The Tower of Babel

Study Notes

Tower of Babel

- After Noah and his family got off of the boat, God gave them 4 new instructions in Genesis 9.
- 1. Fill up the freshly washed world!
- Gen 9:1 “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth”.
- 2. Rule over the animals:
- Gen 9:2 “The fear and dread of you will fall on all the beasts of the earth, and on all the birds in the sky, on every creature that moves along the ground, and on all the fish in the sea”.
- Before this moment, humans weren't afraid of animals, and animals weren't afraid of people! But now, we see God has made animals afraid of humans!
- 3. Eat meat for food
- Gen 9:3 “Everything that lives and moves about will be food for you. Just as I have gave you the green plants, I now give you everything”
- Before the flood, humans only ate plants! After the flood, they were allowed to kill animals to eat them (but they were to make sure all the blood was out of the meat).
- 4. Don't kill people!
- Gen 9:5 “I will demand an accounting for the life of a human being”.
- God cares so much about human lives– we’re made in His magnificent image! This is one of His ways of protecting human life.
- After God gives people their instructions, He gives two a 2 part gift! Gift #1 was a promise that he will never again destroy the earth by flood, Gift #2 was the rainbow -the promise that God remembers us!

- In Genesis 9, we see that Noah had 3 sons that made it through the ark adventure with him. They had wives and began having sons and daughters. They were doing just as God has commanded– being fruitful and multiplying, filling the earth!
- All of these people spoke the same language because they were all from the same family!
- So that was chapter 9. When we see the people of Earth again in chapter 11, it seems like some things have gotten off track from God’s instruction.
- Instead of filling the earth, they 11v2 “They found a plain in Shinar and settled there”.
- That’s not what God said to do—it seems like they’re choosing life on their own instead of choosing life with God.
- This is NOT looking good.
- They said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we can make a name for ourselves; otherwise, we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.”
- This whole city and tower idea shows that this family is choosing life on their own instead of life with God! They knew what God had told them to do. Instead of trusting God’s leadership, direction, and protection, they began building things in their own strength!
- God did not design humans to be able to do life without Him– this is never a good idea!

- God decided to visit the city.
- Do you think He liked what He saw? Do you think He felt loved by their decisions? Did they build this city out of love and faith and relationship with Him?
- No! They’d stopped thinking about God a long time ago. They built this city in the spirit of unbelief.
- When God saw this chaos, He said 11vs6 “If as one people speaking the same language they have done this, then nothing will be impossible for them.”
- This is God showing us how powerful unity is! Unity of language was what was helping this family build a city of unbelief.
- Instead of letting this ungodly unity continue to build, God decided to break up the unified catastrophe.
- 11v9 says “the LORD confused the language of the whole world”. God confused their language without any warning!
- What do you think happened the next day when the builders came to work on the tower? They couldn't understand each other!! Workers couldn't talk to each other, friends no longer spoke the same language, children couldn't understand their teachers, and neighbors couldn't communicate.
- Can you imagine if you woke up one day and didn't speak the language of the people you love?
- This would completely ruin a city’s ability to talk to each other!!

- Genesis 11:9 says “From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth”. This is how different nations came about! Families scattered to different places and started building a life in other areas.
- Proverbs 19:21 says “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.”
- No matter what man may try to do, God will have his way! And this time, God wanted humans to fill the whole earth,
- Man was trying to stay in the same place and build a city, but God disrupted their language! When he did this, they all finally began to spread and scatter.
- God did not want to have to disrupt people to have His ways accomplished. He made their assignment super clear– it was the people that chose their own way instead of God’s way!
- When we don’t go God’s way, He brings discipline to bring us back to His way– discipline is normally painful, and you’ll notice you’re feeling uncomfortable.
- When you feel this discipline, you have two choices:
- 1) Let His discipline will draw you closer to Him or
- 2) Get mad at God for His discipline and become less aware of God’s love.
- Life is so much richer if we will let Him discipline us into His ways instead of trying to go around them!
- Do you have spots in your heart where you’re trying to go your way instead of God’s way? Spend time in God’s word and ask the Holy Spirit to help you give those places of your heart to Him! He wants to give you something so much better than the places and things you're holding onto!

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