10 Mar Babbling Babylonians
Genesis 11:7 – “Come, let us go down and there confuse their language, so that they may not understand one another’s speech.”
The Babylonian intent in their attempt at their sovereign secular kingdom was to have sufficient power to do as they pleased by uniting together and defending themselves from everyone else. God rightly viewed this centralization of power in the hands of proud sinners apart from Him as a dangerous thing and saved them from themselves and saved others from the potential abuses of power by simply scattering them and confusing their languages.
Ironically, this scattering of the people and confusing of the languages were two of the primary things these people were seeking to prevent from happening in the first place. The name Babel, or Babylon, is humorously akin to our English word babble, which is what their communication sounded like once God confused their language. Beautifully, on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2 through the power of the Holy Spirit, the gift of tongues temporarily reversed this division as people who were saved from different nations and languages were supernaturally enabled to hear the gospel and worship God despite their language barriers.
The point of Babel and Pentecost is that the hope for our sin problem is not to be found in proud globalism between nations, nationalism for our people, technological advancement, or the working together of unrepentant sinners, but rather the miraculous power of the Holy Spirit. Rather than drowning the sinners as He had in the Flood, God instead saved them from themselves and graciously simply scattered them and confused their language to force them to live as He intended, scattering and filling the earth (Genesis 1:28, 9:7). Subsequently, these scattered people become the nations listed in Genesis 10, which the Church is later sent to reach with the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ (Acts 1:8).
Lastly, like the fall of Adam and mini-Fall of Noah, this is yet another fall of sorts. Here, to overcome their sin problem, people do not turn to God but rather rely on one another and place their hope in military might, technological advancement, and the building of a good and decent global society, which is simply yet another sin against God that cannot remedy fallen human nature.
What is God’s plan for the scattered nations in the Kingdom of God (Revelation 5:9, 7:9, 14:6)?
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