The Gift of Communication

“And the lord said, ‘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;’?Therefore its name is called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of all the earth; and from there the Lord scattered them abroad over the face of the earth” (Genesis 11:6, 9).
I have always been frustrated by my difficulty in learning languages. Some have a natural affinity for them, but I am not so gifted. I diligently avoided French, Spanish, and Latin in high school, and struggled mightily to pick up a little of the Biblical languages in college and graduate school. Since I have been working in other countries I have attempted to learn at least some of the local language, but it has been difficult, to say the least.
Few abilities are more crucial to success than that of communication. The story of the tower of Babel provides Divine endorsement of that judgment. With perfect communication, multiple individuals can unite as one and accomplish great things. Without it, confusion and failure is the result.
Humanity’s relationship with God has been made difficult by problems of communication. Since sin separated us from fellowship with our Creator, direct communion has been prohibited. We know God only through his gracious revelation. He is transcendent, remote from mankind, and is invisible to us (1 Timothy 1:17). As John says, “No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has declared him” (John 1:18). There is communication, but it is always at God’s initiative and by his grace.
That is not the difficulty however. God is perfectly able to reveal himself and to receive our attempts to express our needs, our emotions and our praise. But our own pride, selfishness and lusts are used against us by the great deceiver to prevent our knowledge of God.
The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved (2 Thessalonians 2:9-10).
God has revealed himself more than adequately (Romans 1:18-20). We may know him, and we may know all that is necessary to bring us to salvation. Failure is the result of our rejection of truth, our unwillingness to receive his message. It may be a relatively minor thing to avoid exposure to another earthly language. It is something of far greater magnitude to refuse to learn God’s language, and through it to learn, and do, his will.

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Michael Brooks

Since 1988 Mike and his wife Brenda have been involved in foreign missions in South America, Africa, and South Asia. Beginning in 1999 they devoted full time to missions, primarily in Bangladesh and Nepal.

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