The Tower of Babel
“All things have been created through him and for him.” Colossians 1:16b
Following the flood, God commanded Noah in Genesis 9:1 to “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.” This command echoes the one given to Adam and Eve in Genesis 1:28. God intended the paradise of the garden to spread into the whole world, but sinful people had other desires.
Genesis 10 accounts for the nations that spread out in the land after the flood (Gen. 10:32). The people moved east and settled in a valley. This story continues the cycle of distrust and disobedience to God. In Genesis 11:2, Scripture indicates that instead of filling the earth as God commanded, the people devised a plan to settle in one place and build a city and a large tower into the sky.
Read Genesis 11:4. The people’s motive was clear: “Let us make a name for ourselves.” The people didn’t want to be scattered. They didn’t believe God would give them what was good if they obeyed Him. They sought to obtain for themselves what they believed was good.
The people tried to build a monument with its top in the sky, but they succeeded only in separating themselves from God and from each other. God confused their language and scattered them over the earth. They were unable to finish building the city, so the city was called Babel—which sounds like the Hebrew word for “confused”—because there the Lord confused the people’s language.
As you share with your kids this week, help them see God’s better plan: His plan not for people to reach up to Him, but His plan to reach down to people by sending His Son, Jesus, to live the perfect life we couldn’t live and die the death we don’t want to die. Through Jesus, God brings together people of every tongue, tribe, and nation; we are all one in Christ. That is the gospel. Pray that your children would have open hearts to receive it.
People chose to give glory to themselves instead of God. They ignored God’s plan, so God confused their language and scattered the people all over the earth. One day, Jesus will gather together all of God’s people—people from every tribe and people who speak all kinds of languages—and they will worship Him together. (Revelation 7:9-10.
Check this session’s Activity Page and Big Picture Card as well as the Gospel Project for Kids Family App for ways to interact with the Bible content this week.
BIBLE STORY SUMMARY:
- People wanted to build a tower to make themselves famous.
- God was not happy about what they were doing.
- God mixed up their language and the people spread out over the earth.
KEY PASSAGE: Colossians 1:16b
BIG PICTURE QUESTION:
- Who is God? God is our Creator and King.
FAMILY DISCUSSION STARTERS:
- Why was God not happy that the people wanted to build a tower?
- Name a time you have tried to make yourself famous.
- What will happen when Jesus brings His people back together?
- Host a family competition to build the tallest block tower. Review the Bible story. Talk about doing all things for God’s glory.
- Attend a worship service as a family in a language different than your own. Talk about what it will be like to hear people in every language worship Jesus together.