How did we see God move this week as we tried to live out the Spirit’s leading? What challenges did we encounter? What victories can we celebrate?

Genesis 11:1-9

Now the whole earth had one language and the same words. 2 And as people migrated from the east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. 3 And they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks, and burn them thoroughly.” And they had brick for stone, and bitumen for mortar. 4 Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.”
5 And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of man had built. 6 And the LORD said, “Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language, and this is only the beginning of what they will do. And nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them. 7 Come, let us go down and there confuse their language, so that they may not understand one another’s speech.” 8 So the LORD dispersed them from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city. 9 Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the LORD confused the language of all the earth. And from there the LORD dispersed them over the face of all the earth.

Zephaniah 3:9-20

“For at that time I will change the speech of the peoples to a pure speech, that all of them may call upon the name of the LORD and serve him with one accord. 10 From beyond the rivers of Cush my worshipers, the daughter of my dispersed ones, shall bring my offering. 11 “On that day you shall not be put to shame because of the deeds by which you have rebelled against me; for then I will remove from your midst your proudly exultant ones, and you shall no longer be haughty in my holy mountain. 12 But I will leave in your midst a people humble and lowly. They shall seek refuge in the name of the LORD, 13 those who are left in Israel; they shall do no injustice and speak no lies, nor shall there be found in their mouth a deceitful tongue. For they shall graze and lie down, and none shall make them afraid.” 14 Sing aloud, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel! Rejoice and exult with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem! 15 The LORD has taken away the judgments against you; he has cleared away your enemies. The King of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst; you shall never again fear evil. 16 On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem: “Fear not, O Zion; let not your hands grow weak. 17 The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing. 18 I will gather those of you who mourn for the festival, so that you will no longer suffer reproach. 19 Behold, at that time I will deal with all your oppressors. And I will save the lame and gather the outcast, and I will change their shame into praise and renown in all the earth. 20 At that time I will bring you in, at the time when I gather you together; for I will make you renowned and praised among all the peoples of the earth, when I restore your fortunes before your eyes,” says the LORD.

Recall from Sunday:

Genesis 11:1-4 – Making a name for ourselves leads to uniformity and idolatry

Genesis 11:5-9 – Our efficiency does not always lead to effectiveness

Zephaniah 3:9-20 – God makes a name for us as we worship him.

Reflect: What sticks out to you personally from the passage?

What impacted you on a personal level from Sunday’s sermon?

Ziggurats (like the tower of Babel) were grand architectural attempts to make a god favorable to the people. We often try to make God favorable to us by trying hard to be obedient, or donating money, or praying extra. But before we ever loved him, God already loved us (1 John 4:10)! Are there ways you have been trying to earn God’s favor? How can you remind yourself you are already loved by God?

The people of Genesis 11 were tired of the nomadic rural life. They wanted to “make a name for themselves”, which meant having the comfort, security, and legacy that came with an established city and the presence of God (on their terms, of course!). What makes you feel comfortable and secure? What fills your life with purpose? How can we lean more on God this week to “make a name for us” and less on our jobs, families, and stuff?

During this season leading up to Easter, it is common to fast in preparation. This can take the form of fasting from food, or many other things like media, entertainment, hobbies. Perhaps God is calling you to a partial or complete fast from something that’s giving you comfort, security, and purpose besides him. Discern with your group and the Spirit what that could look like for you.

God already loves us! He already looks on us with favor! We know this to be true, but it doesn’t always sink down into our hearts. Grab a stack of post-it notes, and write out 1 John 4:9 or 1 John 4:10 and stick them all over your house, car, whatever. And pass the good news along! Try to find an opportunity to tell someone that God loves them every day this week.