At one time, all humans spoke the same language. This naturally occurred because all were descendants of Noah and his family who repopulated the Earth after the great flood. Noah’s sons were Shem, Ham, and Japheth, and each had many sons and daughters. From these children, the population on Earth grew from hundreds to thousands and later to millions. One of Shem’s descendants was Abraham, who would become the father of many nations. From him would descend the children of Israel. As the population continued to grow, people traveled to different parts of the Earth. Although they went to various places, they maintained the same language until the incident at Shinar.
When some people migrated toward the east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar, another name for a part of the Babylonia territory. The people decided to make the area their home and settled in the land. After the people settled, they decided to stay together and wondered what they could do to make their names famous across the Earth. Together, they decided to build a city and tower which would reach into heaven. Determined, they made brick, prepared mortar, and started to build. After the people started building, God visited them to see what they were doing. When God saw their progress concerning the city and tower, He knew nothing would stop the people from doing anything they set their minds to in the future. This was dangerous, so God decided to stop their progress in a unique way.
God knew that the people’s ability to speak the same language helped drive the building of the city and tower. Thus, God said to the other members of the Holy Trinity, let’s go down there and confuse their language. God caused the people to start speaking different languages. Because they spoke different languages and could not communicate with one another, they could not continue building the city and tower. Then, God scattered them across the Earth. The place where God confused the language is known as Babel. Today, we use the word babble when we cannot understand what someone is saying to us, like a babbling baby.
Source: Genesis 10-11
- Why did the people want to build the city and tower? Was there reasoning right or wrong? Explain your thoughts.
- As a people, who are we to worship, honor, and give glory? Why?
- What does being famous look like? How do people treat people who are famous? Why do some people want to become famous? Is this a good thing or a bad thing? Why?
- Let’s talk determination. The people in Shinar were very determined to build the city and tower and prepared to do so. In this situation, their determination was misguided. However, determination can yield positive results. Share some examples from your life as to how being determined helped you achieve your positive goals.
- If we want to do something “big”, how can we determine if our motives are to honor God or honor ourselves?
- When you want to do something “big”, what are some steps you take to prepare? Give an example.
- Having the ability to communicate with one another was key to the people’s progress in building the city and tower. If they could make progress toward something bad by communicating effectively with one another, how much more do you think it is important to communicate when you are trying to do something positive? Why?
- When God confused the languages, many new languages were created. Daily, we hear or hear about people speaking different languages, and sometimes, people are not always kind when they hear someone speaking a different language. After hearing this story, what is the real difference between people besides the languages they speak? Explain your answer.
What does the bible say? Discuss.
- We were created by God. Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” Genesis 1:26 ESV
- As the created, we are to glorify our Creator, God. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. Psalm 139:14 ESV
- Whatever we do, we should give glory to God.
- Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. Matthew 5:16 KJV
- So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.1 Corinthians 10:31 ESV
- We are not to give God’s glory and honor to anyone else.
- I am the Lord; that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to carved idols. Isaiah 42:8 ESV
- You shall not make idols for yourselves or erect an image or pillar, and you shall not set up a figured stone in your land to bow down to it, for I am the Lord your God. Leviticus 26:1 ESV
- Every day, we make a choice about whom we serve, and that choice determines whom we choose to glorify. You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. James 4:4
Determination can help you create great things; however, be sure those great things honor God who gave you the ability to do great things.
Father God, thank you for giving us great abilities. As the created, our goal is to honor you, the Creator, with all that you have given us; thus, help us to remember to take time each day, and ask, “Am I honoring God today?” If not, show us how we can use what is before us to give you glory. We ask this in Jesus’s name. Amen.
Pause and ask yourself, “What did I do today to give glory to God?”
After reviewing this devotional bible lesson, what do you think God wants you to know? How will you implement it in your life? Give an example.
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