Following the flood and the emergence of Noah and his family from the Ark it says in Genesis Ch. 9 v. 1:
“And God blessed Noah and his sons, and saying unto them, Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the whole earth”. (NIV)
But by the time chapter 11 occurs, the people were taking steps to prevent being spread over the earth. They said “let us make a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the earth”, whereupon they build a city and a great tower.
Instead of taking to themselves the name of God and showing His divine characteristics, they intended to make their own name and to stay in a confined area. The tower was to serve as a visual reminder of their declared intentions to oppose God’s clear instructions to their forefathers. God saw this disobedience, recognized He was not central in the minds of the people and took steps to accomplish His purpose by miraculous means.
The two miracles of Genesis 11 v. 7
God instructed His angels (“let us”) “confound their language” causing them to be scattered to the four corners of the earth.
Miracle #1 occurred when, instantaneously, the people spoke several languages, a condition which exists to this day. There is no more effective way to disperse people than to disrupt their communications. And so the people began to spread out over the earth as God had intended in the first place.
Miracle #2 occurred when the people’s memory of their original language was wiped out. Individuals were unilingual before the miracle and they were unilingual afterwards too, but it was a totally different language! They could not communicate with their neighbours. As a result they were not able to work and live together and the people scattered migrating into other lands.
A city was founded at that time which existed for centuries as a real city. Later, the name of that city stood for those who oppose God. It was first called Babel which means “confusion” and this word has found its way into our language and means:
1) A confused noise, especially of voices
2) A noisy assembly
3) A scene of confusion
The lack of a God centered society and mistrust because of multiple languages that came into existence in the time of Babel remains with us today. Countless wars down through the ages have come about because of people’s failure to work together. Many hundreds of languages exist today and create barriers to harmonious living among peoples of the world.
The world has little or no time for the Lord God of the Bible. The result being a modern society with an acute moral decline, a world ravaged by wars, violence, greed, abuse and bent wholly on self-satisfaction.
Yet the bible does speak of a future time when God will once more intervene in the affairs of the earth when he will send His Son back to the earth to establish His kingdom.
The prophesy of Zephaniah speaks of this.
Zeph 3 v. 8, 9.
“Therefore wait ye upon me, saith the Lord, until the day that I rise up to the prey: for my determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them mine indignation, even all my fierce anger: for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy. For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may call upon the name of the Lord, to serve him with one consent”. (KJV)
The subject of this chapter, Zephaniah 3, is primarily dealing with God’s people Israel but will also embrace the Gentiles who will submit to His will and serve Him.
The Lord God has chosen a time in the future when he will again make men accountable for their faithless actions. He will judge the earth in righteousness by His Son the Lord Jesus Christ and establish a world kingdom of peace and righteousness. At that time we are told that the world will revert to one language as it was prior to the events at Babel and harmony will be restored under the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ.