In our Genesis reading we have the account of the re-population of the earth after the flood. Multiple lines of descent from the sons of Noah are named. Ch. 11 starts, “Now the whole earth had one language and the same words.” They build a city and “its name was called Babel” [v.9] and it is of considerable interest that this word, when translated into Greek, becomes, Babylon – and we contemplate its occurrence in Revelation!
Verse 6 records how “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.” To prevent this multiple languages are introduced “so that they may not understand one another’s speech.” [v.7]
We can envisage that each husband and wife were given their own language – and migrated far and wide to different parts of the earth. Let’s reflect on the God-given reason for this and, most of all, how modern technology has overcome translation barriers during our generation! We are again in a situation – from the Creator’s perspective – where “nothing … will now be impossible for them” – as modern nations share their technological advances and inventions. It is interesting, that Israel (largely godless and atheistic) is in the forefront of this – so it is now time for the Creator to take the most dramatic action since the time of Noah!
We read last week in Revelation of the fall of the latter day Babylon (Babel !!) This “fall” describes what is to happen to today’s Babel. An angel ” called out with a mighty voice, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great!” [v.2] Those ” who … lived in luxury with her, will weep and wail over her… ‘ Alas! Alas! You great city, you mighty city, Babylon! For in a single hour your judgment has come.’ And the merchants of the earth weep and mourn …” [v.9-11] They are in distress because ” all who had ships at sea (and in the air) grew rich by her wealth! For in a single hour she has been laid waste.” [v.19]
Those whose ‘God’ is based on the ‘riches’ of this world will weep, but the next verses are for us and tell us, “Rejoice over her … you saints … for God has given judgment for you against her!” And the angel proclaims, ” “So will Babylon the great city be thrown down with violence, and will be found no more” [v.21].
How appropriate, indeed fascinating, are the words of David we read today: first in Psalm 12, in describing our time when “the wicked prowl, as vileness is exalted among the children of man.” [v.8] and how this will come to a dramatic end!
Those who know that “the words of the LORD are pure words” [v.6] will echo David’s prayer, ” You, O LORD … will guard us from this generation forever.”[v.7] Then in Psalm 14, “The LORD looks down … to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God” [v.2], but “they have all turned aside” [v.3] and as a result there will be a time when “they are in great terror.” But “God is with the generation of the righteous.” [v.5] May we be in that generation. David Caudery