Tapping into the True Source of Purpose and Language
Pastor John Francis
11 Now the whole earth had one language and the same words. 2 And as people migrated from the east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. 3 And they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks, and burn them thoroughly.” And they had brick for stone, and bitumen for mortar. 4 Then 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.” 5 And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of man had built. 6 And the Lord said, “Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language, and this is only the beginning of what they will do. And nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them. 7 Come, let us go down there and confuse their language, so that they may not understand one another’s speech.”
It is powerful when people are united in one purpose and language. In this passage, the whole earth comes together to build a city and a tower while speaking the same language. God confirms that they would be able to accomplish the task. Beyond the obvious power of language and common objective, and what that could accomplish, I am intrigued to find in this text a deeper, yet alarming truth—people can have success without ever depending on God and living a life flowing from His presence. The scary part for the people of Babel is they could have been successful without any connection to God. In God’s graciousness could it be He stopped their building project to protect them from independence instead of interdependence? Just a thought for us to reflect upon.
In the gospel of John, Jesus powerfully declares: “I am the sprouting vine and you’re my branches. As you live in union with me as your source, fruitfulness will stream from within you—but when you live separated from me you are powerless” (John 15:5, The Passion Translation).
With one language and purpose, the people at the tower of Babel would have been successful in pursuing their ambition. However, God in His mercy, recognized their source was wrong. All their success would ultimately come to ruin and end in fruitlessness as they were separated from the true source of success. We live in an age and culture where this same dynamic of independence from God attempts to rob, steal, and destroy lives. Let us lead ourselves and those that God entrusts to us well by staying connected to the true source of all life. Only His purpose and language matters and brings real success. Only being connected to Jesus is true eternal life.
POWER OF TESTIMONY
I have asked Jesus over the course of my life to reveal my times of Babel. As they were revealed, I bowed my heart in loving affection for His hand of protection to lead me back to His heart, His purpose, His affections, His attention, His words, and away from the vices and traps that lead to destruction. I have re-discovered again and again that truly He is the only source that satisfies and brings safety.