Foundations #9: The Tower of Babel

Foundations  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  1:05:59
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An exploration of Genesis 11 and the impact of the judgment at the Tower of Babel on the world's languages, people groups, and nations and a family line preserved for God's promise of Messiah.


I. Introduction

A. Foundations #1: The God of Creation

B. Foundations #2: The God Who Made Us

C. Foundations #3: The Corruption of God’s Creation

D. Foundations #4: The Fallen First Family

E. Foundations #5: The Line of the Promise

F. Foundations #6: The Flood of Noah (Part 1)

G. Foundations #6: The Flood of Noah (Part 2)

H. Foundations #7: Universal Covenant

I. Foundations #8: The Table of Nations

II. The tower and the city of man (Gen 11:1-4)

A. Everyone spoke the same language (Gen 11:1)

B. People migrated from the east and settled in the plain of Shinar (Gen 11:2)

C. The masses decided to build together:

They used burnt brick for stone and bitumen for mortar.
They decided to build a city.
They decided to build a tower that reaches into the heavens.
They wanted to make a name for themselves.
They did not want to be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.

III. The LORD’s response to the building of the children of man (Gen 11:5-9)

A. The LORD came down to see the city and tower (Gen. 11:5)

B. The LORD judges their actions (Gen 11:6)

C. The LORD determines to confuse their language and cause man to disperse (Gen. 11:7-9)

IV. Foundational Importance

A. The origin of languages continues to baffle anti-biblical and naturalistic scientists but Gen 11 reveals God’s decisive actions.

1. “Speech is a non-material phenomenon; that is why all evolutionary hypotheses for its origin fail.”
2. The confusion of languages shows God’s skill, knowledge, and power!

B. This passage shows us the origin of Babylon.

Babylon is mentioned about 262 times in the Old Testament translated as Babylon or Babylonia. Babylon is mentioned in 4 chapters of Revelation as well.
Babel was the beginning of the kingdom of Nimrod (Gen 10:10)
Israel eventually went into captivity for 70 years under in Babylon
Babel, same word for Babylon in the rest of the Old Testament, is generally spoken against and represents the culmination of sinful mankind in the end times.

C. God repurposed the sin of the people for long lasting good and for His magnificent glory

1. Language and national divisions hinder rebellious, anti-God humanity from unifying in that rebellion and creating a state that would wipe out His people. There is restraining goodness in our diversity. (Revelation 18:1–5; Revelation 20:7–10)
2. This event leads to the founding of the nation of Israel. (Isaiah 43:1, 7)
3. God will use the languages and national divisions of humanity for His glory as the gospel is carried to them and He gathers from among the nations all those who become His children.
God is bringing in the Gentiles (Rom 11:25-26)
God will be glorified by the nations (Revelation 5:9–10; Revelation 7:9–10)
God’s goals include the creation of His own new city in which the nations will walk. (Rev 21:9–10; 22-26)

D. God’s tool for bringing in the nations is the gospel of Jesus Christ. (Matt 28:18-20)

Palyus in Guangxi Province, China

How would you like to be an elder and not be able to communicate with your grandchildren? This is the fate of many Palyu people of western Guangxi, China. Bolyu, once their primary language, is rapidly disappearing. Bolyu is now spoken by only a small minority of the Palyu. Most now speak Mandarin in their families and with outsiders. Within a few years, Bolyu may become an extinct language. The Palyu live in mountain villages. As late as the year 2000, foreigners were not allowed to visit the area where they live. The main occupation of the Palyu is agriculture and animal husbandry. They practice folk religion, which includes animism and veneration of their ancestors. They live in fear of evil spirits that they believe can bring disaster if they are not appeased by sacrifices and rituals. A tiny group of the Palyu have become believers. Many Christian resources are available in Mandarin Chinese including the complete Bible and the JESUS Film.
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