Scripture Reading — Genesis 11:1-9
We hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues! — Acts 2:11
If you are a non-native English speaker like me, you faced a difficult challenge when you moved to an English-speaking country. Even though I’ve lived in the United States for many years, I am still always conscious of whether people understand what I am saying. Maybe you have the same experience. You don’t want any miscommunication or missed communication.
The people at Babel would not have had that problem at first, since “the whole world had one language.” But good communication needs more than just a common language; it needs the desire to communicate.
God confused the language of the people at Babel because they wanted to glorify themselves and be independent of God. However, even if the Lord had not confused their language, they still would have scattered and been unable to live in harmony because of their sin (see Genesis 6:5). True communication can occur only when “the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility” that exists between people is broken down in the name of Jesus (Ephesians 2:14).
On Pentecost, fifty days after Jesus’ victory over our sin, people heard Jesus’ followers communicating the good news in their own native languages. What a miracle, reversing the curse of Babel and pointing to the day when every tongue will confess “that Jesus Christ is Lord” (Philippians 2:11)!
Thank you, Jesus, for your victory over our sin. Help us to communicate with one another for the good of your kingdom. Amen.