Year 2 Day 213
Read - Genesis 11
Message - Scott Woodburn
It is said that Alexander the Great wept because there were no more worlds to conquer. Yet even as tears were running down his cheeks, Alexander founded multiple cities called…wait for it…wait for it…Alexandria! Alexander the Great certainly believed that he was special and worth remembering but he wasn’t the first man who believed his own hype.
In Genesis 10 we meet someone called Nimrod who the Scriptures describe as a mighty man and a mighty hunter. Nimrod was also a builder of cities and both Nineveh and Babel could trace their roots back to Nimrod. Nimrod isn’t held up as a hero in the Bible. He is a descendent of Ham and soon the city of Babel will unite in an attempt to overthrow God.
In those ancient days the whole earth shared the same language (v1) and despite the Lord’s command for mankind to multiply across the face of the earth, humanity did the opposite. With one tongue the peoples 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.” (v4)
This was an act of rebellion and a declaration of war. Humanity was once again shaking an angry fist at the Lord and seeking His removal. Despite mankind’s arrogance the Lord brought His swift judgement to bear. Mankind would seek to use their unity to wage war against the Lord’s people and so the Lord confused their speech (v7) and scattered humanity throughout the world (v8). To this day we speak of the tower of Babel as the place where the Lord confused human speech. No one wants to be a babbler!
The Genesis 11 account of ancient humanity is bleak but the story does not end there. Many years later Jews from every nation under heaven returned to Jerusalem for the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2). It was there that the Apostles began to speak and amazingly despite the multitude of languages represented, everyone heard the mighty works of God in their own tongue.
As the inhabitant’s of Nimrod’s city reached arrogantly towards heaven, the Lord confused their speech and scattered them throughout the earth. At Pentecost the curse of Babel was reversed. Humanity's confused speech was put in order as the Spirit worked and many heard the Gospel. The prophecy of Joel 2v28-32 was being fulfilled on the day of Pentecost. The Lord's promise to gather a people from the nations was being fulfilled and the Gospel was leaving the boundaries of national Israel.
We may not be able to order a meal in Thailand and we might struggle to ask directions in Peru but the Gospel is the same in every language. Christ Jesus died for sinners and all who receive Him will be saved. Paul tells us of Pentecost's significance in Ephesians. "Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called 'the uncircumcision' by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands— remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ." (Ephesians 2v11-13)
In Christ your nationality is irrelevant and the language you speak is not a factor. The curse of Babel has been reversed and one day with united voice the church of Christ will sing His name forever.
Q92 What is a Sacrament? A Sacrament is a holy ordinance instituted by Christ; wherein, by sensible signs, Christ and the benefits of the new covenant are represented, sealed, and applied to believers.