Summary: How do we view languages?
The theme of this year’s Holiday Folk Fair is celebrating languages, indigenous and heritage.
Let me just share briefly with you 2 important events noted in God’s Word the Bible about languages.
First we note from Genesis 11:1-9….. Tower of Babel
Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. As people moved eastward,[a] they found a plain in Shina and settled there. They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.” But the LORD came down to see the city and the tower the people were building. The LORD said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.” So the LORD scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. That is why it was called Babe—because there the LORD confused the language of the whole world. From there the LORD scattered them over the face of the whole earth.
If we look at this story closer, we will note that the people wanted to be their own god; how many times did the people say “let us…” The people actually said “let us build OURSELVES (not for God)… and make a name for OURSELVES (again not for God, the Creator of all things)!
And so, because God is a jealous God, He disciplined the people with different languages.
Before we think badly of God, God created everything and languages we love came from God but there is a loving lesson to be learned from the Tower of Babel!
The other important story about languages in the bible happened after what Jesus Christ the son of God did to forgive people of their sins: God Jesus Christ suffered, died, was buried, but rose from the dead! After going back to heaven, Jesus provided God the Holy spirit to all who believes in Him. We read in the book of Acts 2:1-11….
On the day of Pentecost all the Lord’s followers were together in one place. Suddenly there was a noise from heaven like the sound of a mighty wind! It filled the house where they were meeting. Then they saw what looked like fiery tongues moving in all directions, and a tongue came and settled on each person there.
The Holy Spirit took control of everyone, and they began speaking whatever languages the Spirit let them speak. Many religious Jews from every country in the world were living in Jerusalem. And when they heard this noise, a crowd gathered. But they were surprised, because they were hearing everything in their own languages. They were excited and amazed, and said: Don’t all these who are speaking come from Galilee? Then why do we hear them speaking our very own languages? Some of us are from Parthia, Media, and Elam. Others are from Mesopotamia, Judea, Cappadocia, Pontus, Asia, Phrygia, Pamphylia, Egypt, parts of Libya near Cyrene, Rome, Crete, and Arabia. Some of us were born Jews, and others of us have chosen to be Jews. Yet we all hear them using our own languages to tell the wonderful things God has done.
And so… what does this all mean to us today?
#1 All languages are from God and we should appreciate all of them!!
But let us note that the first thing we must all grasp in order to truly appreciate languages and other people in general is accept the truth that God created each one of us in His own image! Do you truly believe you are created in the image of God? Do you see other people created in the image of God? However…..
#2 Languages can lead to chaos when God is not honored!
Yes we are all created in the image of God but not honoring God blurs God’s image in us including our communications with others! But….
#3 Languages can lead to truth and building up of community!
#4 Languages should be spoken as empowered by God the Holy Spirit! But we can only have the Holy Spirit in us if we truly believe in Jesus Christ as our Only Lord Savior! Accept Jesus Christ as your Only Lord and Savior and you will be indwelt by the Holy Spirit! With Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, God’s image will be restored in you and me and how we relate with others!