The fourth graders recently learned about the Tower of Babel story from the Bible (Genesis 11). Babel means to speak in a confusion of sounds or noises. Sometimes people say that babies babel. Well, this story is where the word “babel”comes from. The haumāna learned that at one time God’s people spoke the same language, but instead of unifying for good, they came together to bring glory to themselves and not God. Therefore God came down and changed their language to various languages. This caused the people to “scatter” all over the earth. That is what they were supposed to do in the first place. Well, the fourth graders had a chance to experience what that must have felt like when they did a group activity which required them to follow directions on a card to build a wooden puzzle together. However, the language on each card was different. One was Italian, the second was Swedish, the third, Spanish, and the last was French. They were told to work together to accomplish what the card instructed. Once they turned the card over and discovered the foreign language, it was clear that the job now became a bigger challenge than they originally thought. Students shared how it was frustrating, confusing, and how nothing could really get done. It was diificult to work together.
With this activity the haumāna better understood what God had done so that the people would go, move, migrate, and later inhabit the entire earth. It was a lesson to also illustrate how different cultures, languages, beliefs, and ethnicities developed over thousands of years. They also learned why God did what He did. We learn His answer in Acts 17:26-27. 26 From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. 27 God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us.