Lesson 17 第十七课

God scattered the rebels at the tower of Babel

Scripture: Genesis 11:1-9

Lesson Outline

1.    The descendants of Shem, Ham and Japheth were rebellious and proud. (Genesis 11:1-4)
2.    The people deliberately disobeyed God’s command.
3.    God saw the people as they built the city and the tower. (Genesis 11:5)
4.    God scattered the people. (Genesis 11:6-9)


Lesson Outline Developed


1.    The descendants of Shem, Ham and Japheth were rebellious and proud.

Read Genesis 11:1-4

At one time all the people of the world spoke the same language and used the same words. 2 As the people migrated to the east, they found a plain in the land of Babylonia and settled there.

3 They began saying to each other, “Let’s make bricks and harden them with fire.” (In this region bricks were used instead of stone, and tar was used for mortar.) 4 Then they said, “Come, let’s build a great city for ourselves with a tower that reaches into the sky. This will make us famous and keep us from being scattered all over the world.”

那时,天下人的口音、言语都是一样。 2 他们往东边迁移的时候,在示拿地遇见一片平原,就住在那里。 3 他们彼此商量说:“来吧!我们要做砖,把砖烧透了。”他们就拿砖当石头,又拿石漆当灰泥。 4 他们说:“来吧!我们要建造一座城和一座塔,塔顶通天,为要传扬我们的名,免得我们分散在全地上。”

Many years had passed since God saved Noah and his family from the flood. Noah’s three sons had children, and their children had children. Once again, many people lived on the earth.

•    The descendants of Shem, Ham and Japheth deliberately turned away from God.

Although they knew about God, the majority of them refused to consider His will for them. They did not want to know and believe on the Lord as Abel, Seth, Enoch and Noah had. They did not want to obey God and come to Him the way He had said.

These people were under Satan’s control and like Satan in their thinking. They wanted to be great and exalt themselves.

•    Let’s think about what these people knew.

o    They knew the truth about God because it was told from one generation to the next.
o    They knew that God was their creator. Every day and every night, they could see His mighty power revealed through all the things that He had created.
o    They knew that God had judged the world with a terrible flood, so they knew that God punished sin.
o    They also knew that God had given the rainbow as a sign that He would never again destroy the whole earth by a flood so they knew that God was faithful to keep His promise.

•    They turned away from the truth about God.

They did not have any excuse for not believing God. But they would not give God the place of honor which He deserves, and they would not thank Him for all He gave to them every day – life, health, sunshine, rain and food.

They deliberately turned away from what they knew to be the truth about God, and their minds became more and more evil and foolish. They made images of people, animals, birds and reptiles, and they worshiped these images.

Satan was leading these people to rebel against God and His will. Satan wants all people to turn away from God. Satan wants everyone to worship a false god like the sun, the moon, the stars, birds or animals. He doesn’t want anyone to worship the only true and living God.

These people were the ancestors of all people who live today. Your ancestors and my ancestors were among these people who rebelled against God and worshiped images.

•    Nimrod was a powerful leader of the people.

The descendants of Shem, Ham and Japheth looked to men to lead them instead of God. One of the mighty leaders at this time was named Nimrod. He organized the building of many great cities. One of the cities he built was named Babel.


2.    The people deliberately disobeyed God’s command.


Read Genesis 1:28.

28 Then God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground.”

 神就赐福给他们,又对他们说:“要生养众多,遍满地面,治理这地,也要管理海里的鱼、空中的鸟和地上各样行动的活物。”

God had told Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply and to fill the earth. After the flood, God gave this same command to Noah.

Read Genesis 9:1.
Then God blessed Noah and his sons and told them, “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth.

神赐福给挪亚和他的儿子,对他们说:“你们要生养众多,遍满了地。

The descendants of Shem, Ham and Japheth deliberately disobeyed the command given to Noah by God, their creator. They did not want to be separated by living in different parts of the world as God commanded. Instead, they gathered in one place, began to build a city and to erect a great, tall tower. They did not want to follow God’s plans for them or the world. They wanted to exalt themselves.

3.    God saw the people as they built the city and the tower.


Do you think God saw them? Did He know their thoughts and what they planned? Did He care about what they did?

Read Genesis 11:5.

But the LORD came down to look at the city and the tower the people were building.

耶和华降临,要看看世人所建造的城和塔。

Yes, the Lord was interested in them even though they had deliberately dismissed Him from their minds.

•    God is interested in every person.

God sees all people everywhere. He is interested in you, and He knows all about you. You cannot keep any secret from Him. God is your creator, and He owns you, even though you are separated from Him because of your sin. He has seen you, and He knows everything you have ever thought, said and done.

4.    God scattered the people.

•    No one can fight against God and be the winner.

When Satan was in Heaven, he tried to take God’s place, but God would not allow him to do that. He removed Satan from his position of leadership over the other angels and would not allow him to continue to live in Heaven. Satan fought against God, but he lost. The spirits who followed Satan in his rebellion also lost in their fight against God.

We have already learned about people who tried to fight against God.

o    Adam and Eve chose to disobey God when they ate the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
o    Cain refused to obey God and come to God as He had said.
o    The people who lived in Noah’s time refused to repent.
o    All of these lost in their fight against God.
What do you think happened this time? Did the people who disobeyed God and built the city and the tower win? No! God is greater than all.

•    God took control of the situation.

God knew that if all these sinful people remained in one place, they would become more and more evil and only become increasingly rebellious against God and His will.

Read Genesis 11:6-9.

6 “Look!” he said. “The people are united, and they all speak the same language. After this, nothing they set out to do will be impossible for them! 7 Come, let’s go down and confuse the people with different languages. Then they won’t be able to understand each other.”
8 In that way, the LORD scattered them all over the world, and they stopped building the city. 9 That is why the city was called Babel, because that is where the LORD confused the people with different languages. In this way he scattered them all over the world.
6 耶和华说:“看哪,他们成为一样的人民,都是一样的言语,如今既做起这事来,以后他们所要做的事就没有不成就的了。 7 我们下去,在那里变乱他们的口音,使他们的言语彼此不通。” 8 于是,耶和华使他们从那里分散在全地上,他们就停工不造那城了。 9 因为耶和华在那里变乱天下人的言语,使众人分散在全地上,所以那城名叫巴别。

•    The Lord caused the different families to speak different languages.

Because they could no longer understand one another, they stopped building the city, and they separated into their various families and moved away to different parts of the country. Over many years, they moved to other continents around the world, even traveling across the oceans.

This is how the different nations and races began. Many people have stories about how languages and nations began, but the Bible tells the true story of how languages and people groups came into existence.

•    This is the beginning of the history of all people.

Our ancestors were at the tower of Babel. Your ancestors were also at the tower of Babel. They turned away from the truth of God which they knew, and they followed the ideas which Satan and his spirits put in their minds. Only a few people continued to worship the true and living God.



Questions

1.    Did the descendants of Shem, Ham and Japheth know the truth about God?How did these people know the truth about God?
2.    What did the world, the sun, the moon and the stars show these people about God?
3.    What fact about God did a rainbow in the clouds remind these people of?
4.    Did the majority of these people worship God?
5.    Instead of worshiping God, what did these people worship?
6.    Who were these people following?
7.    Who were the descendants of Shem, Ham and Japheth the ancestors of?
8.    What command had God given to Adam that He also gave to Noah?
9.    Instead of obeying God’s command to Adam and Noah, what did these people do?
10.    Why did they begin to build the city and the tower of Babel?
11.    Did God know what the people were planning to do?
12.    Can anyone keep secrets from God?
13.    What did the Lord do to stop the people who were building the city and the tower?
14.    What happened when the different families started speaking different languages?
15.    Where do we learn the true story of how the different languages and people groups began?
16.    Were your ancestors among those who rebelled against God at the tower of Babel?