After the flood, Noah, his wife, their three sons, and their three daughters-in-law, were the only people on earth. Their sons names were Shem, Ham and Japheth. They started having children-many children! And after a few generations, the land was filling up with more people again.
After Noah and his family left the ark, God had one instruction for them: live everywhere on earth. God wanted humans to spread out and fill up the whole planet. But people didn’t really like that plan. They wanted to stay where they were. After all, it was comfortable and convenient and it was what they were already used to.
So everyone stayed in this one tiny part of the earth and the space was starting to get a bit crowded. They began to build upward, founding a city called Babel. Babel was beautiful. It was the beginning of civilization. It really showed off all the new things humans had learned how to do.
God had given humans creativity-a desire to make things, like God made us. By now, humans had invented all kinds of incredible things, like wheels and pottery and bricks and bronze tools. With a place like this, people began to feel like they didn’t need God. They could make up their own beliefs about the world, worshiping creation instead of their Creator.
Not only didn’t people want to follow God’s instructions, they wanted to be like God. They wanted other people to look up to them. So they built an enormous tower to show off how powerful they were. “Let’s make a name for ourselves,” they told each other. “This way, we won’t be scattered over the whole earth.”
Even though God wants us to be creative, He doesn’t want us to use that creativity to try and replace Him. He doesn’t want us to think we can just create our own ways of doing things.
God knew that people could never reach Him on their own. They needed God to come to them. So to stop this silliness, God confused people. He made their language split into several languages, so no one could understand each other anymore. They had to stop building their city and tower.
Each group of people who spoke the same language moved together to a different part of the world, and finally people were following God’s command to fill up the whole earth.
God wants us to be faithful to His instructions. We will often find that if we don’t, He comes up with clever ways of getting us to do what we are supposed to.