"Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech.
So the Lord scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city.
These are the generations of Shem: Shem was an hundred years old, and begat Arphaxad two years after the flood."
I sat and did some math and figured that Shem, the son of Noah, and witness to the flood was still alive when Abraham's grandson Jacob was alive. As I went through the generations listed in the chapter I see that the father's are younger when they had their sons. The youngest is 23 years old. It was interesting watching their life span get shorter through the generations. Shem was 600, and Nahor was 148.
Noah would have died before Abram or Abraham was born. I found that interesting because that is like what happened with Adam dying before Noah's birth. Then Shem dies before Jacob's son Joseph was born. For some reason being able to picture who was alive during these great prophet's lifetimes helps put it into context for me.
During Noah and Shem's lifetime the tower of Babel happened. I sat and pondered on why that needed to happen. Why would God see confounding their language, so they didn't understand each other, a good thing? Then I remembered that before the flood they all had a common language and grew so wicked that they needed to be destroyed. I'm thinking God must have saw the same thing beginning to happen again. That the confounding of language would actually prevent this increase in wickedness.
After the tower of Babel and the confounding of languages people scattered, separating into groups around the world. I cannot imagine what it would be like if I didn't have all the different flavors of people in the world. I feel that it is a blessing to me. Because of this I have been able to appreciate each race's beauty and uniqueness, along with seeing the commonality among us as God's children. I do not understand all the reasons, but I know when it looks like a hard thing God has done, it can if we let it be a blessing in the end.