Terry R. Baughman
“Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them” (Genesis 11:6).
It was the grandest of any building project ever proposed or initiated. The planning was extensive and the results were already monumental. The coordination of supplies, workers, and support staff was more than most could have imagined. When completed it would be a tower that would reach the heavens. There was a heady arrogance when people begin to talk about what they had accomplished and the prospects of future completion. So grand was this undertaking that it even attracted the attention of God, but not in a good way.
When God observed the progress of this vast undertaking He saw more than materials, the number of workers, and the portion of at the project that had been completed. He saw the pride and the self willed determination to build something that would enable man to reach God through his own power and by his own accomplishments. Of course the reality was impossible. How high could they have built before the air ran out or the supporting structure failed? That is the way we view it now, but the text revealed that God saw their resolve, their unity, and their progress and observed that “nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them.”
God knows the power of unity. When people can get together nothing can stop them. Any plan can be accomplished if enough people are unified to see it through. It was also noted that they were of one language. When people are speaking the same vision and in agreement with one another anything is possible!
When God proposed to put an end to the project He simply confused the languages of the people. Suddenly their ability to communicate plans, objectives, or solicit workers and give directions became impossible. The barriers of language disrupted the work flow and introduced division. That is the thing that stopped the massive construction and the building project ceased. It would forever be identified as the Tower of Babel, because the languages were confused and all they heard was babble.
When God’s people get together for a holy cause with the blessing of the Lord nothing will be withheld from them. Inasmuch as people with profane objectives accomplish great feats, how much more can be accomplished by those who put God first in their plans and their projects?
On the Day of Pentecost it was noted that “they were all with one accord in one place” (Acts 2:1). This was more than a casual comment about the space they occupied. They were with one accord. Something about this unity caught the attention of God. Now they were ready for the phenomenal outpouring of the Spirit of God and the display of His mighty acts. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke with tongues. It is interesting that the babble of diverse tongues brought confusion to a building project in Genesis and here the sign of various unknown tongues was the result of unity. Nothing will be impossible when God’s people are unified.
“That they may be one as we are” (John 17:11). [use the same verse here]
3/5/17 Spirit Sunday (New)