“If the first of God’s people only lived in one part of the world, how did people get all over the world?"
"Why do we all look so different?"
"Why are there so many different languages?”
These are some of the tough questions kids love to ask, and questions that many of us parents may not know how to answer. Just like adults, children want to “put the pieces together” and hear a logical explanation to their questions.
The Bible gives us the answers we need to explain these difficult questions. But the answers, even though they’re true, sometimes don’t make sense to our finite minds. When the Bible explains something that sounds supernatural, it's because we have a supernatural God. And it’s important to remember (for kids and grown-ups alike) that God has told us His word is true and that we can trust Him.
Here's a kid-friendly way to explain the Tower of Babel:
After the Great Flood, God told Noah and his family to go travel and live around the world. But soon the people began to think that they knew better than God, and consequently, pride filled their hearts. To show off their power and importance, they decided to build a great tower. They wanted to make a name for themselves. (From Genesis11:1-4)
God didn’t like that His people had disobeyed Him, and that pride had filled their hearts. God knew that if the people couldn’t communicate with one another, they wouldn’t be able to work together and finish their tower. So He gave them all different languages and scattered them throughout the world. (From Genesis 11:5-9)
How sad God must have been. He gave Noah’s family a second chance with specific instructions, yet they still chose to do what was right in their own eyes for their own personal gain. They thought they knew better than God. This story is a good reminder that even though we serve a God who is merciful, there are consequences for our actions when we refuse to turn away from our sin and ask for forgiveness.
Creation archaeologists and historians say that the many ziggurats (large temple-like structures) that have been found in the southern region of Mesopotamia (some reaching almost 300 ft tall) date back to the 3rd millennium BC. These temples showcase amazing craftsmanship and masonry work – far beyond anything secular historians thought was possible from people of this time period. The workmanship of these temples and cities demonstrate that the people who built them were very organized and civilized. This aligns with what we already learned from in the Bible.
Linguists have been able to narrow down several thousand languages in the world to about 70 origins, the same number of families in this section of Genesis. Evolutionist have great difficulty explaining the origin and development of all these different languages.
After the flood, God wanted His people to go out and populate the world. But His people disobeyed, stayed in one place, and built a tower to make a name for themselves. As we know, there are consequences for our disobedience. Genesis 11:9 says 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.
Some creation historians say that God placed people throughout the world, but other creation historians believe that these 70 core families set off on their own to find new areas to populate. Those that spoke the same new language stuck together. During this time, the ice age that followed the Great Flood and the lower sea level in areas would have made travel to the different continents we know today, possible. It is also theorized that the reason we have different races and ethnicities is because of physical adaptation to the various climates and surroundings among these 70 families. The lifespans of people were much longer back then too – sometimes several hundred years! This allowed them to have many more children over several decades, leading to rapid growth of civilizations over a relatively short period of time.
The Tower of Babel is just one of the many historical Biblical events that is ignored by those who don’t believe in God, but for Christians, it is yet another great assurance of our faith. Once again, the Bible is true, reliable and unchanging.
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