In Genesis 11, we learn about the
Tower of Babel. Since all the people of the world could speak the same language,
they found there wasn't much they couldn't do, as long as they worked together.
They built a town and a tower into the heavens in order to make a name for
themselves and to stay together, not being scattered around the earth. (It is
assumed that they would be seen as being closer to God with the tower.) For
their arrogance, God made them to speak in different languages, which is why the
tower was named Babel, and scattered them across the earth.
In Acts 2:4-6, St Luke tells us
that centuries later, "[The apostles] were all filled with the Holy Spirit and
began to speak foreign languages as the Spirit gave them the gift of speech.
Now, there were devout men living in Jerusalem from every nation under heaven,
and at this sound they all assembled, each one bewildered to hear these men
speaking his own language."
We all know that this was God
conveying the Holy Spirit upon the apostles at Pentecost after Christ's
resurrection. I have a reference note in my research Bible, that brings a lot
more meaning to these Bible verses in Acts. It is this: A second characteristic
of the Pentecost miracle the apostles speak a universal language that each
person there understood as his own language; thus, restoring the unity that was
lost at Babel.
Perhaps it was only me who never
made this connection, but I thought it was pretty awesome. It also means that
Jesus dying to gain forgiveness for our offenses not only gave us salvation and
a direct connection to God through the Holy Spirit and the Son but also reversed
God's edict at Babel centuries earlier. Pretty cool, huh?
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