This third and final post on preaching the Tower of Babel includes an exegetical outline of the text by Allen Ross and a suggested method of preaching Christ from the passage by Sydney Greidanus.
VI. PREACHING GENESIS 11:1-9
A. Allen Ross’ Exegetical Outline:
I. Prologue: The human race was united by one language (1)
II. Human Endeavor: Migrating to the land of Babylon, the people resolved to build grandiose city and tower to preserve their identity and their unity (2-4).
A. Event: the people migrated to, and settled in, Babylon’s fertile valley (2)
B. Resolution: The people resolved to make bricks and build a city and a tower so that they might preserve their name and their unity (3-4).
1. Ingenuity: They resolved to make bricks out of material available to them (3)
2. Ambition: They resolved to develop a tower-city to make a name for themselves and to prevent scattering (4)
a) Purpose: They wished to preserve their name (4a)
b) Fear: They did not want to be scattered abroad (4b).
III. The Lord’s Intervention: Investigating the enterprise of the human race and knowing the dangerous potential of their unified pride, the Lord confounded their speech and scattered them abroad (5-8).
A. Event: The Lord descended to investigate their building (5).
B. Resolution: Knowing their potential was dangerously evil, the Lord resolved to scatter them across the face of the earth (6-8).
1. Observation: The Lord concluded that nothing would be withheld from their designs (6).
2. Resolution: The Lord resolved to destroy their unity (7).
3. Solution: The Lord scattered them across the face of the earth so that their
project ceased (8).
IV. The human race was disunited and scattered by the Lord’s making a babble of their one language at Babel (9).
B. Sydney Greidanus’ “Ways to Preach Christ” from Genesis 11:1-9:
1. Redemptive-Historical Progression:
God’s judgment on Sodom and Gomorrah, Israelites in the Wilderness, Northern Kingdom, Southern Kingdom, all secular human kingdoms (Revelation 18).
2. Analogy – As God gave hope to Israel that God was able to breakdown secular cities in order to establish his kingdom on earth; so Jesus gives hope to Christians and his church.
3. Longitudinal Themes: God’s judgment on Babel, later on Babylon, finally on the “Babylon” of Revelation 18. Final reversal of Babel – Revelation 7:9-10.
4. Babel, the city of man vs. Jerusalem, the city of God.
Babel, the kingdom of this world vs. Jerusalem, the kingdom of God.
Babel, confusion of languages vs. Pentecost, all hear in their own language – unity
Babel, attempt to make a name for themselves vs. Abraham, God made name great.
Jesus given name that is above every name (Philippians 2:5-11); Jesus promises to write on his people the name of God (Revelation 3:12).