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July 2016 - A Return To Babel?

A Return to Babel?

In the Book of Genesis, God records for us the origin of many things: How all things came to be by the spoken Word of the Creator; How Mankind came to be; Who is God and why He made us; What ruined it all; What is sin; Why we die; God's plan for saving us from sin and death; The origins of Law; The origins of nations – and the origin of our languages. 

We are told in Genesis how originally man spoke a single, common language -- that is until that little incident at Babel.  You may recall that God confused the language of man because mankind was united in his rebellion and sin.  God had commanded after the Flood that man be fruitful, multiply and spread out over the earth.  Instead, forgetting the terrible wrath and judgment of God from the Flood (which occurred only around 100 years earlier -- how quickly we can forget!), mankind refused to spread out and chose instead to build a mighty city and a tower that would reach up to the heavens.  Man would rely on his own cleverness and might to work his way back into heaven.   And God noted that their great unity in this rebellion against His will was aided with their common language – they were able to work easily together and encourage one another in this sinful path, thus why He confused their languages and forced them to go their separate ways as He had willed it.

Fast forward to today.  Does it not seem as if this world is rapidly growing in its rebellion and sin, getting bolder in its attacks against God and His Church?   Does it not seem that the world is growing in violence and seemingly spiraling out of control down the roads of depravity, self-indulgence and self-worship?  More and more unified in its rebellion against God and His Word-- like the world is going insane, and all common sense out the window?

As I considered that, I thought that perhaps one of the reasons enabling this is our growing ability to more easily communicate with more and more people.   Cell phones, texting, internet and on and on.  Ideas and philosophes, conversations both good and bad can be literally held on the world wide level across so many languages and cultures so quickly and so pervasively.  Mankind seems to be joining again, aiding and encouraging each other in their rebellion against God and His Word -- Babel seems to have been reversed a bit.

Like all the gifts and abilities that God has given us, they can be used in God-pleasing, neighbor-helping ways, or they can be abused for selfish, self-centered, harmful, evil purposes.    For example, our modern capabilities of communication via electronic means enables us to instantly know the situation our family or friends are going through and we can offer them help quickly.  We can also communicate the Gospel to so many more people throughout the world.   But the same sources of communication also enable us to hear every tragic, bad news story that is happening around the world, often as it is happening, and enable folks to virtually experience it and react.  Violence, evil actions, and sensuality are displayed in an ever-increasing fashion and seem to be chipping away more and more against the Law hidden in man’s heart.  Public opinion and particularly the mysterious forces of political correctness spawn from this increasingly unified philosophy of man and results in the increased attacks against the Truth of God and His Word.   Man’s rebellion grows.  

And with the growing impact of the ironically tabbed “social media” (for it seems to be anything but social when one not only observes the frequently rude and cruel messages communicated, but folks seem to be talking less and less TO one another), it seems that gas is being thrown on the fire of man's self-centered, self-reliant ways and further increasing and unifying  man's rebellious efforts. 

Now whether this is an accurate analysis or not, whether or not man has in a sense returned to Babel, unified in his rebellious efforts against God and His Word, we take heart in knowing that like at Babel, the Lord is still Lord of all – He will cause all things, all of history to work to the proclaiming of His Word and saving of His Sheep.   Though there seems to be a growing sense of evil and violence throughout our fallen world, our Lord will limit it to serve His eternal purposes, and we most certainly know that His Church will stand and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.  And though so much hurt and anger, insult and vileness are so rapidly and pervasively communicated in our time, we can still use the tools of communication to proclaim the Word of our Lord in its entire entirety to a world He has already redeemed in His Son’s Blood, and to mutually build each other and our neighbors up. 

Even if mankind has returned to Babel, let us instead speak the truth of God’s Word in its entirety with all clarity and boldness, and to speak that truth in love and gentleness, yet without compromise or shame.

Pastor

 

 

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