2 Genesis 11:1-91 Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. 2 As people moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there. 3 They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. 4 Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.”
3 Genesis 11:1-95 But the LORD came down to see the city and the tower the people were building. 6 The LORD said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. 7 Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.” 8 So the LORD scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. 9 That is why it was called Babel—because there the LORD confused the language of the whole world. From there the LORD scattered them over the face of the whole earth.
4 Genesis 10 and 11 are not in chronological order Genesis 10 and 11 are not in chronological order. The author documents the spread of the nations and difference in their languages in chapter ten. Chapter 11 is a snapshot (a picture) out of chapter 10 to tell of how they were scattered. Genesis 11:1-9 explains why God scattered the nations. The actual spread of the people to different parts of the world described in Genesis 10 occurs after the events at the Tower of Babel.
5 The whole history of mankind – has been marked by a pattern: man’s repeated and continued failure to recognize God as God (rebellion), the judgment of God, and the incredible grace of God as he responds to his willful and disobedient children. The story line moves up and down between sin and grace. When the focus has been on mankind and their actions, the emphasis is on sin. And when the focus has been on God and His actions, the emphasis is on grace.
6 Pieter Brueghel the Elder They planned to build a tower high enough that no matter how far they would go, they would still be able to see the tower and find their way back, so they would not become scattered. They were planning to do the exact opposite of what God had commanded them to do. They were going to make a way where they could stay together and never become scattered.Pieter Brueghel the Elder1563-tower-of-babel
7 The issue here is not the building of the tower itself, but the reasons for building it, which was rebellion.Rebellion #1 – The immediate goal was to "make a name for ourselves," with the longer range purpose that they would not "be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth" (v. 4).
8 All of us are inclined to build monuments to ourselves in one way or another. Unfortunately, it’s part of our sin nature. But our real identity and our future hope is in God.This is why the account of the Tower of Babel is so important for us. It exposes the foundational reason we build monuments around ourselves, it shows us how to cure that problem, and it teaches us how to face the future with peace in our hearts.
9 Are we, at times, building our own Tower of Babel? Are we trying to make a name for ourselves?Are we filled with so much pride?Are we putting ourselves in the place of God?
10 The issue here is not the building of the tower itself, but the reasons for building it, which was rebellion.Rebellion #2 – The second element of their rebellion was related to unity. It is obvious from God’s response here that the problem here is not unity itself. The problem is that it was a false unity. “Nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them." This reveals that they had an ulterior motive. The issue was not one of true harmony and unity, but a coming together to fulfill a purpose driven by arrogance and pride.
11 Are we also sometimes in rebellion when we want our own way, making our own plans without making sure that our plans and purposes are in line with what God called us to do? Unity is great, as long as it is unity with God. We are to seek His kingdom first; then all of the other things will be added to us. (Matthew 6:33)
12 The issue here is not the building of the tower itself, but the reasons for building it, which was rebellion.Rebellion #3 - The third element of rebellion has to do with the fear that they would be scattered. And yet, since early in the creation story, this has been God's stated purpose for humanity: that they would "fill the earth" (Gen 1:28).
13 God has given us two commandments God has given us two commandments. One is to love God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength. The second is to love our neighbor as ourselves. All of the other commands are fulfilled in these two. When we love other things in our life more than we love God, we are breaking this commandment. When we allow disinterest, jealously, envy, and hatred toward another person, we are breaking this commandment, too. We are no better than our cousins who lived during this time. And we wonder sometimes why we are confused.
14 In the Lord’s view (and His view is the only one that really counts) this Tower was part of a continuing pattern of rebellion from Noah’s descendents. And for that rebellious spirit He could have justly destroyed them all. But He didn’t. Instead, God loved them…by confusing their language so they would stop sinning against Him. He acted in compassion.
15 The curse of rebellion is confusion The curse of rebellion is confusion. The Lord came and brought confusion by confounding their language. The confusion broke the false sense of harmony they had established. The Lord brought this confusion to break their unity of purpose in rebellion against God’s clear command; they were no longer able to complete their work because they were not able to understand each other’s speech.
16 The confusion that God sent because of their rebellion gives us the meaning of the word “babble.” GEN 11:9 says, "That is why it was called Babel—because there the LORD confused the language of the whole world. From there the LORD scattered them over the face of the whole earth..." This Hebrew word "Babel" translated into English means "confusion."
17 In the middle of our confusion, the Lord offers clarity by giving us salvation through His name. In Acts 2:21 Peter says, “And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” He makes His name in us. By faith in Christ Jesus alone, we do not desire to make a name for ourselves, but God is making His Son’s name known in the church through the Holy Spirit. As a result, Christ clarifies who we are, whose we are, and how we are to clearly live. That way we won’t get confused and risk building our own Tower of Babel. We won’t try to make a name for ourselves to our own prideful destruction. Clarity from confusion brings true everlasting peace in Christ.
18 Where did the different races come from, and why are some skins darker than others? There is really only one race—the human race. The Bible teaches us that God has "made of one blood all nations of men" (Acts 17:26). Scripture distinguishes people by tribal or national groupings, not by skin color or physical appearance.
19 Where did the different races come from, and why are some skins darker than others? The DNA of any two people in the world would typically differ by just 0.2 percent. Of this, only 6 percent can be linked to racial categories; the rest is variations within the races.
20 Where did the different races come from, and why are some skins darker than others? Noah's decedents migrated from the Middle East after the Tower of Babel; their numbers grew smaller as they extended further out. As the groups grew smaller, close relatives intermarried and the certain genes within the gene pool became dominate, while others became dormant (buried). Within a few generations, these genes produced the skin color, hair color and texture, bone structure, and other physical characteristics that made each group distinctive within its isolated geographical area.
21 Where did the different races come from, and why are some skins darker than others? There is no practical evidence for the theory of evolution, and it has never been shown that evolution happened in any degree. Evolution in all aspects is contrary to the Word of God and true science. All of the practical evidence supports the Bible’s account of creation. The lie of evolution has been the source of ethnic cleansing since its inception. This false humanistic idea has been at the heart of the decline in morals of the once great United States.
22 Where did the different races come from, and why are some skins darker than others? Skin color is easily understood when all the evidence is considered. Racial differences can never honestly be said to be the result of curses placed on people by God, or the illogical theories of evolution. Race occurred because of the work of the physical laws of human genetics that Almighty God instituted, and race has no spiritual significance.
23 Where did the different races come from, and why are some skins darker than others? It is easy to think that since different groups of people have ‘yellow’ skin, ‘red’ skin, black skin, ‘white’ skin, and brown skin, there must be many different skin pigments. Different chemicals for coloring would require that there be different codes in the DNA for each people group; but as we have learned, there is only a tiny difference in the DNA codes.
24 Where did the different races come from, and why are some skins darker than others? We all have the same coloring pigment in our skin, which is called melanin. This is a dark-brown pigment that is produced in different amounts in special cells in our skin. But when you separate out a group of people and their descendents are limited to just their genes, some physical traits become more apparent. These traits are then passed on to their children.
25 Where did the different races come from, and why are some skins darker than others? Generally, whatever physical feature we may look at, no people group has anything much different from another. For example, the Asian, or almond, eye differs from a typical Caucasian eye because it has a tiny ligament that pulls the eyelid down a little. All babies are born with the ligament, but non-Asians usually lose it before 6 months of age. Some retain the ligament and thus have almond-shaped eyes like Asians, and some Asians lose the ligament and so have round eyes like most Caucasians.
26 Where did the different races come from, and why are some skins darker than others? No matter what questions or confusion you have in your life, my prayer is that God will use the confusion to bring you to a belief in Him through the power of the Holy Spirit.