Timeless Errors

Date written: 23 July 2015


TITLE: Timeless Errors

PROPOSITION: In this lesson we will discuss the story of the tower of Babel and note the timeless errors that they committed: 1) Assumption of Permanence, 2) Unity in Unholiness, 3) Pride in Identity.

OBJECTIVE: Modern man is no different than the people who raised the tower of Babel. We think we have improved, but we have really just repeated the same sins in our lives.

AIM: To show the timeless nature of sin and our subsequent need for God.


1. Read: Genesis 11:1-9

2. About the Text:

1) We tell this Bible story to children to explain the origins of language.

2) However, we also note that this story is here to teach us adults some lessons also.

3) In Genesis 1:28 “Then God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.’”

4) In Genesis 9:1 “So God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them: “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth.”

5) The people were not obeying God’s commands to fill the earth, but staying in one place.

6) Here were a people who thought they could live without God in their lives.

7) God did not want mankind to repeat the same mistakes before the flood.

8) So God intervened to separate them so that His will would be done.

9) What can we learn from the story of the tower of Babel today?

3. Ref. to S, T, P, O, and A.

DISCUSSION: One lives a life without God when one holds to . . .

I.   An Assumption of Permanence

1. Notice the desire for permanence.

1) They made bricks.

2) They built a city.

3) They built a tower.

4) They were planning on staying around for a while.

2. Many today think life is all there is, and they live as if tomorrow is guaranteed.

1) Peter wrote, “knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation” (2 Peter 3:3-4).

2) Read Luke 12:16-21.

3. God teaches us that this life is not permanent.

1) ‘The voice said, “Cry out!” And he said, “What shall I cry?” “All flesh is grass, And all its loveliness is like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades, Because the breath of the Lord blows upon it; Surely the people are grass. The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever.”’ (Isaiah 40:6-8)

2) “Whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away” (James 4:14 ).

3) Jesus said, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19-21).

II.  Unity in Unholiness

1. Notice the unity in unholiness.

1) Holiness is the quality of being separated from the world.

2) The people of Babel were entrenched in worldly affairs.

3) Genesis 11:4a

4) They unified in building a city and tower, but not in honoring God.

2. The wicked are united in their opposition to God.

1) They do not love God; they love self.

2) “Everyone proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord; Though they join forces, none will go unpunished” (Proverbs 16:5).

3) Read Psalm 36:1-4.

4) Read 2 Timothy 3:1-4.

5) They will unite against anything that opposes their own selfish choices.

3. They oppose God because they love unholiness.

1) Holiness is being separated from worldly things; Unholiness is reveling in it.

2) They will unite against God to hold onto their unholiness.

3) Read 2 Peter 2:12-14.

4) “While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage” (2 Peter 2:19).

4. This is false unity, for what will keep them united once they get their way?

III. Pride in False Identity

1. The people of Babel were proud of their identity.

1) Read Genesis 11:4b

2) They wanted to make a name for themselves.

3) They did not want to be dispersed over the face of the earth as God commanded.

2. Pride deceives us to identify in something that we are not.

1) God said to proud Edom: ‘“Your fierceness has deceived you, The pride of your heart, O you who dwell in the clefts of the rock, Who hold the height of the hill! Though you make your nest as high as the eagle, I will bring you down from there,” says the Lord.’ (Jeremiah 49:16).

2) Remember Nebuchadnezzar who was lifted up with pride.

a. He said: “Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for a royal dwelling by my mighty power and for the honor of my majesty?” (Daniel 4:30).

b. Then he said: “Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all of whose works are truth, and His ways justice. And those who walk in pride He is able to put down” (Daniel 4:37).

c. “But when his heart was lifted up, and his spirit was hardened in pride, he was deposed from his kingly throne, and they took his glory from him” (Daniel 5:20).

3. Pride will cause us to love the accolades of men more than God.

1) “The wicked in his proud countenance does not seek God; God is in none of his thoughts” (Psalm 10:4).

2) “Nevertheless even among the rulers many believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue; 43 for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God” (John 12:42-43).

3) “How can you believe, who receive honor from one another, and do not seek the honor that comes from the only God?” (John 5:44).

4. Pride will destroy us both physically and spiritually.

1) “Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18).

2) “Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for ‘God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.’” (1 Peter 5:5).


1. One lives a life without God when one holds to . . .

1) An Assumption of Permanence

2) Unity in Unholiness

3) Pride in False Identity

2. Quote: Jeremiah 10:23

3. Invitation – Jesus tells us the truth about eternal things, holiness, and identity.