With One Language Men Tried to Make a Name for Themselves
I’m reminded of the building of the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11). And something got my interest. Verses 1-4 says:
1Now the whole earth had one language and the same words. 2And as people migrated from the east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. 3And they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks, and burn them thoroughly.” And they had brick for stone, and bitumen for mortar. 4Then 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.” (Emphasis added)
There was only one language. And with one language, men planned to build a city and a tower, and to make a name for themselves. Else, they’ll be scattered.
We know how the story ended. God confused their language (v.7) and the construction of the city came to a halt (v.8). Ironically, the people were dispersed over the face of all the earth (vv.8-9).
So with one language, men tried to make a name for themselves. Then something hit me. Isn’t God praised in many languages? Let’s go to Acts 2, when the Holy Spirit came at the day of Pentecost.
1When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. 2And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. 3And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. 4And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. (vv.1-4, emphasis added)
The believers began speaking in different languages. The Jews were amazed for they “hear them telling in [their] own tongues the mighty works of God” (v.11).
What could this mean? Here it is: Men, with one language, tried to make a name for themselves. They tried to exalt themselves above God. But God confused their language. He will not allow them to make a name for themselves. Instead, God is praised in many languages, as we have seen in the Pentecost event, and has been making a name for Himself. Amazing!