"The Stone that Covered the Well at Babel"
Once upon a time, many years ago, there was a large granite stone named Eugene. Now Eugene was one of the most fortunate rocks of his time because he lived in the middle of a large open plain named “Shinar” that was constantly being visited by many people with their herds of sheep, cattle and other animals. You see everyone who lived in the area and everyone who might pass by stopped right beside Eugene for he lived right next a deep hole in the ground that water collected in, yes Eugene lived next to a well. In fact Eugene was the stone people covered the well with when they were not using it. Eugene was a well stone.
Now Eugene was considered fortunate because a stones most favorite thing to do in the whole world is having something to witness. (pause & explain what “witness” means) Yes, stones just love to watch, listen and record what happens around them and as you know the more people are in a given place the more things there are to be witnessed so Eugene had a really good life for everybody came to the well sooner or later and Eugene was never bored for everyday people would come and talk to each other while drawing water from the well. The well was the center of life for the cities nearby and Eugene was at the heart of it.
But, before I tell you more about Eugene’s story, I have to first explain that stones have lots of relatives. Yes, every stone there is whether it’s on the ground, in the ground, on a mountain or even under the sea are all stones are related to each other in some way. They all came from the same beginning just like people did and they are all either brothers or sisters or cousins or some other relation to each other. Now that may not be so surprising but what is amazing, is that all stones can actually hear each other. For while sound travels poorly through air it travels very well though the earth. Remember the seeing on old westerns the Indian who would put his ear to the ground to hear the sound of approaching footsteps. Even though they were too far away to hear through the air, the ground carries the sounds of the footsteps much better and much farther. Well because of this all stones can keep in close communication and they just love to pass on what they witness. Yes, you see, stones are the gossips of the ground and just like the people of that time every stone spoke the same language so they could all understand each other.
Well anyway, that said, lets get back to Eugene, Now one day Eugene was doing his normal thing listening to every conversation that was going on around the well when noticed a large group of men arrived and began taking measurements of the field. This was curious and Eugene made sure his cousin Albert heard the whole story. The next day another group of men came, moved Eugene quite a distance from the well and began digging. Soon it became apparent that they were enlarging the well. Wow!, thought Eugene, if the well gets bigger that means more people will come use it. He was so excited as he passed on the story to Aunt Griselda that he didn’t even notice that when the men finished their digging, they did not replace Eugene near the well. That didn’t bother Eugene much for at least they left him positioned so he could see the gathering place at the well.
After this a few days past with nothing happening out of the ordinary. But on the fourth day the large group of men returned and this time they brought many more men with them and pitched many tents all around Eugene and his well. Eugene was thrilled, he had been right, lots more people now used his well every day and he would go to sleep each time tired of recording the thousands of conversations he heard and passed on the one of his relatives. But one thing was a mystery to Eugene for each day the men would remove large amounts of mud and water from the well and carry it off to the far side of the plain. Now Eugene could not see that way for two reasons. One that side of the plain was behind his back and two, while stones can hear really well, their eyesight is really bad, especially for those living under the ground. Eugene tried hard to listen for one of his cousins who lived on the other side of the plain, but all was abnormally quiet from that area. It seems that all his relatives had been removed from that area and stacked up elsewhere.
Over the next few months the mystery remained but Eugene did learn some things from the men working nearby in the well, which by the way, had now become a huge mud pit. Apparently the mud was being used to make something called “bricks”. Eugene did not know what a brick was but evidently it was made from mud and from the size of the ever growing mud pit, whatever they were being used for need a lot of them. Every day rain or shine, season after season, year in and year out the men would come and take more and more mud out of the pit. Soon Eugene could no longer see the bottom of the pit or the far side but it was not the bottom nor the far side that concerned Eugene for day by day the edge of the pit on his side was coming closer and closer and closer.
Eugene was really getting concerned since he did want to roll into the pit when one day two men came and wedged some sticks under him. Eugene has been moved many times so he was glad to see the men for the edge of the pit was now less than four feet away. The men leaned on their sticks , grunted and gave a big push. Eugene slowly rolled over on his back, the men kept pushing and Eugene rolled over and over in what was now a fairly muddy road. Again and again his face rolled in the mud and then back to the sky until finally he and came to rest facing the opposite direction.
Slowly his head stopped spinning (yes, rocks get dizzy too! ) and in the next moment Eugene got his first look out across the plain in the direction that had been behind his back all these years. What he saw gave him the chills of fear for the first time in his life. For there growing out of the ground on the far side of the plain was a tower that reached up and up and up to the sky until it disappeared into the clouds. It was the largest thing Eugene had ever seen and it was all made of bricks. Eugene was so impressed that despite all his natural desire to tell his relatives all he could do was stare and stare was all he did. That night as Eugene went to sleep he wondered. If men could build such a structure, would anything they tried be too hard. No he decided, men were awesome. They could do anything they set their minds on. The next day Eugene awoke to the sun and despite it being a sunny day with no clouds and Eugene could still not even see the towers top and he stared and stared and stared and not one comment passed on to his cousins or uncles. Eugene was silent.
A few more weeks passed and Eugene began to notice that the activity in the mud pit now behind him was decreasing. Soon the last wheelbarrow of mud went past him on its way toward the tower and tent after tent was taken down. Eugene figured the tower was done and he was right for over the next few months, Eugene saw streams and even rivers of people all walking towards the tower. It looked like they came from all directions. Some came on horses, others came on camels, many came in carts and children often came in wagons. Many rode and many more walked. Some were dressed as kings and others as peasants but no matter how they came of what they looked like they all spoke of the awesome achievement of the tower and how it would unite mankind and make this Tower of Shinar the center of their life for around it they would settle and build the largest city mankind had ever had.
Eugene listened to all of them as the came but for some reason he just could not find it in himself to pass on and gossip with his relatives about what was happening. For ever since that day he saw the tower for the first time, Eugene had not spoken, and he had not heard one message either from any of his brothers, sisters or aunts or uncles. It seemed at least to him, that all the stones of the world had all gone silent. That night as Eugene went to sleep he again felt that chill of fear he had felt the day the tower had entered his life.
It was early the next morning and the sun was not even up when Eugene was awakened by loud shouting. As he cleared the sleep from his weak eyes, he saw two groups of people approaching from the direction of the tower. The two small groups appeared to be families and seemed to be arguing. Eugene could not understand either of them. None of their words made sense. It was as though both groups were speaking different language. After a few more minutes the families each picked up some mud and threw it at each other and then left in different directions. The scene was then repeated again as two more families came by and by the end of day Eugene had witnessed 417 arguments but despite his wonderful hearing he never understood one word.
By the next day thousands of people had left the tower and fighting had broken out among larger groups of men. Every now and then Eugene was able to overhear a word he understood but most of the speaking was still not understandable. That night two men took shelter behind Eugene as the fighting continued there on the plain and guess what, these men Eugene was able to understand and here is what they said. The first said“ I just don’t get it, what is wrong with our friends, why are they taunting us with words we have never heard and why are they not responding to our pleas for mercy.” .. the other replied, I just don’t know its like everyone has gone crazy. You are the only person I found today that seems to be normal. The rest are insane.”.. the first then replied, yes you are right, we must get away from them lest we go insane as well.” .. and with that both men began to ran just as may others did , away, away from the tower. Within 2 days the plain of Shinar was silent. All the people had gone and the tower stood desolate. Eugene was in shock and was quickly getting very lonely. His loneliness grew each day for no one any longer visited the tower or the destroyed well. They next few years were particular bad for Eugene not only because he never saw or heard one living soul but also because the weather was uncommonly gloomy and rainy and by the end of the third winter since the people left the rains had pretty much undermined the tower. One spring day it fell sending out shock waves of sound like a great earthquake. When the shocks subsided the all that was left of the tower was a slumping pile of mud. That day Eugene realized that mans great achievement was now once again just mud and as he did he began to smile for he could once gain hear the voices of his relatives and Eugene could speak again.!
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Kids, In the Book of Genesis, chapter 10 is the story of the “Tower of Babel”. Here people while having one language decides to work together to build a great place where people would work together to become their own masters to build a government for the world. The only problem was that they left God out of the their plans. They became focused on what they as human could accomplish. Because of this God changes everyone language and by doing it, scatter them throughout the earth. Why you ask ? Why would God do such a thing after all these people were working peacefully together. Isn’t that what we are supposed to do ?
The answer Gods word give us is while he wants us to work together in peace, he does not want us to build a life where humans are at the center and peoples abilities are what are worshiped. God wants us to worship only Him and not to think wrongly as Eugene did that man can achieve anything he works hard at. The truth is people need God and God wants them to see that he is the source of all good things in life. God destroyed the tower and scattered people many years ago in smaller groups so that would have reason to see how weak they really were and then they might better see God and give him the credit when he helped them.
Read Acts: 17:26-28
In your efforts to work together don’t fall into the trap of thinking you and others like you are able to do anything good without Gods help. Instead listen to what James when he says;
Read James 4:13-16
You are all children today, but beware as you grow that the most common sin among men is arrogance. And what is arrogance? It is being convinced that you are the one who makes things happen. Eugene learned that that is not true .. have you ?