March 22, 2017

Please use the comment section on this page to share insights from today’s reading OR your own personal Bible reading.

Reading along with us in Genesis? Here’s today’s reading:

Genesis 11 (ESV)

Now the whole earth had one language and the same words. 2 And as people migrated from the east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. 3 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. 4 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.” 5 And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of man had built. 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. 7 Come, let us go down and there confuse their language, so that they may not understand one another’s speech… Continue Reading

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This Post Has 5 Comments
  1. At first, I thought…didn’t I just read that the people spread in their lands, each in their own language….in chapter 10? Why then in chapter 11 did I read ‘the whole earth had one language’?

    I looked at a commentary from ‘desiring God’ and found it really interesting how the actions of the people after the flood we in opposition to God’s command to ‘be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth’. The people decided instead to stay put and build a city…to instead opt for a feeling of safety, rather than obedience. Gulp…made me think of how many times I have found myself making those same decisions. Ultimately I come to realize that my safety and comfort is only found in Him, even if it means feeling exposed, alone and scared.

    (From desiringgod.org)
    Genesis 11:1–4:

    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.”

    The key statements are in verse 4: 1) They aim to build a city. 2) They aim to build a tower in the city that reaches to the heavens. 3) They aim to make a name for themselves. 4) They aim not to be dispersed over the whole earth. The first two of these correspond to the second two. Building a city is the way one avoids being dispersed over the whole earth. And building a tower into the heavens is the way one makes a name for oneself. So the city and tower are the outward expressions of the inward sins. The two sins are the love of praise (so you crave to make a name for yourself) and the love of security (so you build a city and don’t take the risks of filling the earth).

  2. Genesis 11 begins by looking back to the time after The Flood when everyone lived in the same area (Shinar) and spoke the same language (Genesis 11:1-2).

    Back in Genesis 8:20, right after The Flood, “Noah built an altar to the Lord and took some of every clean animal and some of every clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar.” Fast forward to Genesis 11:4 and the people are building but it’s not an altar to the Lord. Rather, they are building “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.”

    R.C. Sproul writes, “instead of using the ease of communication to govern the earth cooperatively for God’s glory, man rebelled and tried to exalt himself with a tall tower. As John Calvin writes, humanity gathered not to worship but ‘to excite war against God.’ Our Father then came down from heaven to see their progress (Genesis 11:5). Of course, the Lord knew how tall the tower was from heaven, but this figurative account of His descent shows how feeble man’s attempt really was. The tower that was supposed to reach into God’s abode was so tiny that He had to leave His home to evaluate it!”

    The Tower of Babel (http://www.ligonier.org/learn/devotionals/tower-babel/), Copyright R.C. Sproul, Ligonier Ministries (http://www.ligonier.org).

    What was God’s response? Genesis 11:7-9 says, “Come, let us go down and there confuse their language, so that they may not understand one another’s speech.” 8 So the Lord dispersed them from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city. 9 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.”

    Dictionary.com shows the definition of babel (lowercase) meaning: a confused mixture of sounds or voices and a scene of noise and confusion.

    Oh, Father, keep me from building a name for myself so my life only points to you.

  3. Wondering if the languages of the clans in Gen.10::31 was more of a dialect or regional speech patterns? in Gen.11 the languagess have been confused by God in response to a rebellious nature rising up again. Enjoying the big picture then zoom in on the lineage.

  4. I read John 8 this morning and posted there. Do I love my fellow man with the love our Savior displayed as He courageously said the things He said? “If sinners be damned, at least let them leap to Hell over our dead bodies. And if they perish, let them perish with our arms wrapped about their knees, imploring them to stay. If Hell must be filled, let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go unwarned and unprayed for.” Charles Spurgeon

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