Chapter 10 starts with a list of descendants of Noah which serve to show how this reboot of humanity expanded out to fill the surrounding regions. Practically speaking, it served a role in explaining the world that the people of Israel would come to live in. Chapter 11 gives us a very interesting “backstory.” Since, the descendants of Noah are listed as having their own languages, it seems clear that the story of Babel does not follow the development of these nations, but in must have happened at some point during the genealogies of chapter 10. The role of the Tower of Babel account is very important in the larger story of redemptive history. It shows us that humanity is still defined by its central ambition to exalt themselves rather than submit to God’s rule. The tower that they build will reach to heaven – a clear sign of self-promotion. At the same time, they seek to build a great city to avoid having to spread out – the very thing that Adam & Eve were charged to do in the garden. But the tower project is not successful. God confuses their language and they are scattered. As we prepare to move into a clearly new section of the book in the next chapter, we are left with several questions: How will anything good come from this mess of humanity? If humans are divided by family ties and linguistic skills how will they ever learn to get along? How will redemption enter into this dismal scene? Enter Abraham.
Reflect: What are ways that you see humans separated by their language and cultural differences?
Connect: In Romans 3, Paul shows that all humanity – including people from every family on the earth – is redeemed the same way, by faith in Christ.
Romans 3:22-24 For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus…
This blog is part of the ministry of City Reformed Presbyterian Church. Unless otherwise noted, the entries are written by Matt Koerber. This is part of a project that our church is doing as we read through the narrative sections of Scripture between early January and Easter 2020. New entries will be scheduled to drop automatically at 5:00 am on the scheduled day.