WHAT DID YOU SAY?
The Story of the Tower of Babel
by Barbara Wilmerton Haas
Text Version | Afrikaans | Italian
Jason wanted to become famous. He wanted to be the most popular kid in his school. The bad thing is, he didn't care what it took to become popular, EVEN if it meant telling lies or hurting other people's feelings. All Jason wanted was to make a name for himself at Hawthorn Elementary School. Nothing else mattered more to him.
The problem was, the more Jason lied, the more he had to make up stories to cover up his other lies. Each day he was getting himself into deeper and deeper trouble. The more he hurt other people's feelings, the less other people liked him.
This road to popularity was quickly becoming a very confusing way to live. He was making a name for himself all right, but NOT the kind of name that would win friends and give him a good name.
After the great flood that covered the whole earth, Noah and his wife and Noah's three sons — Shem, Ham, and Japheth — and their wives left the ark.
Before long, the children and grandchildren from Noah's three sons began to cover the whole earth.
After the flood, Noah lived another 350 years. As a matter of fact, he lived to be 950 years old, [PAUSE] and then he died.
Noah's son Ham had four sons. Ham named one of his sons “Cush.” Then Cush had a son he named “Nimrod.”
Nimrod became a mighty hunter. Anywhere people said the name Nimrod, everybody knew they were talking about the world famous hunter Nimrod. His hunting skills had made Nimrod famous throughout the earth. He was certainly blessed of God.
One of the first cities Nimrod built was called “Babel.” At this time, everyone in the whole world spoke one language. There was no such thing as French, Spanish, Russian, Italian, Chinese, and all the other languages we hear today.
As families began to grow larger, the people had to move on to make room for each other. They kept moving toward the direction the sun came up each morning. On and on they moved toward the east.
One day, the people finally reached a beautiful, large, flat spot where there were no mountains. They thought to themselves, “This would make a beautiful place to live.”
Soon more and more people discovered this wonderful place to live and decided to build a home, settle down, and live here in the land of Shinar. The more word spread about this new place to live, the more people began moving in.
Before long, the place was BUZZING with people. You could hear people yelling back and forth in the marketplace. Children were singing and dancing in the streets.
Sheep were bleating,
cows were mooing,
and horses were neighing.
The people who lived there got together and began to make great plans for themselves. They decided to turn the place into a BIG city and figured out how they could use bricks to build a tower that would reach way up toward the sky.
They wanted to build a tower SO TALL that it would make their city FAMOUS. This tower would be SO HIGH that people could see it from miles away. This tall building would make them FAMOUS and spread their name throughout the WHOLE WORLD.
What they wanted was something SO FAMOUS that it would draw people from around the world. They believed that the more people moved into their city, the more they could do together.
With more PEOPLE, they could build an even GREATER city and make an even GREATER name for themselves. They were afraid that if they didn't go ahead with these plans, people would soon be scattered far away from each other throughout the whole earth.
This high tower, reaching up toward the sky, would be JUST the thing they needed to bring everyone together. Being together in one place, there was NO LIMIT to what they could do.
Well, someone ELSE was watching this great city. Do you know who it was?
IT WAS GOD!
The Bible says God came down to see the tower and the city these people were building. He saw a people who were so taken up in their OWN power and their OWN name that they had lost sight of spreading stories of GOD'S power or spreading HIS Name throughout the earth.
They had become ONLY INTERESTED IN THEMSELVES. They were so busy building a name for themselves, they no longer had any time for God.
God saw EXACTLY what was happening, and He said, “Why look! The people have gotten together in one place, and they all speak one language. Look what they are beginning to do!
“When they know they are able to finish building this high tower together, they will think there is NO END to what they could do together.”
So God decided to go down and CONFUSE THEIR LANGUAGE, and that's EXACTLY WHAT HE DID!
One minute they were standing together talking and could each understand one another perfectly, and, the next minute, they couldn't understand ONE WORD of what the person standing beside them was saying. Everybody was COMPLETELY CONFUSED! They could no longer understand one word the other person was saying. Nothing they said made any sense. It all sounded like a bunch of BABBLING.
Because they could no longer understand each other, they could no longer work together or live together.
The work on the tower STOPPED altogether. The people packed up their things and began moving out of the city. They wanted to get as far away as they could from all that confusion. They began to scatter all across the face of the earth.
Soon the city became known as “Babel,” because everyone heard this was the city where God brought confusion to their language.
1. Have you ever wanted to become famous?
2. Name some famous people in the Bible.
3. What makes a person famous?
4. What one thing about God makes you feel blessed and happy?
God wants us to give ALL the glory to HIS Name.
A VERSE TO LEARN
“…let us exalt his name together” (Psalm 34:3b).
ALTERNATE VERSES TO LEARN
“Jesus answered, If I honour myself, my honour is nothing: it is my Father that honoureth me” (John 8:54).
“For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's” (1 Corinthians 6:20).
“If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen” (1 Peter 4:11).
Can you think of some famous people? What are they famous for? Maybe you have a grandma who is famous for her apple pie or brownies?
Do you think Jesus is famous? What is He famous for? Did He want to be famous for himself or did He want to honor and glorify God?
[After discussion:] Ask God to help you think of ways you can follow Jesus' example and honor God by the things you say and do, today and every day. Then God will honor you just as He honored and glorified Jesus.
Dear God, help me to remember that your Name
is the most IMPORTANT name for me to know.
I praise You and give You all the glory.
In Jesus' Name. Amen.
CAN YOU FIND THIS STORY IN THE BIBLE?
Genesis 9:18-20, 28-29; 10:6-10; 11:1-9
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Copyright © 2023 by Barbara Wilmerton Haas.
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