Icebreaker – Have you ever had a time when you were trying to communicate with someone who speaks a different language than you? How did it go?
Text – Genesis 10:32-11:9
- Genesis 11:1-9 1-2At one time, the whole Earth spoke the same language. It so happened that as they moved out of the east, they came upon a plain in the land of Shinar and settled down. 3They said to one another, “Come, let’s make bricks and fire them well.” They used brick for stone and tar for mortar.4Then they said, “Come, let’s build ourselves a city and a tower that reaches Heaven. Let’s make ourselves famous so we won’t be scattered here and there across the Earth.”5God came down to look over the city and the tower those people had built.6-9 God took one look and said, “One people, one language; why, this is only a first step. No telling what they’ll come up with next—they’ll stop at nothing! Come, we’ll go down and garble their speech so they won’t understand each other.” Then God scattered them from there all over the world. And they had to quit building the city. That’s how it came to be called Babel, because there God turned their language into “babble.” From there God scattered them all over the world.
- Question – What was the sin at the tower of Babel?
- Richard Foster, author of the bestselling book Celebration of Discipline, wrote in his Spiritual Formation Bible, “As in the Garden of Eden they seek to overreach into the knowledge and realm of God. By their own accord they try to ascent to the heavens and seek to make a name for themselves.”
- Question – How do we try to do this in our own lives?
- Thus far, in Biblical history we see a progression of sin: the sin of the individual in the Garden, the sin against another human being, and the collective sin to become more like God
- Read – Acts 17:26-27 26 God began by making one person, and from him came all the different people who live everywhere in the world. God decided exactly when and where they must live.27 God wanted them to look for him and perhaps search all around for him and find him, though he is not far from any of us:
- God decided exactly when and where you should live. Question – Have you ever found yourself wishing you lived somewhere or sometime else, or felt you would be more successful during a different time? Author Holly Wagner says, “God has trusted us with this moment.” What has God asked us to do in this moment of time?
- Question – What was the power behind these Babylonians?
- Genesis 11:6b – “…nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them.” This was not a good idea for the unregenerated man, the man without Christ to set him free from sin. Now that we have become new creatures and can know the will of God, it is His design that we can perform the impossible.
- Question – What New Testament story does this Old Testament story parallel?
- Read – Acts 2:1-8
- After Christ came, the Holy Spirit once again unified our speech so that we could could spread His ideas across the earth. In Genesis, God confused the speech so that man could not bring forth his own evil desires that would surely come from their collective evil. Their language barriers naturally scattered them across the earth. In Acts, God brings His redeemed ones together in one accord. This time they are seeking Him, and His desires. He gives them one language and then sends them, or scatters them across the earth to proclaim His message, bringing glory to Him.
- Question – What are some ways we can become more unified, so that we can fulfill the Great Commision?