Genesis 11 – January 11
Welcome to our online study in Genesis. Read today’s scripture, journal on it using SOAP, then please share as we encourage one another in this one thing. Below is the NIV version of today’s reading, then below that is a SOAP from one of our study leaders. The Comments section on our website is an open forum for sharing, requesting prayer, and asking questions.
The Tower of Babel
11 Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. 2 As people moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar 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—because there the Lord confused the language of the whole world. From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth.
From Shem to Abram
10 This is the account of Shem’s family line.
Two years after the flood, when Shem was 100 years old, he became the father of Arphaxad. 11 And after he became the father of Arphaxad, Shem lived 500 years and had other sons and daughters.
12 When Arphaxad had lived 35 years, he became the father of Shelah. 13 And after he became the father of Shelah, Arphaxad lived 403 years and had other sons and daughters.
14 When Shelah had lived 30 years, he became the father of Eber. 15 And after he became the father of Eber, Shelah lived 403 years and had other sons and daughters.
16 When Eber had lived 34 years, he became the father of Peleg. 17 And after he became the father of Peleg, Eber lived 430 years and had other sons and daughters.
18 When Peleg had lived 30 years, he became the father of Reu. 19 And after he became the father of Reu, Peleg lived 209 years and had other sons and daughters.
20 When Reu had lived 32 years, he became the father of Serug. 21 And after he became the father of Serug, Reu lived 207 years and had other sons and daughters.
22 When Serug had lived 30 years, he became the father of Nahor. 23 And after he became the father of Nahor, Serug lived 200 years and had other sons and daughters.
24 When Nahor had lived 29 years, he became the father of Terah. 25 And after he became the father of Terah, Nahor lived 119 years and had other sons and daughters.
26 After Terah had lived 70 years, he became the father of Abram, Nahor and Haran.
27 This is the account of Terah’s family line.
Terah became the father of Abram, Nahor and Haran. And Haran became the father of Lot. 28 While his father Terah was still alive, Haran died in Ur of the Chaldeans, in the land of his birth. 29 Abram and Nahor both married. The name of Abram’s wife was Sarai, and the name of Nahor’s wife was Milkah; she was the daughter of Haran, the father of both Milkah and Iskah. 30 Now Sarai was childless because she was not able to conceive.
31 Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, the wife of his son Abram, and together they set out from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to Canaan. But when they came to Harran, they settled there.
32 Terah lived 205 years, and he died in Harran.
My Place | Becky Newman
When Noah and his family got off the ark, God was very clear in commanding them what to do next, from verse 9:1: “‘Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth.'” Chapter 10 describes Noah’s descendants as they are obedient in pursuing this mission. And then came the rebellious group of descendants in Chapter 11, inviting in pride that was crouching at the door, stopping the mission, and directly disobeying God so they could “make a name for ourselves.” (verse 11:4) That “otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth” is what God desired from them, but with their own knowledge, stemming from mankind’s first bite of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, they decided they knew better and sought to build a tower to God so they could be more equal with Him. Just being made in His image was no longer enough. It’s not clear exactly when the Tower of Babel was built, but it was likely no more than three to five generations after the Flood since this is when different languages were mentioned in the genealogy presented in Chapter 10.
My friend Farmer Jon has studied these chapters in Genesis for years and has based his ministry on it–restoring people and place. Check out his commentary and application on Genesis 1-3 which was recently published in Stewardculture Magazine: http://www.keipos.org/blog. God made a place for mankind in His creation. Unlike the rest of His creation, we were made in His image, to care for His creation, but our place is under God. Every time we choose to go our own way, not the way He has chosen for us, we are disobeying our place in the order of creation. In the case of the Tower, God punished their disobedience by confusing their language, but He did not cut them off from calling on His Name.
What towers am I trying to build, trying to make a name for myself rather than glorifying Yours? I don’t have to build a tower to get to You; I just have to call on Your Name.
There are several specifics where I see that I’ve let pride in. Right here, right now, I give those specific towers to You. Thank You for gently putting me in my place, and please continue to do so when I let pride rule rather than You.
The Discover One Thing main website continues to follow the Life Journal Reading Plan which covers the whole Bible in one year. Click HERE to check out today’s Discover One Thing post.