Last night at Cornerstone Youth we spent time in Genesis 11 reading the story of Babel. As student, I always remembered the Tower of Babel as the story of man trying to reach heaven by building a tower there. However, when we truly delve into this story, we quickly realize that this story is far more about God’s love for his creation then it seems. In verse 4 of chapter 11 we read “Then they said, ‘Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.'” The problem with the people building a tower was that they were both disobeying God’s order to ‘fill the earth’ and they were doing it to make a name for themselves, not God.
In verse 6 we see the Lord’s reaction to the tower. “6 And the Lord said, ‘Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language, and this is only the beginning of what they will do. And nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them.'” Was the Lord afraid of humans? Of course not! Our Father realized that if man continued to succeed at all they do, they would continue believing that they didn’t need the Lord. We know this isn’t true. God was nipping our human arrogance in the bud. God blessed them by confusing their language because He made sure they relied on Him, not each other. The same is true for us today. Don’t always view things in your life as punishment because maybe God just wants you to remember who you rely on!
Finally, we ask the question of how this points us to Jesus. Simply put, belief in Jesus puts our arrogance to death. Belief in Jesus means I understand that the only reason I get to experience heaven is because Jesus died the death I deserved. In other words, Jesus not only built the tower to heaven, he climbed it with us on his back! We did nothing, and He did everything. Remembering this keeps us from believing in ourselves more than Jesus!
Talking Points for your students:
- Why was God angry with the people building the tower?
- Was God confusing their language a punishment or a blessing? Why?
- What is arrogance?
- If the sin in this story is arrogance, how does Jesus overcome this sin in us?
The story of Babel is a short one, but has many different levels. Read through this story together and discuss why you think God wants us to hear this story! If your student has questions that you aren’t comfortable answering, send them our way.