The Tower of Babel

Scripture Passage: 
Genesis 11:1-9

INTRODUCTION:  The tower of Babel is the sight of man’s first and (to date) only one world government.  Man has dreamed of renewing a universal government since that time.  All the empires of the past have been attempts to establish it.  He believes that if man would just stop fighting himself and unite, he could accomplish anything and would no longer need God.  God has therefore allowed divisions in language, geography, culture, etc., to keep man from uniting as one.  Bible prophecy tells of a time when man will have his one world government and will use it to fight God and God’s people, the Jews.  This is the time of the tribulation.

  1. THE FATHERS OF THE NATIONS (Genesis 5:32; Genesis 9:18-19)
    1. Ham, the Younger (Genesis 9:24)
    2. Japheth, the Elder (Genesis 10:21)
    3. Birth Order: Japheth, Shem, Ham
  2. THE DIVISION OF THE NATIONS (Genesis 10:1-32)
    1. Divided by Continents
      1. Japheth (Genesis 10:2-5) goes to Europe.
      2. Ham (Genesis 10:6-20) goes to Africa.
      3. Shem (Genesis 10:21-31) goes to Asia.
      4. NOTE: This is a generalization and not an exact rule.
    2. Divided around Israel (Deuteronomy 32:8)
    3. Appointed to Seek the Lord (Acts 17:26-27)
  3. THE UNITY OF THE PEOPLE AFTER THE FLOOD (Genesis 11:1-6)
    1. A Universal Language (Genesis 11:1)
      1. A requirement for one world government
      2. Many have thought that this language and the heavenly language was Hebrew.
        1. It was the language Jesus spoke to Paul from heaven (Acts 26:14).
        2. It seems to be the language of the saints in heaven (Revelation 19:1-6) –Alleluia is a Hebrew word.
        3. If it was the language of Adam, it could have been preserved through Noah through the line that comes down to Abraham.
      3. The kingdom will be a time when people speak a pure universal language (Zephaniah 3:9).
    2. A Universal Government (Genesis 11:2-4)
      1. A city (Genesis 11:4-5) is the stage at which government rises above extended family government.  It is the basis for all larger government.  Cain left the presence of the Lord and his parents and built a city (Genesis 4:16-17).  From the city came the beginnings of civilization (Genesis 4:20-22).
      2. This plan to stay in one place was directly against the command of the Lord to Noah (Genesis 9:1).  They were to replenish the earth.
      3. The land of Shinar (Genesis 11:2) is the location of the city, nation and empire of Babylon.  Babel (Genesis 11:9) becomes Babylon.  Throughout scripture, Babylon is a picture of the one world government.
        1. The first Babel (the one in our story) was built by Nimrod as the beginning of his kingdom (Genesis 10:8-10).
        2. Prophetically, Babylon points to the future one world kingdom and its wickedness.  Notice how “wickedness” goes to build a house in the land of Shinar in the prophecy of Zechariah 5:5-11. (See also its prominence in Revelation 14:8; Revelation 16:19; Revelation 17:5; Revelation 18:2, 10, 21.)
      4. They built their city by substitution. They used brick in the place of stone and slime in the place of mortar (Genesis 11:3).  This world builds its civilization using many substitutes.  They have substitutes for God, for the Bible, for righteousness and for many additional things.
      5. This universal government was anti-God.  It was a promotion of self-willed men.  Notice the language of these men.
        1. Let us make brick (Genesis 11:3).
        2. Let us build us a city and a tower (Genesis 11:4).
        3. Let us make us a name (Genesis 11:4).
        4. Lest we be scattered (Genesis 11:4)
        5. In these two verses we find the word us five times and the word we one time.
    3. A Universal Religion (Genesis 11:4)
      1. They built “a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven” (Genesis 11:4).
      2. This is a religion that is based on works.  They were building the tower.  They were doing the work.  All religions are based on good works.  This will be one of the uniting factors in the one world religion.  Read what Paul says about the religion of the Jews in Romans 10:2-4.
      3. This is a religion that is based on human initiative.  They were reaching up to heaven.  They were not responding to God’s word to them.  If they had been, they would have scattered across the face of the globe without God confounding their language (see Genesis 9:1).  Man wants a religion that originated as his idea.  See Naaman’s “Behold, I thought” (2 Kings 5:11) and man’s desire to bring God down to his own level (Romans 1:23).
    4. A Universal Goal (Genesis 11:4-6)
      1. Man’s universal goal is to make “a name” for himself (Genesis 11:4).
        1. This desire of man is revealed in scripture (Psalm 49:11)
        2. This desire is so great that men have often been willing to join together in a cause (Psalm 2:2; Proverbs 11:21; Isaiah 28:15).  These causes have ranged from building pyramids to sending men to the moon.
      2. Man’s fear is that he will be scattered across the face of the earth (Genesis 11:4) and be separated from the power of numbers.
      3. Man united has a power to accomplish things that are even recognized by God.  God knows that “nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do” (Genesis 11:6).  The trouble is that man does not have the morality to do the right thing (Psalm 10:3-11; Romans 3:10-18).  The greater his power, the greater his acts of wickedness.
  4. THE SCATTERING OF THE PEOPLE BY THE LORD (Genesis 11:7-9)
    1. God Confounds the Language of the People (Genesis 11:7).
      1. Notice the words of the Lord in response to the men.
        1. The first words of the men – “Go to, let us make brick” (Genesis 11:3).
        2. The first words of the Lord – “Go to, let us go down” (Genesis 11:7).
      2. The Lord addresses their sins in the opposite order of their occurrence.
        1. The sins of the men
          1. They found a plain and dwelt there (Genesis 11:2).
          2. They said one to another (Genesis 11:3).
        2. The judgment of the Lord
          1. Let us go down, and confound their language (Genesis 11:7).
          2. So the Lord scattered them (Genesis 11:8).
    2. God Scatters the People Abroad (Genesis 11:8).
      1. The Lord had to bring judgment to get the people to separate as He originally commanded.
      2. The early church was supposed to separate and would not until the Lord allowed persecution to arise (Acts 1:8; Acts 8:1).
    3. The Place Takes the Name of Babel (Genesis 11:9).

CONCLUSION:  Although we should participate in government, we should not look to human government as the source of all our needs.  We must always remember to look to God and His provision.  He is our guide and helper.

David Reagan and Andrew Ray

Daily Proverb

Proverbs 29:1

He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.