#DailyDevotion Oneness Is A Gift Of A Personal God
Gen 11:5-9 And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of man had built. (6) And the LORD said, “Behold, they 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. (7) Come, let us go down and there confuse their language, so that they may not understand one another’s speech.” (8) So the LORD dispersed them from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city. (9) Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the LORD confused the language of all the earth. And from there the LORD dispersed them over the face of all the earth.
I believe this is one of those instances where God is just trying to communicate something to us just so we can understand it. What I mean is in verse five there is no need for the Lord to come down and see what we are doing. The Lord is omniscient: He knows all things. So why does the Lord report this to us in this fashion? Well for one you can grasp with the name of God being present here, the LORD, i.e. YHWH. In the Old Testament, generally, when the text uses the divine name, God is getting up and personal with us. So in the garden, the LORD knew what Adam had done, but he is getting personal with Adam. So too here, God wants us to know that he is not just some impersonal deity up there somewhere, but he is a God who is intimately involved with humanity.
Now the people had a unity of language and purpose. While it would be nice if we were all united, if we are united in purpose antithetical to the Lord’s purpose for us, that would not be a good thing. Here, man was united to a purpose antithetical to God’s will. It was engaged towards pride and circumventing man taking dominion over the earth under God. Some have taught that they were building it to escape in case the Lord decided to flood the earth again. If true, that would demonstrate a. they didn’t trust the Lord’s promise and b. they forgot the Lord flooded the earth above the mountains. The text doesn’t say that so that is just pious speculation.
So that their plans were frustrated the Lord went down and confused their language and well, that’s why we have so many languages today. But note this important nugget here in the text. The LORD says, “Let us go down…” Did you see that? Now he said something similar here, Gen 1:26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” and again, Gen 3:22 Then the LORD God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil.” Who is this us? It is not the angels. Man is not made in the image and likeness of angels. No, this is the divine Trinity, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Now the Lord is one. The Father is Lord. The Son is Lord. The Holy Spirit is Lord. But there are not three Lords but one Lord. Each distinct person is Lord and yet there is only one Lord. Man was supposed to be one in and under the Lord. Marriage is an image of that oneness where husband and wife are one flesh. That oneness was to extend over all humanity in the Lord. But sin broke up that oneness.
However now in Jesus Christ, the Lord, the Lord is bringing back that oneness that was meant to be in himself. Paul says, Eph 4:4-6 “There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— (5) one Lord, one faith, one baptism, (6) one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” He also says, 1Co 6:17 “But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him.” So now, through faith in Christ Jesus we are one with one another, one with Christ and one with God; God in us and us in God. While we cannot see it now, we believe and confess it to be true because the Lord has said as much and we will see its fruition on the Last Day.
O Almighty Lord, you confused our languages because of our unity in sinfulness but now in these last days, you call us to be one again, with one another and with you through faith in Christ Jesus. Heal all our sad divisions in body of Christ and unite us all as one on the day of Jesus’ revelation. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.