the language of these people so that they could not ______________________ one another (Gen. 11:7). Suddenly there was not just one language but there were many languages on the earth. (Today there are about 3,000 languages in our world.) As a result the building project ceased and came to an abrupt halt and the name of the city was called ________________ which means confusion (Gen. 11:8-9). It is extremely difficult to work together if you are not able to communicate with one another! Thus the people had to go their separate ways, and they were forced to scatter and fill the earth. This scattering of the people led to the beginning of the nations (see Genesis 10, especially verses 5,20,31,32).
With many nations there is more global safety, because there is a balance of power and no one nation can become all-powerful. When all nations unite together, then there is a great danger, because all the power will fall into the hands of one wicked world leader and dictator. The Bible predicts that towards the end of the age, the world will be united under one man and one government, and anyone who does not join this wicked system will be put to death (Revelation chapter 13). It will not be a safe world to live in then. It will be the greatest time of trouble the world has ever known (Matthew 24:21).
Can you think of anything in our world today that reminds us of God's judgment on Babel which resulted in languages and nations?
Which of these classes (in school) would remind you of Babel (please circle):
Explain how the following would remind us of Babel:
|Missionaries (Matthew 28:19)||The King James translation of the Bible||The Day of Pentecost (Acts 2)|
|The United Nations||A World Atlas||Dictionaries|
|A Stamp Collection||Coins from all over the world||Various skin colors (red and yellow, black and white)|
|Wars||Chinese Restaurants||Italian Restaurants|
|Different customs from different lands||National Geographic|
Can you think of anything taking place in our world today which is bringing us closer to a one-world government as predicted in the book of Revelation? In the field of communication, what are some things which have served to make our world "smaller" and more unified? What kinds of electronics have brought people in the world closer together? How have new ways of transportation helped people to get to different parts of the world much faster than people could 2000 years ago or even 500 years ago?
Is there anything wrong with a one world united government if the right Man is in power (Isaiah 2:1-5; 9:6-7; 33:22; Jeremiah 23:5-6)? __________________________ Is He the King and Ruler of your life?
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