Todays readings … Genesis 11&12, Psalm 14-16, Matthew 8


In Chapter 11 of Genesis we read, “now the whole earth had one language and the same words” [v.1] and they decided to “build ourselves a city and a tower … lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth” [v.4]

The text then goes on to say that the LORD came down to see this and said, “Behold the people are one people, and they have all one language and this is only the beginning of what they will do.  And nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them.” [v.6]

So the LORD confused the languages so that they could not understand one another. It is most interesting that the Hebrew word for confused sounds like Babel (ESV footnote) and the Greek word for Babel is Babylon. Now, as we have seen in Revelation, Babylon is the key word used to symbolise an evil power.   It has also been noted that the Name of God is very similar in many languages, indicating a common origin for this fundamental word.

Reflect on what God said; that having a common language is ‘only the beginning of what they will do.’  Now, in our 21st Century, the world is extensively overcoming the language barriers.  The Internet provides automated translations, also education is world-wide and some people in every country can speak English: when I was in Russia all the young people at the Bible School appeared to be able to do this to some degree.

Another thought, just before the flood, “the wickedness of man was great … every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” [6 v.5].  In other words, all consciousness and awe of God had disappeared from their minds.   It will be therefore natural to expect God to act again – and the Bible plainly says this, as we have noted previously, in the records of the teaching of Jesus and his followers. 

Do you remember the news a few years ago about the ridiculously high tower in Dubai, it is 860 metres tall – a modern tower of Babel – and we have heard  the comment that it was built near a fault line!  Such locations are more prone to earthquakes.  Note the prophecy in Isaiah 2 v.15 that “every high tower shall fall” at the time of God’s judgements?

Our Psalm reading says, “The fool says in his heart. ‘There is no God.’ They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds … The LORD looks down from heaven … to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God.” [14 v.1,2]  I pray he sees me, can you pray that he sees you? We pray he will take care of us as he unfolds his righteous anger on our godless world: look ahead to Matthew 13 v. 41, 43.  For the Creator the “impossible” will become normal.