A Tower Reaching to Heaven (Daily Portion 10319)
The flood of Noah’s day had destroyed all mankind except for Noah’s immediate family. Now the descendants of Noah begin to multiply on the earth again. However, instead of filling up the earth as they had been told to do, they sought to build one great city with a tower reaching up to heaven. As this lesson shows, God does not allow this to happen.
What Does It Say?
- The descendants of Noah journeyed from the east and found a plain in the land of __________.
- They decided to build and found that they had _________ for stone and _________ for mortar.
- The name of the place was called _________ because the Lord did there confound the language of the people.
- Terah lived ___________ years and begat Abram, __________, and _____________.
- But Sarai was _________; she had no child.
What Does It Mean?
- In the first part of this chapter, the people of the earth were of one language (v.1) and determined to build (v.4) a city (a unit of government) and a tower to reach unto heaven (a symbol of religion). The Lord observed that “now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do” (v.6). Bible students have seen many similarities between the city of Babel as described in this chapter and the state of the world in these last days. What similarities do you see? Try to think of at least three or four.
- Proverbs 15:3 states, “The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.” Yet, in this passage, the Lord “came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded” (v.5). If God is everywhere (Psalm 139:7-10) and His eyes are in every place, how can He come down to see something on earth? Compare this also with Genesis 18:20-21.
- In the genealogy of this chapter, Eber is the last man to live over 400 years (v.16-17). Though we know nothing personal about Eber, we know that he was a significant man. Shem is called “the father of all the children of Eber” (Genesis 10:21). Eber’s son, Peleg, was born in the days that the earth was divided (Genesis 10:25). Eber is thought to be the source of the word Hebrew. Not only are the letters similar, but Abram is called “the Hebrew” (Genesis 14:13) long before there was a Jewish people. This brings us back to Eber. Study the genealogy and the dates given. How many generations (like son, grandson, etc.) might Eber have lived to see? Was he alive when Terah the father of Abraham died?
What Does It Mean to Me?
- The people built a city and a tower in order to make them a name. This desire to make a name is common among all peoples and often effects individuals. The psalmist spoke of those who “call their lands after their own names” and hope that their houses will continue forever (Psalm 49:11). What are some of the ways in which people (individually or as a group) try to make a name for themselves? What is their motivation for this? What is the right way to deal with this desire?
- The Lord observed that because of their unity in language and purpose, “now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do” (v.6). That means that God will restrain things on the earth if they go too far. In what areas is man going way too far today? In what areas does it seem that man can do anything he imagines to do? How might God restrain man if things go much further?