Babel: There the Lord Confused the Language of the Whole World
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).
Have you ever thought about the many languages in the world? How did they all originate? Linguists are still doing a lot of research on this. Most of them are agreed that the major languages of the world do belong to a a few families of languages indicating the fact that they all had some kind of common root. Let them study. But let us believe. Yes, let us believe what God has plainly written for us in His Word. He confused the language of the whole world. Before that the whole world had one language and a common speech (see verse 1).
But then the question is why did God do that? It was because of man’s rebellion against God. And it was the first organized rebellion. It was not just about building a city or a tower; there was something more to it. They did not want to be scattered and they wanted to make a name for themselves. But where was God in all their plans? Were they trying to escape another flood of God’s judgment by building a tower? Whatever be it, they were trying to set up their own kingdom on earth apart from God. Therefore, God intervened. If He had not done so, the evil they would have attempted in later years would have surpassed the evil that existed before the flood of Noah’s time. And God would have been compelled to destroy all life a second time; maybe in another manner.
Now, when the language got confused they got scattered around the face of the whole earth. But God still had a plan for all of them. We find a glimpse of His plan during the day of Pentecost. As the disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit; they began to speak in other tongues (languages). “God-fearing Jews from every nation from under heaven” had gathered together there. And each one heard the message in their own language. This was God’s first act of breaking the language barrier to proclaim His salvation.
Again, God’s plans are for the people of all languages. His salvation and redemption through the blood of Jesus comes to people of all languages (see Revelation 5:9, 7:9). Then the confusion of Babel will give way to unanimous and joyous shouts of “Hallelujah!” (see Revelation 19:6) in heaven!