“That is why it was called Babel—because there the Lord confused the language of the whole world. From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth.“ (Genesis 11:9, NIV)
“When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard them speaking in his own language.“ (Acts 2:6, NIV)
Many, many years ago, God commanded the sons of Noah to spread out across the earth. They refused, so the Lord confused their language and forced the issue.
Many years later, visitors from all over the world were in Jerusalem. When the Holy Spirit filled the disciples, they began speaking in foreign languages they had never known – and these foreign visitors heard about the “wonders of God in our own tongues!”
Studying Acts this week for our sermon series “Unfinished,” I was reminded of this unique work of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of God unites. Paul says: “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” (Ephesians 4:3, NIV)
Division is natural for humans. We divide ourselves based on geography and language and even race – Star-Bellied Sneeches and those without “stars on thars.” But it is a fruit of rebellion. It is a fruit of our fallen nature. Many a politician will capitalize on these “worse angels of our nature” (to borrow and misappropriate from Abraham Lincoln) for their own benefit. Some, on the other hand, will try to overcome these divisions…by edict or legislation or even force.
But only God can truly unite, and he does this by His Spirit. Human efforts, though laudable and well-intentioned, will always fall short.
One of the most encouraging elements of Revive Texas – besides the 1,315 salvations in D/FW these last three weeks – is the fact that 356 churches are involved (21 in the Denton region)! THAT is truly a work of God. “How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity! …For there the Lord bestows his blessing, even life forevermore.“ (Psalm 133:1, 3, NIV)