Genesis 11:1,4-9--At one time the whole earth had the same language and vocabulary . . . And they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the sky. Let us make a name for ourselves; otherwise, we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.” Then the Lord came down to look over the city and the tower that the men were building. The Lord said, “If they have begun to do this as one people all having the same language, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let Us go down there and confuse their language so that they will not understand one another’s speech.” So from there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth, and they stopped building the city. Therefore its name is called Babylon, for there the Lord confused the language of the whole earth, and from there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth.
God’s intervention with people at the Tower of Babel explains why people speak so many different languages. It is an account of man’s rebellious spirit towards God. The Lord told Noah and his sons after purging the earth of all people with a worldwide flood, to be fruitful, increase in number and fill the earth (Gen. 9:1). But Noah’s descendants disdained the notion of scattering across the planet. In truth, their desire to make a name for themselves came from a God-resistant spirit. So He confused their ability to unite by removing their universal language. Then He sent them packing in accordance with His divine plan.
In Acts 2:2-6, the Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus-followers. He filled each person, with the result that they were able to speak in a foreign language! For the first time, the disciples declared the wonders of God in the native tongues of Jews from other nations gathered in Jerusalem to celebrate Pentecost. The same Lord who once confused the tongues of people, miraculously brought understanding.
In Peru, I needed translators in order to communicate. Many times I thought how wonderful it would be to have no language barrier. Were it not for sin, we would speak one language and God would be the central focus of our conversation. That day will come when Jesus returns. No longer will we be stymied by the inability to communicate. Imagine how awesome it will be to stand together with people from every part of the world sharing words all understand in praise to the Lord of communication! Now, men and women live in my neighborhood speaking words for which I am clueless. The curse of Babel lingers. The cure of Jesus beckons.
One day as I was cleaning, I began singing the gospel song “Soon and very soon, we are going to see the King.” My young son Cory in the next room began singing with me. But something wasn't quite right, so I listened to his version: “Soon, and very soon, we are going to Burger King.”—Fran Zok, Buffalo, N.Y.
©2002 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)