Read for This Week’s Study
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 a focus on the single individual, Noah, to his three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. The particular attention on Ham, the father of Canaan (Gen. 10:6, 15), introduces the idea of “Canaan,” the Promised Land (Gen. 12:5), an anticipation of Abraham, whose blessing will go to all nations (Gen. 12:3).
However, the line is broken by the Tower of Babel (Gen. 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 (Gen. 11:8), thus fulfilling God’s original plan to “fill the earth” (Gen. 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 (Gen. 9:21, 22) and the curse of the confused nations at the Tower of Babel (Gen. 11:9) will, eventually, be turned into a blessing for the nations.
*Study this week’s lesson to prepare for Sabbath, April 30.
Supplemental EGW Notes
Some of the descendants of Noah soon began to apostatize. A portion followed the example of Noah and obeyed God’s commandments; others were unbelieving and rebellious, and even these did not believe alike in regard to the Flood. Some disbelieved in the existence of God, and in their own minds accounted for the Flood from natural causes. Others believed that God existed and that He destroyed the antediluvian race by a flood; and their feelings, like Cain’s, rose in rebellion against God because He destroyed the people from the earth and cursed the earth the third time by a flood.
Those who were enemies of God felt daily reproved by the righteous conversation and godly lives of those who loved, obeyed, and exalted God. The unbelieving consulted among themselves and agreed to separate from the faithful, whose righteous lives were a continual restraint upon their wicked course. They journeyed a distance from them and selected a large plain wherein to dwell. They built them a city, and then conceived the idea of building a large tower to reach unto the clouds, that they might dwell together in the city and tower, and be no more scattered.—The Story of Redemption, p. 72.
All human ambition, all boasting, is to be laid in the dust. Self, sinful self, is to be abased, not exalted. By holiness in the daily life we are to reveal Christ to those around us. Corrupt human nature is to be subdued, not exalted. Thus only can we become pure and undefiled. We are to be humble, faithful men and women. . . .
. . . A faithful record is kept of all the acts of the children of men. Nothing can be concealed from the eye of the high and holy One that inhabiteth eternity. Some make Christ ashamed of them by their devising and planning and scheming. God does not approve of their conduct, for the Lord Jesus is dishonored by their spirit and their works. . . .
The instruction that the Lord has given concerning His work points out the right way. God’s plans and God’s thoughts are as much higher than man’s plans and man’s thoughts as the heavens are higher than the earth. God’s voice is to be heard, His wisdom is to guide. He has outlined His plan in His word and in the testimonies that He has sent to His people. That work only which is carried on in accordance with the principles of His word will stand fast forever.—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 8, pp. 234, 235.
With untold love our God has loved us, and our love awakens toward Him as we comprehend something of the length and breadth and depth and height of this love that passeth knowledge. By the revelation of the attractive loveliness of Christ, by the knowledge of His love expressed to us while we were yet sinners, the stubborn heart is melted and subdued, and the sinner is transformed and becomes a child of heaven. God does not employ compulsory measures; love is the agent which He uses to expel sin from the heart. By it He changes pride into humility, and enmity and unbelief into love and faith.—Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, pp. 76, 77.
The above quotations are taken from Ellen G. White Notes for the Sabbath School Lessons, published by Pacific Press Publishing Association. Used by permission.