Genesis Bible Study

Boxes and Babel

I feel as though I am an independent person.  When I was young I did a lot of things without asking advice from my parents or grandparents.  I just did it.  Some things were simple, like how to shave your legs properly.  Others dealt with more difficult problems with relationships and self-image.  Right or wrong, I wanted to be the one to figure it out and make the decision.  My way, after all, was probably the best way.

Sure, I ended up with more nicks on my legs and scars on my heart, but it is who I am.  I have since matured a little and use this independence more wisely.  It has been a humbling journey to know that I don’t know everything and that others have wisdom that I need.

psalm 139My greatest asset has become God and his Word.  There is power and freedom when I remember that he loves me so much and is in control of everything.  I can go to him in grace and know that he will guide me in the right direction.

When I realized that his wisdom and reach go beyond what I can imagine, impossible things seem possible.  Doubts drifted away.  Lies were silenced.  I flourished.  That is what this lesson is about today.

S – Scripture: Genesis 8-11

  • 8:16 – To Noah and his family, after 10.5 months on the ark, God says, “Leave the boat, all of you…”
  • 8:20 – “Then Noah built an alter to the Lord…and the Lord was pleased with the aroma of the sacrifice and said to him, “I will never again curse the ground because of the human race, even though everything they think or imagine is bent toward evil from childhood.”
  • 9:12-13 – “Then God said, “I am giving you a sign of my covenant with you and with all living creatures, for all generations to come. I have placed my rainbow in the clouds. It is the sign of my covenant with you and with all the earth.”
  • 9:19-28 – Noah’s family begins to populate the earth.  Noah gets drunk and naked one night and curses his grandson Canaan.
  • 10:5 – The tribes were divided by their own language, national identity, and clan.
  • 11:1-9 “At one time all the people of the world spoke the same language and used the same words. As the people migrated to the east, they found a plain in the land of Babylonia and settled there. They began saying to each other, “Let’s make bricks and harden them with fire.” (In this region bricks were used instead of stone, and tar was used for mortar.)  Then they said, “Come, let’s build a great city for ourselves with a tower that reaches into the sky. This will make us famous and keep us from being scattered all over the world.” But the LORD came down to look at the city and the tower the people were building. “Look!” he said. “The people are united, and they all speak the same language. After this, nothing they set out to do will be impossible for them!  Come, let’s go down and confuse the people with different languages. Then they won’t be able to understand each other.”  In that way, the LORD scattered them all over the world, and they stopped building the city. That is why the city was called Babel, because that is where the LORD confused the people with different languages. In this way he scattered them all over the world.”
A rainbow captured in Alpena, MI

O – Observation:

  • God is in control and command of the whole story. He wants us to remember that it is by his power and control all things work.  He gives us visual reminders, like rainbows, to show that he keeps his promises, always.
  • God knows our weaknesses and can prompt us to prevent them from getting out of control for our own good.
  • Satan gets to work early, starting in childhood.  He knows our weaknesses too.
  • We can easily get wrapped up in our own power and abilities and forget God.  We need some laws and rules.
  • We are made in God’s image, but are bent towards sin as well.  The battle for our hearts starts early.

A – Application

I can see how I get wrapped up in my own thoughts and ideas and dreams and forget to listen to God. It is interesting that I am more likely to spiral down to fear, shame, or pride when I am thinking on my own terms. I get anxious and overwhelmed at circumstances that seem impossible. Or I try to do something on my own and fail, only to realize that that wasn’t the direction God wanted me to go.  Then I have to struggle through the consequences of that. Ugh!

But when I stop and listen to God, I am empowered and encouraged.  I can take a step of faith, knowing that God is there with his strong and mighty hand.  I can humbly, but confidently walk through life with God at my side.

The devil knows my weaknesses.  He knows my triggers.  But God knows them too and keeps me close. He made me in his image. Nothing can separate me from that.  He will protect and cover me.  His promises are true.

“For the choir director: A psalm of David. O LORD, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. You know what I am going to say even before I say it, LORD. You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand! I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence! If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave, you are there. If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans, even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me. I could ask the darkness to hide me and the light around me to become night–  but even in darkness I cannot hide from you. To you the night shines as bright as day. Darkness and light are the same to you. You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous–how well I know it.  You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.  You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.  How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me! O God, if only you would destroy the wicked! Get out of my life, you murderers! They blaspheme you; your enemies misuse your name. O LORD, shouldn’t I hate those who hate you? Shouldn’t I despise those who oppose you? Yes, I hate them with total hatred, for your enemies are my enemies. Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life. Psalm 139


P – Prayer:

God, I long for your strength and power to work through me.  I find that I put limits on myself and you.  And that is from Satan.  Help me to break down the sides of the boxes that I’ve put us in.  Lead me into how to do that and strengthen my resolve to actually make it happen.  You are the God of all creation – the God in control of everything.  Every detail, you know.  Thank you for loving and caring for me. Amen

*There is nothing to great for God.  Whatever situation you are in, God is in control, working behind the scenes.  He is making it right and good.  Press on! Cling to his word! Write out Psalm 139 and know that he created you and loves you.

**Please share what you learned either from this post or from your own journey through this scripture today.  I love hearing how God speaks to each of us individually through the same text.  Isn’t it amazing!!

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Link to a Bible Study Blog Post - Boxes and Babel
Finding Life and Grace through God’s Word.
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It is a sign.

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