Genesis 11 is an eyeopening account of what the world would be like if there was just one language. Imagine if everyone spoke the same language. Would there be world peace? Would everyone work in harmony? Probably not. One of the first two children killed his brother!
When God created the world, two of the commands that he gave to mankind were 1) be fruitful and increase in number, fill the earth and subdue it 2) glorify me. These commands still apply to us. That spills over into a larger topic of what our purpose is in life. Why are we on the earth? There are people today who struggle with this. They don’t know why they are here and sadly almost 30,000 US citizens take their own life every year. Suicide is a complex topic, but purpose and pain are part of that discussion. God tells us that our purpose is to glorify him!
There are 9,609 languages in the world. That is amazing. Genesis 11 doesn’t touch on the length and breadth of God’s judgement on the people who tried to build the tower of Babel, but God is the source of the myriad of languages. While all of those languages forces the people into different cultures and areas of the world, it also made the sharing of the gospel more difficult. That is why on Pentecost Sunday often the Old Testament lesson is Genesis 11. On Pentecost all of the people who heard the disciples witness their faith heard the disciples speaking in their own native tongue. On Pentecost different language weren’t spoken – different languages were heard. What seems impossible for us is a small thing for God the Holy Spirit to accomplish. God does still give the gift of tongues to his church today. When a missionary goes to another country and learns the native tongue fluently in a month – that’s a miracle. It still happens today!
Want to hear more about Genesis 11 and what the people were trying to do with the Tower of Babel? Watch this first lesson in our new summer series – Very Important Chapters of the Bible.
Please click HERE to view the Bible class slides.