Now the whole earth had one language and one speech.
Genesis 11:1

A common language is a blessing. If you’ve ever been in a foreign country where no one knows English or the language you speak, and you don’t know one lick of the local tongue, it’s hard to communicate. According to the latest count, there are over 6,900 primary languages on Earth. That’s not counting all the dialects. In India, for example, there are hundreds of distinctive dialects, each of which is completely different, even though the root language is the same.

We are the product of the original language confusion that God instituted at Babel. Take the United Nations, for example. There are entire rooms in the United Nations that house headphone-wearing translators dedicated to providing the best possible communication, without which no plans or agreements can be made.

Several years ago, I had the privilege of going to Puerto Rico for a Billy Graham crusade called Global Mission, where 185 nations were reached simultaneously from 3,000 different sites set up all over the world in tents, churches, auditoriums, and even out in fields. A computer broadcast video coverage of the crusade, and it was translated simultaneously into numerous languages. I thought of how technology now allows us to take the message of grace and send it out to the world, in a way redeeming the language confusion that came from the curse that people brought on themselves at Babel.

Previous Genesis Resources Next
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
Learn More about You Can Understand the Book of Genesis

Skip Heitzig, author of The Bible from 30,000 Feet, is pastor-teacher of Calvary Church, ministering to more than 15,000 people weekly. He holds a DD and PhD from Trinity Southwest University and has a popular multimedia teaching ministry that includes print, audio, and online resources. Skip and his wife, Lenya, reside in New Mexico and have one son and two grandchildren.