Now the whole earth had one language and the same words. And as people migrated from the east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. And they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks, and burn them thoroughly.” And they had brick for stone, and bitumen for mortar. 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.” And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of man had built. 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. Come, let us go down and there confuse their language, so that they may not understand one another’s speech.” So the Lord dispersed them from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city. Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of all the earth. And from there the Lord dispersed them over the face of all the earth. (Genesis 11:1-9 ESV)
The people building the tower of Babel wanted to make a name for themselves. They see themselves as self-sufficient with no need for God. They’re essentially “dethroning” God & declaring themselves to be rulers of their own life. Humanity often has the ambition to dethrone God from His rightful place as ruler.
Discussion: What’s the cause of humanity’s desire to “dethrone” God & be self-reliant?
Talking points: pride, greed, entitlement, ungodly desire, rebellion toward God & His commands, and confidence in our own ability rather than God’s.
Discussion: In our culture where do we see the idea of dethroning God & self-reliance taking place the most? Where do you find this most in your own life?
Discussion: What was God’s purpose in causing them to disperse over all the earth?
Talking points: His original command was to be fruitful & multiply (Gen. 9:1 & 9:7) & they were rebelling against it. He was showing humanity His rightful place as sovereign ruler of the world.
The people of Babel literally placed blocks in their way when it came to obeying God. Often we have things in our life that hinders our obedience to God.
Application question: what stumbling block(s) in your life could you remove that would allow you to better obey the God of the universe?