Good morning. It is Friday, April 29, 2022. Jeanette Stark here.
I interviewed a gal from Jamaica this week. Her accent was thick and lovely. I have always loved accents. Whether it is southern, or English or Australian, it always makes me smile. I am sure we sound like we have accents to people that speak a different language or come from a different part of the country.
Anyway, this gal is a singer and song writer and I asked her to sing for me. It was beautiful, but it was remarkable how the accent was lost. A co-worker remarked the same sentiment. Why is that people with thick accents lose that accent when they sing?
My quick response was “Could it be because music is a universal language?” I will let you do an online search if you want to know why people sound the same when singing. I want to talk today about accents and different languages.
When you really stop and think about letters forming words, words forming sentences, a mouth using voice to put those words to story…it really is incredible.
God gave us the gift of speech, but why do we speak in different languages?
You probably know the story of The Tower of Babel, but let’s look again.
“At one time, the whole Earth spoke the same language. It so happened that as they moved out of the east, they came upon a plain in the land of Shinar and settled down.
They said to one another, “Come, let’s make bricks and fire them well.” They used brick for stone and tar for mortar.
Then they said, “Come, let’s build ourselves a city and a tower that reaches Heaven. Let’s make ourselves famous so we won’t be scattered here and there across the Earth.”
God came down to look over the city and the tower those people had built.
God took one look and said, “One people, one language; why, this is only a first step. No telling what they’ll come up with next—they’ll stop at nothing! Come, we’ll go down and garble their speech, so they won’t understand each other.” Then God scattered them from there all over the world. And they had to quit building the city. That’s how it came to be called Babel, because there God turned their language into “babble.” From there God scattered them all over the world.” Genesis 11:1-9 - The Message Bible
Shinar is one of the cities in Babylon founded Nimrod, according to Genesis 10:9-10. Nimrod was the son of Cush, the grandson of Ham and the great grandson of Noah. We are talking close to the time of the flood. And if we are talking generationally, very close. Ham was on the Ark!
But what was wrong with building the tower? The answer: God had instructed those people to scatter; to fill the earth.
Genesis 9:1 “And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.” ESV
But they had a different idea. Instead of obeying God, 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.” Genesis 11:4 ESV
God says: fill the earth
Man says: build lest we be dispersed over the face of the earth.
They were in direct violation of what God asked them to do. They were doing what they thought would make them great; make a name for themselves, instead of what God had commanded.
God decided to intervene, again.
God said in Genesis 11:6 “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.” ESV
God knew if He did not step in and stop them, there would be nothing they could not accomplish if they put their minds to it. He made it clear that when people have a common goal and agree with that goal, they can accomplish anything.
I find it amusing that someone has invented a program where you can learn a new language and they have named that program Babbel.
Anyway, let the story of the tower of Babel be an example to us today.
1) God’s way is always better
2) If we are going to be unified in something, let it be for the purpose of spreading the good news of Jesus.
3) When we go against what God has said, often He will intervene for our good if not the good of humanity.