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BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 7, Day 5: Genesis 11:1-9

Summary of Genesis 11:1-9:

In the beginning, every human spoke the same language. Then, they began to build the Tower of Babel that would reach the heavens and make a name for themselves. The Lord came down to see what they were up to. Instead, the Lord scattered them and confused their languages so they couldn’t come together and do this building again.

BSF STUDY QUESTIONS GENESIS: LESSON 7, DAY 5: GENESIS 11:1-9

13) They were building the tower to make a name for themselves, not make a name for God.

14a) Power, greed, self-worth, acknowledgement, and to be equal with God.

b) Personal Question. My answer: Everywhere.

15) God redirects, like a parent would. He doesn’t destory mankind, but He does what is best for them and that is in this instance to break them up so they would be more likely to rely on Him rather than themselves.

16) Personal Question. My answer: That man would not be about self-aggrandisement, but instead seek God and credit God in all things. God wants us to work together for His glory, not for ours.

Conclusions BSF STUDY QUESTIONS GENESIS: LESSON 7, DAY 5: GENESIS 11:1-9

God scatters the people for their own good. Our culture always talks about brining everyone together; yet, here we see what happens when we do come together in such a manner. Perhaps God knows what’s good for us after all and maybe separate is not such a bad thing.

End Notes BSF STUDY QUESTIONS GENESIS: LESSON 7, DAY 5: GENESIS 11:1-9

God commanded everyone to spread out and populate the land in Genesis 9:1 Instead, they build a city in Shinar (Babylon) in this passage.

Brick making was a common building material in ancient times. Tar was and still is used for waterproofing, such as in Noah’s ark an Moses’ basket (Exodus 2:3). Some scholars believe that the tar indicates the people still thought they would be killed again by another flood. However, this is speculation as tar is a common building product.

 

Were the People Really Reaching for Heaven?

Bible Scholars believe they were trying to reach the heavens, and most believe this tower was real.

God may have came down to earth as Jesus. The “us” is the Holy Trinity. God scattered the people for our good out of mercy. He could have killed us all again if He had wanted.

I find it interesting that God acknowledges that man can do anythien when they come together. This is powerful for us today. Although we’re divided, it appears God wants it so.

Language is unique to man that it can only be explained as a gift from God. As man scattered, differences in the people slowly developed due to the limited gene pool. Yet, the world is incredibly diverse — just as God wanted it to be.

Man is still man — a sinner at heart. Only a perfect man, Jesus, can save.

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 9, Day 4: Genesis 11:1-9 & Acts 2

Summary of passages:  Genesis 11:1-9:  A bit after the world had been repopulated some people moved eastward and settled on the plain of Shinar (Babylonia).  They used bricks and tar to build a city with a tower that reaches to the heavens so that they could make a name for themselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth.

The Lord saw what the men were doing.  He confused their language as punishment to prevent more un-Godly actions.  God scattered them over the earth.  Babel sounds like the Hebrew word for confused; hence the name “Tower of Babel.”

Acts 2:

On the day of Pentecost the 120 were all in one place (presumably praying still and waiting for the gift).  A sound like a blowing violent wind came from heaven and filled the house where they were sitting.  They saw tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.  All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in tongues through the power of the Holy Spirit.

A lot of people in Jerusalem heard this sound and came together to see what was happening.  They were bewildered because each was speaking in his own language.  They asked, “Aren’t these all Galileans?  How is it we hear them in our own language?  What does this mean?”

Some made fun of them and said they were drunk.

Peter stood up the with the Eleven Apostles and told the confused crowd: we (the 120 and them) are not drunk.  Listen to Joel’s words:  God will pour out His Spirit on all people.  Your sons and daughters will prophesy, the young men will see visions, old men will dream, the servants will prophesy and have the Spirit as well.  Wonders will appear in the heaven and signs will appear on earth such as blood, fire, and smoke.  The sun will be dark and the moon to blood before the day of the Lord when everyone who calls on the Lord will be saved.

Peter is still speaking to the crowd that has gathered on the day of Pentecost.  “Jesus who performed miracles was handed over to you for God’s pre-ordained purpose.  You killed him by nailing him to a cross.  But God has raised him from the dead.  David himself prophesied Jesus’ resurrection when he said he saw the ‘Holy One’ at the Lord’s right hand and raised him from the dead.”

It’s as if Peter is shouting, “Even though you idiots killed Jesus He is alive!”

Peter says that Jesus now sits at the right hand of God and pours out what we now see and hear.  He has received the promised Holy Spirit.  David did not ascend to heaven (for a detailed explanation of this see my previous post here.  David is in heaven now but not at the time of his death).  God has made Jesus Lord and Christ.

The people asked what should they do and Peter told them to repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus to be forgiven of your sins and receive the Holy Spirit.  Everyone of you can receive such a gift.  3000 chose to be baptized that day.

These people were considered the first church.  They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, fellowship, breaking of the bread, and prayer.  They gave to everyone as needed.  They continued to meet and eat together and praise God.  The Lord grew their numbers daily.

Questions:

7a)  He confused their language.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Just like in Biblical times, God is in control of everything.  He’ll put a leader in power He wants to accomplish His goals.  He gives, He takes, He rescues, He allows Free Will.  Nothing happens without God.

8 )  That person doesn’t approach others in a loving manner.  Anger may rule over conciliation.  Right won’t win out over wrong like in government.

9a)  Speaking different languages can divide or bring together people.  Speaking in a different language but with the heart for God can convert others.  In Shinar, it divided.  In Acts, it converted and brought together.

As long as the heart is in the right place, the words you speak should not matter–especially if God and the Holy Spirit are behind them.  Others will understand.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  The heart is what matters, not the words.  If you love others, your actions should speak louder.

Conclusions:  As someone who’s lived in many foreign countries that speak different languages, I know the difficulty it can be to communicate and get what you need to survive.  Yet most often when I encountered a native who realized I couldn’t express myself, I was met with nothing but helpful intentions.

I often hear the phrase “language is a barrier”.  But it’s not.  Because love is stronger.

Throughout history with all the conquerings and movement of people, you will notice an overarching theme:  integration and assimilation.  The native language mixed with the new language.  It changed.  Just look at English.  Over half of our words are Latin origin. Another 1/3 have Greek roots.  The rest is Old English, which is a mix of Anglo-Saxon, Norman French, and the mixture of Celtic, Welsh, and Scottish languages.

Even today, look at the number of foreign words we have adopted from French to Spanish to Italian to Russian.  You’ll find it in Webster’s Dictionary.

Man adapts.

Language can be a divider.  When God wants it to be like in the Tower of Babel.  Or when man chooses to let it be.

But with the right heart and Spirit, it’s a uniter.  Love conquers all.  As does God’s will.

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 9, Day 3: Genesis 11:1-9 & Psalm 2

Summary of passages:  Genesis 11:1-9:  A bit after the world had been repopulated some people moved eastward and settled on the plain of Shinar (Babylonia).  They used bricks and tar to build a city with a tower that reaches to the heavens so that they could make a name for themselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth.

The Lord saw what the men were doing.  He confused their language as punishment to prevent more un-Godly actions.  God scattered them over the earth.  Babel sounds like the Hebrew word for confused; hence the name “Tower of Babel.”

Psalm 2:  Why do people conspire and plot against the Lord and the Anointed One?  It is all in vain.  Man fights against God who merely laughs.  God rebukes and terrifies them.  David tells other kings to be wise and serve the Lord with fear and joy for God’s anger can flare in a moment.  Blessed are those who take refuge in Him.

Ask God and He will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession.  With God you will rule.

Questions:

5a)  Both try to self-aggrandize and put themselves above God.  It is useless to plot and conspire against God and Jesus.  We are nothing in comparison.  Yet man tries through ambition and pride.  And every time he is vanquished, defeated, chastized, rebuked, or punished by God.  You’d think we learn.  But we never do.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  We deliberately disobey God and think His laws don’t apply to us.  In the end, we end up suffering because of it.  It teaches me to obey God as much as my sinful nature can.  To submit for He is King.  To recognize my weakness and beg for His mercy.  To follow Him till the end of my days.  This is my prayer.

6a)  Both verses say belief in Jesus and what Jesus did for us.

b)  In the passage, literally through a tower.  Today, through works, prayer, obedience, His word.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Through Jesus.

Be careful not to interpret this as “drawing near to God”.  I think the point of the question is that the only way to God is Jesus and anyway else is false.

Conclusions:  Have you noticed this theme in the questions, comparing people in Biblical times and in our times?  Like I concluded yesterday, man never changes.  His nature is the same.  He sins.  Repeatedly.  Since the Fall–the beginning of time.  This will never change.

It’s why we need Jesus.  God knew this.  He knows we have no hope without Christ.  And that’s what the entire Bible is trying to tell each and every one of us.  And that’s why it’s our job to tell others.  So they can be saved.