Sunday, March 28, 2021

God’s Timeline – Part 19 Tower of Babel

 

God’s Timeline – Part 19

Tower of Babel

Pastor Bruce A. Shields

House of Faith Church | www.PS127.org | www.TruthDigest.org

Online Audio Files | HOF Church Facebook | Truth Digest Facebook

 

This Document is a Sermon Outline, you may hear the full audio of the actual sermon by following the link Online Audio Files located above for this, and other Full Sermon Audios.  For a complete list of Sermon Outlines, visit TruthDigest.org or Truth Digest on facebook; for our Official Church website, visit PS127.org, or find us on Facebook at House of Faith Church

 

SERMON INTRODUCTION

 


-         Creation Week

o   Adam, Eve, and the Fall

-         Cain and Abel

o   Evil Fills the World

-         Noah Did All God Commanded Him

o   The Flood

o   God’s Covenant with Noah

-         Noah’s Sons and Ham’s Sin

-         Nations of Noah’s Sons

-         TODAY: Tower of Babel

 

Last week we read about all of the nations after the flood coming from Noah’s sons, Japheth, Ham and Shem.

 

Names of their children and grandchildren were given, along with information about where they lived or moved to as well as the fact that they all spoke their own language.

 

Genesis 10 talks about the nations of the world after the flood, and details where they came from. After this fact, we will now be told the “why” these nations are where they are, as well as why they all speak different languages.

 

The Tower of Babel is where we get terms like babble from, meaning to speak incoherently. This term has also been used in science fiction, such as in Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, in which a “Babble-Fish” is used to interpret other languages throughout the galaxy.

 

So, let us look at Genesis 11 and understand what the tower was and why it was wrong to build, as well as what the punishment was for doing so.



SCRIPTURE READING

Genesis 11:1-9

“Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. 2 As people moved eastward, [from the east or in the east] they found a plain in Shinar [Babylonia] and settled there.

 

3 They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. 4 Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.”

 

5 But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower the people were building. 6 The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. 7 Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.”

 

8 So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. 9 That is why it was called Babel [Babylon – which sounds like the Hebrew word for confused]—because there the Lord confused the language of the whole world. From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth.”

 

 

 

       I.         THE WHOLE WORLD HAD ONE LANGUAGE

a.      The whole world had one language and common speech in the beginning

                                     i.      This makes sense considering these were the children and grandchildren and so-on from Noah and his wife.

 

                                  ii.      One language, AND common speech

1.      These are two different things

2.      English may be your language, but where you are from dictates speech

a.      American (with many variances), European, Canadian, etc.

 

                               iii.      However, here we are told they spoke the same language and common speech

                                iv.      There was NO confusion in conversations

 

 

b.     The people moved to Shinar and found a plain to settle

                                     i.      Eventually they migrated to Shinar, finding a plain, which is a great place to build a city considering they have no heavy equipment to level the ground for construction

 

c.      Babylon is located in Shinar and Babylonia is its synonym

                                     i.      This location of Shinar is evident from its description as encompassing both Babel/Babylon (in northern Babylonia) and Uruk (in southern Babylonia).

 

                                  ii.      In Genesis 10:10, the beginning of Nimrod's kingdom is said to have been "Babel [Babylon], and Uruk, and Akkad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar."

 

                               iii.      Verse 11:2 states that Shinar enclosed the plain that became the site of the Tower of Babel after the Great Flood. After the Flood, the sons of Shem, Ham, and Japheth stayed first in the highlands of Armenia and then migrated to Shinar.

 

                                iv.      In Genesis 14:1,9, King Amraphel rules Shinar.

 

1.      Shinar is further mentioned in Joshua 7:21; Isaiah 11:11; Daniel 1:2; and Zechariah 5:11, as a general synonym for Babylonia.

 

 

   II.         THEN TECHNOLOGY APPEARED

a.      Technology appears

                                     i.      “Let’s make bricks and bake them.”

1.      Using bricks instead of rocks and tar for mortar was a huge leap in construction technology.

2.      Level brick could be built taller, baking them made them strong, tar between level surfaces of bricks were better at keeping out wind and rain.

3.      Technology does not have to be bad!

4.      But as it is with anything, it can be used for evil.

 

                                  ii.      Look at computers

1.      With computers I can share this sermon text around the world on our website

2.      I can share digital recordings of the sermons around the world many times over

3.      I can watch funny cat videos

4.      I can play games and even store unlimited amounts of data and pictures

5.      However, this very same technology can also be used for evil, including but not limited to pornography, child trafficking, embezzling, spreading false information, or many other actions which are ungodly.

 

                               iii.      These people did NOT get in trouble for discovering how to make bricks

                                iv.      They got in trouble for what they decided to do with the technology and what they said in their hearts

 

b.     Then pride and arrogance

                                     i.      “Let’s build ourselves a city with a tower that reaches the heavens”

1.      Heavens = shamayim

2.      Meaning sky & space as used in Genesis as well as God’s abode in Daniel and Ezra

 

3.      We can conclude because the plural was used, they wanted to go “all the way” to God’s Abode, the place beyond Space on the edge of creation which separates where we are and where God Himself is.

 

4.      Remember, the archaic man had no concept of the depth of space, the fact they wouldn’t be able to breathe, or the understanding that it is impossible to build a structure tall enough to leave earth.

 

5.      However, they were in trouble because of their pride and arrogance of believing they could.

a.      Synonyms for pride in the Bible are “insolence,” “presumptuousness,” “arrogance,” “conceit,” “high-mindedness,” “haughtiness,” and “egotism.”

 

b.     “He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil” – I Timothy 3:6

 

c.      “It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that even pagans do not tolerate: A man is sleeping with his father’s wife. 2 And you are proud! Shouldn’t you rather have gone into mourning and have put out of your fellowship the man who has been doing this?” – I Corinthians 5:1-2

 

d.     “Now about food sacrificed to idols: We know that “We all possess knowledge.” But knowledge puffs up while love builds up. 2 Those who think they know something do not yet know as they ought to know.” – I Corinthians 8:1-2

 

e.      “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.” – I Corinthians 13:4

 

 

f.       “Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you. Such a person also goes into great detail about what they have seen; they are puffed up with idle notions by their unspiritual mind.” – Colossians 2:18

 

g.     “All your pomp has been brought down to the grave, along with the noise of your harps; maggots are spread out beneath you and worms cover you.

 

How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations!

 

You said in your heart, "I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain.

 

I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.

 

But you are brought down to the grave, to the depths of the pit. – Isaiah 13:12-15

 

                                  ii.      “So we can make a name for ourselves”

1.      “making a name for ourselves” meaning they were prideful, and wanted to be known as the city that leads to heaven.

 

2.      God already gave the formula for entering into His kingdom and the people were taught that, until the Messiah came, sacrifices would be made for the covering of sin, until that sin could be removed by the perfect sacrifice.

 

3.      Jesus speaks about people who try to enter the kingdom in any other way.

a.      “Very truly I tell you Pharisees, anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. 2 The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep.” – John 10:1-2

 

                               iii.      Their sin was they had the pride to think they could ever reach heaven. Arrogance to think they could bypass what God commanded, sacrifice.

 

                                iv.      Just as Cain sinned by disobeying the command of sacrifice by offering something other than the choice firstborn lamb, so did these people by trying to get to heaven without being let in by the Shepherd Jesus.

 

 

 

c.      They wanted to be great among the whole world

                                     i.      “If we don’t build a tower that reaches the heavens and make a name for ourselves, we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.”

 

                                  ii.      Nebuchadnezzar sinned in his heart when he thought he made a name for himself as well.

 

                               iii.      “But when his heart became arrogant and hardened with pride, he was deposed from his royal throne and stripped of his glory.” – Daniel 5:20

 

                                iv.      He lost his mind because he stood on the balcony of his home overlooking the kingdom God had given him and thought what a great man HE was.

 

                                   v.      Making a name for ourselves using the things God has accomplished is pride and arrogance and will always get us in trouble with God.

 

 

III.         WHAT THEY WERE DOING WRONG

a.      The Lord paid a visit to the future city

                                     i.      The Lord (before He was Jesus) “came down” (from God’s abode) to see the city and the tower the people were building.

 

b.     Why was the Lord concerned?

                                     i.      Not because they could reach God’s Abode, or space, or even the top of the sky

                                  ii.      But because they were working together for a sin in their hearts

                               iii.      They were trying to bypass obedience to the Lord

                                iv.      They were trying to bypass sacrifice to the Lord

                                   v.      They were trying to write their own rules like Cain

 

c.      So, God had to thwart their efforts

                                  i.      “Let us” meaning the Trinity

                               ii.      “confuse their language so they won’t understand each other.”

 

 

CONCLUSION –

 

Because of this, the very thing they were trying to avoid became theirs. The Lord scattered them over all the earth, and they stopped building the city.

 

 

The lesson here is;

 

Obedience is the way to God’s Grace

Christ is the way to God’s Kingdom

 

There is no climbing the fence, no alternative way in

 

If you are disobedient, you are disqualified.

 

We must also guard our hearts against pride and arrogance.

 

In the example verses, we learn you can be prideful about what God has blessed you with, what God has allowed you to obtain in this world, what you have, what you can do, your abilities He endowed you with, with your understanding (or what you think you understand), we can become prideful with our faith, we need to be cautious.

 

“For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.” – Romans 12:3

 

“Pride goes before destruction,

    a haughty spirit before a fall.” – Proverbs 16:18

 

 

 

Next week we will read about The Call of Abram (Genesis 12)

 

 

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