Read for This Week’s Study: Genesis 9:18-11:9, Luke 10:1, Matthew 1:1-17, Luke 1:26-33, Psalm 139:7-12, Genesis 1:28, Genesis 9:1.
Memory Text: “Therefore its name is called Babel, because there the LORD confused the language of all the earth; and from there the LORD scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth” (Genesis 11:9, NKJV).
After the Flood, the biblical account shifts from the focus on the single individual, Noah, to his three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. The particular attention on Ham, the father of Canaan (Genesis 10:6, Genesis 10:15), introduces the idea of “Canaan,” the Promised Land (Genesis 12:5), an anticipation of Abraham, whose blessing will go to all nations (Genesis 12:3).
However, the line is broken by the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1-9). Once again, God’s plans for humankind are disrupted. What was supposed to be a blessing, the birth of all nations, becomes another occasion for another curse. The nations unite in order to try to take God’s place; God responds in judgment on them; and, through the resulting confusion, the people get scattered throughout the world (Genesis 11:8), thus fulfilling God’s original plan to “fill the earth” (Genesis 9:1, NKJV).
In the end, in spite of human wickedness, God turns evil into good; He has, as always, the last word. The curse of Ham in his father’s tent (Genesis 9:21-22) and the curse of the confused nations at the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11:9) will, eventually, be turned into a blessing for the nations.
Study this week’s lesson to prepare for Sabbath, April 30.