Use this Tower of Babel Sunday School lesson to teach children about pride.
Needed: Charade cards
Game: Charades – Prepare a number of charade cards beforehand with familiar words or phrases written on them. The leader should start the game by silently acting out one of the words or phrases. The first student to guess what you’re acting then takes the next card and becomes the next actor. Play until everyone has had a turn to act or as long as time allows. After the game, point out that it’s hard to get someone to know what you’re talking about when you can’t speak to them. It would have been much easier if the actors could have just said what their word was.
Lesson: (Note: Always allow students to give their answers to the questions before you clarify the teaching.)
Ask students, Have you ever heard someone speaking in a different language?
Why do you think there are so many different languages in the world? Where did all those languages come from?
(Summarize Genesis 11:1-9, asking questions as you go.)
In the beginning of the world, when God created Adam and Eve, everyone spoke the same language. People were still speaking that same language when Noah and his family came off the Ark after the Flood. But when Noah’s grandchildren grew up, some of them moved to a certain area and decided to build a city. “C’mon,” they said, “let’s make bricks and build a city. And we can make a huge tower that stretches all the way up to the sky and everyone will see it. We’ll have the biggest tower and we’ll be famous for it.”
Why did the people want to build a tower? So that everyone would see it and so that they would be famous.
Do you think God wants us to try and be famous?
Do you think God wants us to brag about ourselves and make everyone pay attention to us?
It’s okay to be famous if we’re good at something, but we shouldn’t try to be famous. We shouldn’t brag about what we can do or how good we are at something. Instead, we should talk about how good God is and what God has done for us. If you’re good at something, it’s not because you’re so great. It’s because God made you to be able to do it. He’s the one who gave you your skills and talents in the first place.
So God came down and looked at the city and the tower the people were building. He saw how much they were bragging about their tower and heard them talking about how famous they would be so He confused their language as a punishment to them. He made it so that some people were speaking one language and some people were speaking another language and no one could understand what the other person was saying. It just all sounded like gibberish! Someone would say, “Hand me a brick,” but all the other person would hear was, “Flaffa re backenugen.” And they had to stop building the city and the tower because they couldn’t understand each other to work together.
What did God do to punish the people for bragging and just wanting to be famous? He made it so that everyone was speaking a different language and they had to stop building the city and tower.
So then all the people moved away. The people who could understand each other went off by themselves and lived in one part of the world while another group of people who could understand each other lived in another part of the world and a third group of people who could understand each other lived in another part of the world. And that’s how all the different languages got started. The city that the people were trying to build was named Babel after that because everyone sounded like they were just babbling to each other. Babble, babble, babble!