Today's Reading: Genesis 11:1-9
Daily Lectionary: Numbers 24:1-25, Luke 23:1-25
Then they 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.”…And the Lord said…“Come, let us go down and there confuse their language, so that they may not understand one another's speech.” So the Lord dispersed them from there over the face of all the earth.(Genesis 11:4,7,8)
Arrogant, sinful humanity was at it again. You would think that so soon after the Flood (relatively speaking, anyway) that these folks wouldn’t get so full of themselves for a second time. You thought wrong.
Instead of being productive members of society, they wanted to make a name for themselves. Like today, it doesn’t matter what you’ve done, celebrity is all that matters. If you can just convince someone to give you a reality show, or a TV movie based on your life, or a book deal about how you struggled to overcome a difficult childhood with a mean sibling, then you are set. The examples are endless.
The residents of what became Babel were of the same mind – ‘Look at me!’ They needed to come back down to earth, so the Lord God confused their language. After enough people asked for a brick and got a shovel or asked for a pick and got a 2x4 instead, they called it quits and scattered across the world.
But how do you tell these scattered people about their Savior? The answer came on Pentecost – the Holy Spirit gave the Twelve the power to speak in other languages so that they were heard by the multitudes.
Through missionaries sent across the globe, and to ethnic communities within our own borders, the sweet words of the Gospel are spread to a world that so badly needs to hear that it is forgiven in Christ Jesus.
But God’s Word doesn’t only go to people of different languages; it comes to you, too. You might not be in a very exotic locale, but it is a world away from the Jerusalem the Twelve spoke the Gospel from on that first Pentecost. And that’s what matters – that the Holy Spirit carried the Gospel of Christ to you so that you would be saved.
People and realms of ev’ry tongue Dwell on His love with sweetest song; And infant voices shall proclaim Their earthly blessings on His name. (LSB #832, v.3
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