Monday, March 17, 2014

Lesson - Tower of Babel

VERSES:   Gen. 11:1-9

MEMORY VERSE:   Genesis 11:1  

BOOK TO REMEMBER:   "Deuteronomy"  Write this word on a slip of paper to give to each child at the end of class.

PRAYER:   Remember to thank God for our reasonable minds, that we are able to understand, learn from God's Word and remember what we learn, and that we can love all people, no matter what language they speak. God is good to us and gives so many things that we take for granted! Pray that everything we do might be the way God wants it, not what we want, but what He wants. 

SPECIAL SONGS:   The Books of the Old Testament, The B-I-B-L-E

VISUAL AID:   Make a large tower (see below under 'Activity.")

  • Have you ever heard someone speak another language like Spanish, German, Chinese, or French?  When I say, "Wo bist du?" do you know what I am saying?  I am saying, "Where are you?" in German!  Or if I say, "Tengo hambre!" did you know that I said, "I am hungry!" in Spanish? English, Spanish and German are different languages.  
  • There are many languages in countries all over the world, but there was a time when everyone spoke the same language.  Let's turn in our Bibles to Genesis 11:1.  Let's place our bookmark right here and read what it says.  "And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech."  EVERYONE spoke the same language!  Everyone could understand what everyone else was saying.  That's not how it is today, is it?
  • As time went by, the people traveled east and settled on the plain called Shinar.  A plain is a large area of land that is flat and has just a few trees. The people talked to each other and said, "Let's make some bricks, and burn them so they are strong, and we can build a city and very, very, tall tower.  The tower can reach very, very high in the sky.  It can be SO tall that we can always see it and we won't be scattered far away from each other and we can always be together."  (Gen. 11:3, 4)
  • But, you know what?  They forgot something!  They forgot to ask God if that was what He wanted!  They did not even think about God!  They just started building because it was something THEY wanted to do.  Whenever we are going to plan something, we should always ask God if it is something that He wants.  Sometimes men pray, "Thy will be done."  That is what they are talking about when they say that in their prayer.  Let us do what God wants us to do.
  • God came to see what they people were doing and saw the city and the tower and He understood that the people had a plan to stay together, but that is NOT what God wanted. (Gen. 11:5) He wanted them to scatter and fill up the earth.  Do you know what He did next?  He confused their language, so they could not understand each other!  (Gen. 11:7) If someone asked for a hammer, but it was in a different language, only those people who spoke that language could understand them. They stopped building the city and the tower. (Gen. 11:8) So the people scattered when they realized they could understand each other. Eventually, those people who spoke one language stayed together and others who spoke another language traveled away from them and spoke to one another. The people were scattered and went to different areas of the earth the way God wanted them to do! God knows best!
  • This tower had a name.  It's name was "Babel."  Babel means jumble or confuse because God confused the people's language.  Can you say the word, "Babel?"  Yes, you can!
"Older Student" Tips:
  • Different countries speak different languages today.  Can you name a few?  Does anyone in class speak a different language?
  • How confusing would it be to work with many people all speaking different languages! How much work would actually get done?
  • Mt. 6:10;  Mt. 26:42;  Acts 21:14  all talk about something in common.  Let's read the verses and see if we can use our reasonable minds to understand what holds these three verses together.  How are they alike?
ACTIVITY:    Building a Paper Tower  (Easy activity)
Materials needed:  A solid color paper for the 'plain,' (poster board or cardboard works well), brown construction paper, cotton balls, tape or glue (tape works best), scissors, crayons.
  • On the edge of the 'plain' (see above picture), have students write, "The Tower of Babel" and Genesis 11:1-9.
  • Instruct each child to loosely roll their piece of construction paper and tape it on one side, so it won't come apart.  
  • With scissors, cut small 1" slits in the bottom of the brown paper.
  • Fold these tabs out.
  • Tape tabs to the bottom of the base.
  • Glue cotton balls to top of the 'tower' as 'clouds.'
  • If you have extra time, students may color small windows around the tower and people on the base.