Read Genesis 11:1-9. What happened here that makes the problem of separation and disunity worse?
The next events chronicled by the Bible after the Flood are the construction of the Tower of Babel, the confusion of languages, and then the dispersion of people, who so far had spoken one language.
Perhaps attracted by the beauty of the land between the rivers Euphrates and Tigris, and the fertility of the soil, some of the descendants of Noah decided to build themselves a city and a high-towered structure in the land of Shinar, today’s southern Iraq (Gen. 11:2).
Archaeology has shown that Mesopotamia was a densely populated region from earliest historical times. Among these people were the Sumerians, who are credited with inventing the art of writing on clay tablets. They built well-constructed houses and were masters in the production of jewelry, tools, and household utensils. Excavations have also uncovered many tower-like temples dedicated to the worship of various deities.
The descendants of Noah who settled in the land of Shinar soon forgot the God of Noah and the promises He had made to never again destroy the world by a flood. Building the Tower of Babel was a monument to their superior wisdom and skills. Their desire for renown and reputation, to “make a name for ourselves” (Gen. 11:4), was one motive for this building project. “According to the divine purpose, men were to have preserved unity through the bond of true religion. When idolatry and polytheism broke this inner spiritual bond, they lost not only unity of religion but also the spirit of brotherhood. A project such as the tower, to preserve by outward means the inward unity which had been lost, could never succeed.” – The SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 1, pages 284, 285.
The fall of Adam and Eve shattered the unity of the human race and God’s original plan. It resulted in confusion regarding worship; the widespread dissemination of evil and immorality over the earth; and ultimately the separation of humanity into many different cultures, languages, and races that often have been at odds with one another since.
|What are practical steps we can take to help heal the divisions of race, culture, and language that hurt us even in the church?|