THE CONFUSION of languages at Babel was an explosive moment in history. It introduced geographic and linguistic barriers that survive to this day. However, in breaking up the unified community at Babel, God was working out His purposes. He knew that the people were united around a sinful desire to thwart His will, not to honor it (Genesis 11:6). Therefore, He miraculously disrupted their communication as an act of grace. He was preventing humanity from committing itself en masse to rebellion and eventual self-destruction.
Many centuries later, the same God who scattered the peoples at Babel began to gather them together again. At Pentecost, His Spirit began to create a new community unified around Jesus Christ (Acts 2:1–13). The Lord even breached linguistic barriers on that day—a miracle to match the miracle of creating different languages at Babel.
Since the beginning of history, God has been at work to save people from sin. He still uses the principles of scattering and gathering to do that. Only now, after Pentecost, the people that He “scatters” are equipped with the message of His grace and the power of His Spirit. He is helping them overcome every barrier that stands in the way of people knowing Him.