Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the three-year lectionary.
In our Old Testament passage from Genesis 11:1-9 we read of God confusing the languages of the people, then scattering them. The reason given, in Genesis 11:6, is that the people would otherwise have unbounded power. Some find this as the self-centered action of a cranky and power-hungry God. They assume he feels threatened by the power of the people and wishes to oppress them.
What’s the track record of people in the biblical record prior to Genesis 11? They have defied God and brought death into the world. In the very next generation, the first murder happens. Within a few chapters God could look at the world and see a people who were always evil. He wiped the sinful world clean with a flood, and immediately afterward the remaining family was in shambles. The population grew in a troubled way again. It is the people, not God, who are power hungry, oppressie, and murderous. These are exactly the kind of people who should be confused and separated, before they kill each other.
What God does in Genesis 11 by separating the people, he undoes in the New Testament. Jesus is the savior of all, regardless of their language or origin. In Acts 2 the languages are unconfused. Again and again, the call of Christians is to unity. But now it is a unity of people who have been recreated in the image of God. It is a fellowship of the saints, who work for healing and life, rather than for their own honor and glory. The Lord who separates people in the Old Testament restores them in the New.
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